If you live in Canberra there’s a good chance you’ve seen a Big Issue vendor wearing a bright yellow vest and selling magazines. If you bought one of the $6 magazines, then you’ve helped provide employment and independence to some who has worked hard to help themselves.
The Big Issue provides flexible employment opportunities for people who might otherwise find it difficult to find a job due to mental illness, disability, homelessness, or other barriers to employment. As well as a job, it provides an opportunity for marginalised people to get out in the community, socialise and feel a sense of pride and belonging, while also reducing homelessness.
International Street Paper Vendor Week runs from February 4-10 and celebrates the initiative and determination of people all around the world, including the 30 Big Issue sales people working in Canberra.
Director of Woden Community Services Chris Redmond accompanied Big Issue Vendor Grant Wilson to get an idea of how difficult being a street paper vendor is.
“It’s a tough gig being a street paper vendor! You’ve got to be confident, outgoing, and always stay optimistic.” Said Chris.
Woden Community Service manage the distribution of The Big Issue and provide support to the vendors in Canberra. For information on how you can be involved call 6234 6813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and buy an extra copy of The Big Issue in honour of this very special International Street Paper Vendor Week!