Become a Vendor Champion

We need your help to make your local community a great place for vendors to work.

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Our vendors are often at the heart of their local communities, working at selling the magazine for a long time. For many of our vendors, the opportunity for social interaction is as important as earning an income. That’s why we need you to help make your local community a great place for vendors to work by joining our volunteer programme and becoming a Vendor Champion – providing the practical and emotional support our vendors need to get the most out of selling Big Issue North.

Being a Vendor Champion is a fully flexible volunteering opportunity that can fit in with your time commitments. The role aims to provide additional support to vendors by calling on the compassion, activism and support of people and local communities. We want to create a network across the North West to connect communities and share ideas, and harness the strengths, skills, experience, and passion of our Champions to help our vendors. We also want to increase access to employment through the Big Issue North and provide official recognition for those already supporting their local vendor.

With over 350 active vendors across the North West we are not always able to keep in constant contact with them. We need the support of local communities to help vendors thrive on their pitches; whether it’s working with local retailers to help vendors maintain their pitch, identifying new pitches or simply checking in on your vendor.

The support needed will vary from vendor to vendor and community to community, and could include:

  • Helping vendors to develop and maintain positive relationships with local retailers and communities by promoting vendor activity and the Big Issue North
  • Identifying new pitches in communities
  • Supporting vendors to develop new skills and training opportunities
  • Creating a network of support
  • Helping vendors stay in contact with their local hub and the Big Issue North community
  • Signposting vendors to other agencies who may be able to support them

Just a brief chat with your local vendor on a regular basis can make the world of difference to their wellbeing and can assist us in making sure that they have everything they need and are keeping safe and secure.

Lara, who sells the magazine in Mirfield, is grateful for the support she receives from local residents. “People buy me sandwiches and coffee so I can get warm and eat. It makes me feel special – like family, like part of the community… Every time I meet people, they try to chat with me and are smiling. It [selling Big Issue North] is hard work but nice.”

Who can be a Vendor Champion?

Big Issue North’s Vendor Champion programme is open to anyone who would like to help build a positive and connected community and support their local vendor. We are looking for people who are:

  • Sociable and approachable
  • Able to build networks
  • Respectful of differences and choices
  • Can work independently off their own initiative
  • Respects confidentiality acknowledges and understands boundaries
  • Understands the challenges that marginalised communities face
  • Is passionate about creating an equitable, diverse, and inclusive society

Becoming a Vendor Champion

If you would like to become a Vendor Champion, we would like to invite you to complete a short application form and for an informal conversation with our team. 

All Vendor Champions will be invited to an induction training session, to learn more about us, our key polices, support for volunteers and personal development opportunities. 

You will be introduced to the team at your local Big Issue North hub and invited to quarterly networking and collaboration meetings for all Vendor Champions. 

Where appropriate, and in line with our volunteer policy, all champions will be offered out of pocket expenses. 

To apply, or for more information, contact:

Interact: Responses to Become a Vendor Champion

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