Station first as The Big Issue finds a home at Euston: Big Issue vendor pitch

Wednesday 17 Sep 2014

Station first as The Big Issue finds a home at Euston

Region & Route:
| North West & Central

The first permanent Big Issue vendor’s pitch inside a railway station will be unveiled by Network Rail and The Big Issue Foundation at Euston station on Friday 19 September. The pitch will support the selected vendor to earn a legitimate income, with the new partnership including activities to help support the charity’s work with the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

The 1.5m2 spot on the station concourse will be marked with a floor vinyl similar to those used by London Underground buskers and will formalise the vendor’s presence in one of the network’s busiest stations, used by 70m people a year. In addition, Network Rail will enrol the vendor on a customer service training programme, which includes work experience at the station, and time spent shadowing and being mentored by Network Rail staff.

The pilot initiative will be closely monitored and could be made available to other Network Rail managed stations after the successful completion of a six-month trial.

Stephen Robertson, chief executive of The Big Issue Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Network Rail are taking the lead in welcoming a Big Issue vendor to Euston station. We’re looking forward to working on an exciting programme of awareness and fundraising events whilst providing the selected vendor with a valuable development opportunity.”

Chris Stuchbery, distribution team leader for The Big Issue in London said: “The Big Issue Company is thrilled to be working in partnership with Network Rail, British Transport Police, Euston stakeholders and The Big Issue Foundation to pilot this vendor pitch. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the vendor to become part of the Euston community, raising awareness of The Big Issue and serving rail customers within the station.”

Launched in 1991, the Big Issue is a magazine sold by people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Vendors buy their magazines for £1.25 and sell them at £2.50, thereby taking charge of their finances and developing the skills required to run a micro-business. Their aim is to support their vendors and ‘help them to help themselves.’

Beks Richards, part of Network Rail’s station team at Euston, said: “We’re extremely proud that Euston will host the first permanent Big Issue vendor pitch inside a railway station and we look forward to helping someone who is homeless run their business in a safe and welcoming environment.

“It will be fantastic to have a familiar face on the station selling the Big Issue and also gaining valuable training and work experience with the team here at Euston.”

This is the first time a Big Issue vendor will sell the magazine inside a railway station, and also the first time they’ll be provided with a permanent, branded pitch. Other vendors within Euston the area will continue to operate on their designated pitches and it is anticipated that increased awareness of the magazine and the endorsement from the station will generate increased sales across the area.

Customers who would like to support the initiative are encouraged to buy the magazine from the vendor in the station or from other official Big Issue vendors. Individuals may also like to register to be involved in community events such as carol singing in December 2014 and a Big Sleep Out that will take place on the station’s platforms in June 2015 by emailing

Media invite

Members of the media are invited to see the pitch on Friday 19 September at 11am. There will be an opportunity for photos and interviews with David Manso, the Big Issue vendor at Euston station, Stephen Robertson, chief executive of The Big Issue Foundation, Peter Bird, distribution director at The Big Issue Company and Beks Richards, station support assistant at Network Rail.

Please contact Dan Donovan in the Network Rail press office to arrange your attendance.

Notes to editors

About The Big Issue Foundation:

The Big Issue was founded in 1991 as a social enterprise, producing a weekly magazine which can be bought for £1.25 and sold for £2.50 by people who are homeless, vulnerably housed or at risk of homelessness. The Big Issue Foundation is the charity founded in 1996 to deal with the more holistic needs of The Big Issue’s vendors. It is a small but national charity and they worked with over 2500 individuals last year alone supporting vendors to get back into housing, back into healthcare, back into financial services and back into society.

The mission of The Big Issue Foundation is to connect vendors with the vital support and personal solutions to enable them to rebuild their lives; to find their own paths as they journey away from homelessness.

The charity relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and fundraising partnerships such as this one with Euston Station to fund its vital services.

The Big Issue Foundation contact:

Kathryn Drake
Head of Corporate and Community Fundraising
020 7526 3452

Contact information

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