We are delighted to announce that Saints Foundation has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Sports Innovation Award at the Sports Business Awards 2018, for our partnership with The Big Issue.
In August 2017, Saints Foundation and The Big Issue set out to change the lives of people amongst the homeless community through a first-of-its-kind innovative employability partnership.
We collaborated to establish an innovative way of:
• changing negative misconceptions of vulnerable adults’ potential
• creating further employment opportunities for The Big Issue vendors
• raising awareness of our work in the local community
To achieve this, we produced a special edition publication combining elements from a typical matchday programme and a Big Issue magazine. This special edition was sold by Big Issue vendors in the streets of Winchester with help from Saints players, Nathan Redmond, Oriol Romeu, Manolo Gabbiadini and Florin Gardos, and then again at the first game of the season.
We received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public and the media with over 4,661 copies of the special edition purchased. This meant a 700% increase on the number of Big Issue magazines typically sold by the same vendors at the same pitches, with an additional 258% increase on the amount of programmes sold on a typical Premier League matchday.
After selling the special edition publication, four Big Issue vendors completed our employability programme, three of the vendors also went on to complete a Level 1 accreditation in Understanding Stewarding at Spectator Events.
All four of The Big Issue vendors were offered roles with Southampton Football Club, three securing work as matchday stewards and one within Halo, the club’s catering and events company, while others have been equipped with valuable professional skills.