Big Issue: A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out

Published on: Fri 20 June 2014 by Admin

The Big Issue is a magazine sold by homeless and long-term unemployed people

I may be biased, however, I’d put money on a great deal of people agreeing with me when I say, Righttrack’s Managing Director, Kasmin Cooney (OBE!) is a generous, forward-thinking, inspirational lady.

In her work-life, she channels these attributes through learning and development; turning individuals into stars whilst helping organisations achieve ambitious business objectives.

It was no surprise therefore when she arrived back in the office from a day of back-to-back meetings in London to say she’d “popped into The Big Issue HQ” in Vauxhall. She’d queued up with The Big Issue vendors at the front desk and asked to speak to someone about their training…

Kasmin was upset and incensed by news last year that two Birmingham city centre Big Issue sellers, she regularly stopped to buy from, had been fatally stabbed. It was this sad event that sparked her desire to rock up at The Big Issue one rainy day to see how, in their memory, she could give something back.

Kasmin, along with a hand-picked project team – Steve McManus (one of our Learning & Development Specialists) and Vicci Whelan (Senior Projects Manager) – are working together as I type, scoping a training programme for The Big Issue employees and volunteers to use as part of the vendor induction.

Its objective? To support those people who have turned to selling The Big Issue and find a style of selling that suits their individual character, key qualities and likely pitch in order that they build confidence and ultimately, secure a better future.

Steve spent a day on the streets of London last month, with Nadia Manganello, Big Issue Team Leader, to meet vendors, distributors, volunteers and staff to gain a true understanding of the organisation’s history, structure, challenges and aspirations.

Righttrack’s Marketing Co-ordinator Caroline Gonera was in tow, (and will be throughout the project),  shooting a video diary of events.

We’re all very excited about this project and can’t wait to see the difference it will make.

Watch this space!