Meet Richard and Sticks.
Sorry about the photo, I had to be subtle when taking it!
Just over a year ago I began studying at the University of Lincoln. Its a great place and it has two key features: The Cathedral, and the High Street.
Now, Evey day I would walk down the high street to do some shopping or go to University etc... and without fail, Richard will be there, from 09:00 - 18:00. Rain or shine, Richard is there selling these magazines.
Now I understand a lot of people ignore the Big Issue and often do not have time to stop and converse with these people. But, I did. So at one point last semester I stopped, gave him some lunch, some money, and we spoke for about 20 minutes. I asked him why he does it, what sort of situations have led to him being there every single day without fail selling The Big Issue. (I was curious because someone with his commitment to work suggests he should be in an actual job).
His answer truly shocked me, and changed a lot of my perceptions of people in this situation.
He said "I worked in London for a long time but became unemployed, at which point I became homeless for a few weeks until I found another job. Unfortunately I was let go from that job also and ended up homeless again. From there, i hit rock bottom. I honestly did not see any way out and fell into a hole in my life. I went for a job for the third time and from this point I wasn't even getting my foot in the door."
So I then asked why he is in Lincoln...
He said "Once I found out about The Big Issue and how it worked, I began to do some work for them. I started to regain my sense of purpose and it put me in a much better place. I even ended up getting another job. However, due to even more downsizing during this time, the 'first in first out' policy ended my role there. So, I went straight back to The Big Issue and began working for them again. From there, because whenever I have not been in work, I have gone to work for them, they offered to house me in Lincoln, care for my dog, and to ensure I have the absolute basics I need for free."
Now before you question his abilities, he fell into difficulties at work during the height of the financial crisis when most business' felt serious strain. He was just very, very unfortunate.
Now, I admire The Big Issue for their work. However, I believe that Richard deserves to have a much better Christmas than the one he will ultimately have with his dog, alone.
Therefore, I want to raise some money to help him. It isn't a life changing amount, I know. However, little things such as this may restore his faith. The money will help him to cover the cost of buying The Big Issue and selling it on which is how it works. It will help him with many other things over the Christmas period as well, so please help.
I believe this man, even though he is helped with the absolute basic necessities, encapsulate's the fundamental ideology of our country; to work hard and be proud.
Too often are people like this going unnoticed in society.
Please help me raise money for this man in time for Christmas; and it may encourage others to do the same across the country to help so many more.
I will post a video of me hand delivering Richard the money for your peace of mind; I will email it to you to show what you have contributed to, and helped achieve through your kindness. Please Email: firstname.lastname@example.org so that I have your email and can send you the results of this project!!