Workwear Group announces three-year partnership with The Big Issue
Workwear Group selected The Big Issue to become our partner for an initial three year period.
Access to employment and job security is a significant social problem in Australia and for marginalised and vulnerable people (for example indigenous, women, refugees, people with disabilities) there are far more barriers than opportunities.
Workwear Group believes that having access to meaningful work is an imperative. Beyond the financial need, it gives people a sense of purpose, identity, pride, independence, and achievement. It instils self-esteem and confidence. It’s good for physical and emotional health and helps to develop skills and social networks.
Workwear Group selected The Big Issue to become our partner for an initial three-year period. The Big Issue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to creating work opportunities for people experiencing homelessness, marginalisation and disadvantage. Simply put, they help people help themselves.
Our contribution to the partnership will involve an annual financial commitment, as well as skilled and unskilled volunteering opportunities for our team members Australia-wide, and the potential for product support, through uniforms and workwear for The Big Issue magazine sellers and broader teams.
Established in 1996, The Big Issue is proud to be Australia’s longest standing and most successful social enterprise. For 25 years they have helped Australians experiencing disadvantage to help themselves - by providing them with the opportunity to earn an income by selling The Big Issue magazine.
They are a true social enterprise, uniquely supporting anyone who wants to earn an income with immediate, no-barrier, access to work opportunities. In addition to selling the magazine, employment opportunities are made available through several enterprises established and operated by The Big Issue including:
- The Big Issue Street Magazine Enterprise
- The Women’s Workforce
- The Big Issue Classroom
- Community Soccer Program
Part of Workwear Group’s support includes a focus on The Women’s Workforce which to date has employed more than 185 women across four states. For many women, selling The Big Issue is not a safe or viable option, particularly for those fleeing domestic violence or caring for children. The Women’s Workforce offers these women employment packing magazines for The Big Issue subscriber base as well as procurement jobs for organisations and government departments such as picking and packing, mail-outs and letterbox drops.
Since kicking off our partnership in February of 2022, our team have volunteered across several Big Issue activities and programs nationally, including:
- Having senior leaders participating in "The Big Sell", in Melbourne and Brisbane hitting the streets trying their hand at selling the magazine alongside vendors;
- Joining a shift alongside the Women’s Workforce to help pack and mail magazines to subscribers, in recognition of International Women’s Day;
- Attending fortnightly magazine launches and assisting with breakfast preparation for vendors;
- Playing soccer alongside the Community Street Soccer Program;
- Taking part in a half day Big Issue Challenge to learn about The Big Issue, hear from a guest speaker and sell magazines in teams alongside vendors;
- Assisting vendors to complete a Big Issue social impact survey.
Additionally, we had the opportunity of attending a talk by George Halkias, National Street Soccer Coach at The Big Issue during Homelessness Week which helped to put these activities into perspective.
We look forward to working with The Big Issue in 2023 and beyond!