Big Issue vendors in training for London Marathon

Lee Welham, from Cambridge, and London-based Andre Rostant have already raised £400 ahead of the event in October.

Big Issue vendors Lee Welham and Andre Rostant
Big Issue vendors Lee Welham and Andre Rostant

Two Big Issue vendors are in training for the London Marathon, aiming to raise money for the magazine‘s foundation.

Lee Welham, from Cambridge, and London-based Andre Rostant have already raised £400 ahead of the event in October.

Mr Rostant said: “Beyond selling, the foundation provides logistical support that it can be hard to find elsewhere.

“They can guide you to the best services or do something like help you get a suit if you need one for an interview.

“The foundation is a facilitator.”

Mr Rostant took up selling the magazine in 2012 to support his family after they lost their home.

Lee Welham and Andre Rostant
Lee Welham (right) and Andre Rostant have already raised £400 (Dale Brodie Creative Ltd/PA)

The foundation helped him secure a part-time job as an office assistant at a law firm where he works three days a week, while topping up his income by selling The Big Issue.

Mr Welham said: “We got looked after during lockdown.

“Without the support of The Big Issue we would have been screwed.”

The Big Issue Foundation provided Mr Welham with financial support after he found universal credit alone was too little to make ends meet.

“Vendors don’t have ID or a bank account or even a phone.

“These things can be life changing and The Big Issue Foundation gives them everything they need.”

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