Helping hand for Big Issue vendors

Candice Dorman, of Kenilworth, runs a project that helps women who sell The Big Issue magazine.

A Kenilworth woman is running a project that supports women who sell The Big Issue magazine and their families.

Candice Dorman, 37, started The Bigger Picture: A Humanitarian Effort more than three years ago.

“This is an initiative that works with other charities, non-governmental organisations, non-profit organisations and foundations who bring their projects to light. For now the focus is on The Big Issue,” she said.

The Big Issue is a non-profit that gives job opportunities to the homeless, marginalised and unemployed, many of whom start as street vendors selling The Big Issue magazine at traffic lights in various suburbs.

Ms Dorman said her focus was on female vendors and their families because their circumstances tended to be even more difficult. “These vendors need to feel cared for, empowered and loved,” she said.

With the help of various sponsors, Ms Dorman has taken the vendors to spa days, yoga classes, boat trips and the aquarium, among other things. Their children have had tutoring and even surfing lessons.

“I shared my proposal with potential sponsors, and many of them thought that my initiative was a wonderful idea to support the female vendors and their children,” she said.

Tsephiso Nhemachena, a social worker at The Big Issue, in Woodstock, said they were very grateful to Ms Dorman. “We appreciate the initiatives that she has taken in the past, finding sponsors for various activities for our vendors.”

The vendors and their children had done things they might otherwise never have done because of Ms Dorman, she said.

Ms Dorman would now like to create a homeless shelter for The Big Issue vendors.

“This shelter would have to be located in an area nearest to The Big Issue, which is accessible to these vendors, and we will have to find sponsorship to maintain the cost of managing this homeless shelter,” she said.

Email Ms Dorman at candicedorman31@gmail.com or visit www.bigissue.org.za to find out more about The Big Issue.