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Big Issue seller outside Sainsbury's
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netty


Posts: 20
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #1
10-11-2007 04:08 PM

Is it just me or does anyone else think there is something untoward about the current Big Issue seller outside Sainsbury's? On a couple of occasions I have seen her handing over all her cash to a man, who then gives her ?5.00 back - it just doesn't seem right.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #2
10-11-2007 04:52 PM

I have already mentioned I thought something strange but I was accussed of being racist by other contributers.
I still think something odd and am fed up with having to tell her every time I enter and leave Sainsbury's that I have plenty of reading matter

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Mrjamon


Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #3
11-11-2007 12:15 PM

If you're in any doubt, just contact the distribution dept at the Big Issue and ask if they know of the homeless person selling in Forest Hill and give her eastern european description. They have records of everyone of the people they employ and will help to resolve your curiosity. I still buy of her as it is obvious that she/they are not as well off as the people who pass her by.

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Mrjamon


Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #4
11-11-2007 12:17 PM

Tell you what, she should have a badge with a number. Ask for it next time if you can't see it, then contact the big issue.

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netty


Posts: 20
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #5
11-11-2007 12:20 PM

That's probably the best way. I am concerned about her welfare, if she is genuine and someone is taking most of the money from her.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #6
11-11-2007 06:04 PM

I saw her get on a Victoria-bound train last Tuesday evening with another woman and a younger man, who spoke to her in what sounded like Romanian (I have a bit of knowledge of Romanian, not just a stereotype). She had a Big Issue Outer London badge on. Between Sydenham and CP he came through the train selling Big Issues.

I'm not sure what this adds, but I thought I'd say.

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roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
11-11-2007 07:47 PM

She could well be sharing someone elses pitch and they are giving her ?5 for the pleasure. Or someone could be extorting money from her. Or it could be something very straightforward such as giving someone change. It does happen. Just be careful that good intentions do not literally explode in her face, as its probably her only means of income, and she may be doing nothing particularly untoward.

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frosty


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
12-11-2007 02:10 PM

Hmmm. On a slightly different note, does anyone else think she shouldn't be allowed to block the footpath, or harangue people using the supermarket? Charity collectors aren't allowed to rattle tins or address the public, why should big issue salespeople? Surely if you want to help them out or buy a magazine, you'd go up to them and buy one wouldn't you?

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fredzeppelin


Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #9
12-11-2007 03:41 PM

Well, I haven't seen the dodgy money exchange, but I don't think that she harasses people more than any other Big Issue seller. There are some that are nicer or more cheerful, that's for sure, but is down to their own selling style I guess.

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #10
12-11-2007 04:44 PM

frosty Wrote:
... collectors aren't allowed to rattle tins or address the public...


AFAIK this is not strictly true - the Charities Act merely makes provisions for regulations or bylaws which are intended to avoid annoyance to the public. While this may mean that tin-rattling is banned, it's not necessarily the case that it will be. On the issue of addressing the public, charity collectors are not allowed to ask for donations - that's all.

In any case, the point with the Big Issue is surely that it's not begging - it's a way for homeless people to earn money for themselves. If the woman outside Sainsbury's is not homeless, or is not earning her own money, that's another set of issues entirely.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #11
12-11-2007 04:57 PM

As far as I can see, all she ever does is say, "Big Issue" and wave it vaguely in the direction of anyone leaving sainsbury's. And you call that harassing and haranguing? Leave the poor woman alone.

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frosty


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #12
12-11-2007 05:29 PM

A-ha, someone wants to get shirty. Yes, I believe someone who positions themselves in the middle of the footpath, causing all pedestrian traffic to go around them is a nuisance. Having her magazine-toting arm waving across your path when all you want to do is get home or into the shop is annoying. Having her come up behind you when at the cash dispenser is even more frustrating still. I think you've got off lightly.

Isn't the point of a forum that you can express your views? Having lived here for over 10 years, I think I have a right to be concerned about 'recent' developments in and around Forest Hill. Are people not noticing the newly arrived homeless camping in doorways up London Road? The plague of antisocial behaviour, graffiti, muggings & burglaries? Or aware of large and small businesses closing down, to remain as empty shop fronts, or be replaced with bookmakers? Don't we already have all the signs necessary to see that this is a poor area and heading downhill - cheque cashing, pawnbrokers and bookies - it all looks fantastic to me!
New apartments are being built, with new estate agents opening not far behind them, but what is happening to the social & economic infrastructure of this suburb? Beyond the arrival of the east london line development, which doesn't even head into town, I honestly don't know whether Forest Hill is going to pick itself up or turn into the new toilet of south london.

Go ahead and flame me. You know its true.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #13
12-11-2007 05:52 PM

As I said, saying "Big Issue" and vaguely waving a copy at people leaving Sainsbury's. Truly terrible.

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frosty


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #14
13-11-2007 10:47 AM

Wow, great retort! Do let me know when you get around to reading what I wrote.

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Mrjamon


Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2007
Post: #15
13-11-2007 11:11 AM

Yeah, you tell him Frosty! I say lets burn the migrant witch and while we're at it chuck all homeless tramps, gamblers, ethnics the lot on top of our belated bonfire fashioned by our subscription of the Daily Mail to prevent this apocalyptic inevitability of Forest Hill!

Warm up Frosty.

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frosty


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #16
13-11-2007 11:27 AM

Thanks Mrjamon, let's do that! While we're at it, let's throw on your TV-educated, dole-bludging, thieving & mugging, greasy-haired, tracksuit wearing chav-scum children too! Before they produce more of the same baseball & bling buff-ting blud tw*ts who don't know who their father is or how to be a decent or aspirational member of society!

Oh, I'm warming up alright! ;-)

Seriously, aren't you worried about the state of the generation? And what it means for FH?

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #17
13-11-2007 11:52 AM

It really is hard to get enthused about responding to your interesting picture of a forest hill where Mad Max would be quite happily at home - a picture I think most people wouldn't recognise. I could go on about the falling crime figures, FH being a low-crime area in general, the illogicality of criticising both the homeless and schemes to solve the homeless problem, your crude linking of homelessless and Big Issue selling to areas of deprivation (Big Issue sellers gravitate towards areas where there is enough money to keep them off the streets, not to run-down areas where no-one will buy their product, which is why there are so many in Central London). I could mention the number of thriving businesses in FH and the fact that the ones that have folded have done so because they haven't responded to the market adequately, not because there's no money in FH. And I could point to the fact that I visit Sainsbury's almost daily on my way back from work, and yes, she does, as I've said, again, just say, "Big Issue" and wave a copy round a bit. And if you're harassed and harangued by that, you really ought to get out more, read the Daily Mail less, perhaps pay for a few sessions of CBT and then, maybe - just maybe - you'll be a little happier with what you see around you. I could mention all that, but it would be a waste of time, because for some people, the world will always be as hideous as the one you describe. And before you say it, you're not being 'realistic', you're just being you.

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #18
13-11-2007 01:16 PM

Please don't feed the troll.

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Scorpion


Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 2005
Post: #19
13-11-2007 02:23 PM

S I G H !!!!!!!

Hating seeing this "discussion" degenerate into........... whatever. Have my own s_it to deal with right now so haven't been a_sed really, lately, but............ here we go .................

My personal viewpoint:- the woman in question ALWAYS confronts me whether I go in OR out of SB's. Any day I have happened to go there, there she is, walking in front of me and waving her arms around. I am getting closed to telling her where to go, bigtime!
Years ago (not that many) the BI sellers used to stand and wait to be approached, mainly, maybe calling out "Big Issue" but NOT getting in your face! ....... and that worked for me - I actually bought an Issue once a week. If I recall correctly, they were only outside once or twice a week. One male seller, particularly, was very nice & pleasant and my sons used to look forward to seeing him, buying the magazine (which they would not read, as too old for them, but I would - IF anything was interesting to me) and also helping him (cos they have been brought up to know that there are always people worse off than ourselves)
One day, my youngest insisted on giving the guy a big hug, "because you need one" and it was a very emotional 5 minutes or so, for all.
I (and mine) DO care but the constant "hassle" outside SB's is becoming VERY annoying. My sons still recall years past when the "nice guy, who didn't hassle you" was outside. He has stuck in their memory, for good reasons. This latest BI seller woman will be stuck in their (and mine) memory, for many years to come, as someone who is BLOODY ANNOYING! (esp as we are not rich ourselves and count the pennys!)
Its getting too damn much EVERYDAY & I verbally mutter this when confronted yet AGAIN!
I also have had the approach when at the Cashpoint.
I am ALL for helping the homeless and other dis-advantaged peoples, as and when I am able to, but when I have it shoved in my face, day after day, to help, I more often than not, WON'T!
Lately - IMHO - apart from the BI seller - my local SB's is not up to par, in general, despite the refurbishment two years ago (almost) I tend to go elsewhere for my groceries, because, it's NOT GOOD for my general needs.
I don't drive, and I use many of the local independent shops, often, though sometimes they are more expensive, & take the "pee" with some of their prices (I know overheads are bad, but really, some of them take the total mick!) & if I think they are asking too much for a particular item, I wait and go elsewhere, but I do spend money on "something" in many local businesses, most often daily or as and when I can/need. I "look and shop around" for bargains, in supermarkets and independent shops.
FH SB's is a joke now, considering the rebuild, IMHO It's not a supermarket, it's a "Buy what we want to sell, cos you find it convenient, and don't have time to cut up a carrot" place. No improvement on the smaller one that used to be there, many times worse in fact, (IMHO) as, they keep on doing away with certain products/brands etc and change things about so often....... for TTD stuff it seems! ..... and the addition of a hassling BI seller, makes me avoid it like the plague, lately.
I wish we could have another "supermarket" in FH, instead of that one.
One where everyone can buy what they need, but really, I wish the shop leases would be cheaper so that Independent Shops could be able to run their businesses and serve the community.


SIGH!
sorry
guess it was my time to vent

Sue

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frosty


Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
13-11-2007 02:28 PM

I apologise for going a little overboard here, and if I have upset anyone. There is such a state of rose-coloured views of what Forest Hill could be on this forum that I believe it is blinding many people to where it is actually currently heading. An outlook projecting the horrors it could become should surely only help to add to our resolve not to allow it to happen. Yes, I am unhappy with the empty shop-fronts, the proliferation of bookmakers and lack of sense of community or improvement I currently feel. I moved to the area believing that it had enormous potential to become a hub for the area, an aspirational place to live - sadly that is becoming less apparent, and I am reacting to it.
If you have any information that you regard as accurate or reliable with regard to crime figures, I would be more than happy to hear it. Considering how the measuring stick for these statistics is never the same length, and that police are tackling minor crimes rather than major ones in order to reach solved-target figures, even now advising people to report phones as lost rather than stolen, I think we should take them with a pinch of salt. I can only respond to what I have seen in the area - half of the people I know have been burgled, several mugged, graffiti has been sprayed all around my property and local area, and there have been three cars dumped and burnt out within a few hundred metres of my home in the last year. I have had to call the police and services at least eight times this year with regard to everything from antisocial behaviour and vandalism to arson, and on several occasions, the crimes were being committed by schoolgirls and boys still in their uniforms. Don't talk to me about realistic, you haven't got a clue. Maybe that is just london, and par for the course. Maybe it is just my corner of Forest Hill. But it's something I don't see being prevented or relenting, particularly with the current 'bury my head in the sand' politics people seem to be adhering to, or the 'TV can bring up my kids' and 'I wanna be a gangsta' mentality that is more than apparent if you care to open your eyes.
I also appreciate that people feel the desire to be charitable, and I too have no problem with the concept of big issue salespeople. It seems a reasonable solution to the continuing problem of homelessness and poverty. But again there is a wide gradient to the activities of BI salespeople and beggars too, from the unassuming guy and his dog who walks up and down the trains into london bridge, to the eastern european gypsy gangs who will steal anything that is not nailed down, and the abusive & aggressive heroin addicts trying to flog their 'last one' to get a bed in the hostel - or preferrably keep the magazine for the next person and just take the money. I have come across all of these types personally, and for the most part have unfortunately found that there is very little distinction between running a magazine sales business and begging with menaces. Yes, the Forest Hill one doesn't appear to be in that group. I would just prefer her to stand a little closer to the railings or nearer to the shop, just not directly in the path. I'd also like her not to approach me when I am using the cash machine. In truth I've avoided the supermarket for some time, so maybe she's improved.
Regarding beggars, I have friends who work with the homeless around london, who all agree that the worst thing you could do is give them money, as the majority of it will be shot up their arm. Give them food or a cup of tea instead, just don't give them money. Generalisations yes, but if you are looking for sainthood then you should have some idea of what your cash is going to be spent on, and the damage it serves to propagate.
If Forest Hill is such an affluent and thriving area, why have there been fewer companies opening up in the area than leaving it? Why are bookies prevailing? Do you see that as a good sign?

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