The Big Issue is a magazine sold by homeless and long-term unemployed people. Vendors buy copies for £1.25 and sell for £2.50. They are working, not begging.
Since The Big Issue was launched in 1991 we have helped thousands of vulnerable people take control of their lives. We currently work with around 2000 individuals across the UK offering them the opportunity to earn a legitimate income; to ‘help them to help themselves’.
Over the past two decades the magazine has become synonymous with challenging, independent journalism, and renowned for securing exclusive interviews with the most elusive of superstars. It currently circulates around 100,000 copies every week.
Vendors undergo an induction process and sign up to a code of conduct. They are allocated a pitch and issued with a number of free copies of the magazine. Last year alone we put more than £5million in the pockets of our vendors, releasing them from a dependence on hand-outs and providing an alternative to begging.
And we don’t stop there. Earning an income is the first step on the journey away from poverty and The Big Issue Foundation, a registered charity, exists to link vendors with vital support and services.
Created as a business solution to a social problem, The Big Issue has inspired other street papers in more than 120 countries, leading a global self-help revolution.