Big Issue Foundation

Changing Lives During Lockdown

We are so grateful to the support received during the lockdown that helped to ensure Big Issue vendors did not have to face the struggles of the lockdown alone.

Vendors were left without an income for 15 weeks due to the lockdown. During this time, we received more requests for support than we have ever experienced before. Applications to the Vendor Support Fund were greater during this time than for the whole of 2019.

Alongside providing financial support, we supported Big Issue vendors to make benefits applications, continued to help vendors achieve Settled Status, connected vendors with local food banks and other services to help continue their support and made regular welfare calls to check in.

This was a challenging time for everyone and we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped during this time. We created this infographic to highlight some of the work you made possible. Thank you for believing in big Issue vendors.

Highlights of how you changed lives:

  • Big Issue vendors spent 15 weeks in lockdown without an income
  • During this time we supported over 1,600 vendors nationwide
  • We provided £225,000 in regular payments during the lockdown
  • We paid £6,150 in rent arrears to prevent evictions in August

Extraordinary Journey
After getting stuck in Romania due to lockdown, we helped one vendor travel 1,225 miles to be reunited with their family in the UK. We helped with travel costs, accessing their settled status online. getting a letter from their GP and putting credit on their phone so we could stay in touch.

We supported digital inclusion to keep vendors connected:

  • We provided laptops for 12 vendors to help them complete training, search for jobs, access services and for entertainment as well as to help those with kids complete home schooling
  • We got smart phones for 23 vendors and provided £700 in phone top ups nationwide to provide a lifeline for vendors to connect to vital services as well as friends and family

We supported the wellbeing of vendors and their families:

  • We spent £1,064 on baby supplies for vendors including nappies and formula
  • We supplied 30 vendors with books, puzzles and art supplies for them and their families
  • We bought 3 vendors trainers so they could start Couch to 5k
  • We got one Beano subscription for a vendor and his family to enjoy together

Your support also enabled us to make welfare calls to vendors throughout this time providing a vital lifeline for many.

Thank you for believing in Big Issue vendors!

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

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