Our vision is to create opportunities that will end poverty and exclusion for Big Issue vendors. Our mission is to connect Big Issue vendors to the vital support and specialist services that enable them to rebuild their lives and determine their own pathways to a better future.
Who we are
The Big Issue Foundation was established in 1995 after the early years of running the magazine showed that many vendors needed access to additional resources, services and opportunities in order to make the most of the financial independence gained by selling the magazine and sustainably work themselves out of poverty.
Today, the Foundation offers our service throughout the UK to thousands of individuals across Big Issue Group’s enterprises: Big Issue Vendors, Big Issue E-Bikes, Big Issue Recruit and more.
What we do
Hand Up is the Big Issue Foundation’s free service for Big Issue vendors and others participating in Big Issue enterprises. Through our trained outreach and case workers, we connect individuals to essential local resources and services and facilitate them to sustain these networks and move forwards independently. Hand Up is delivered from nine community-based Big Issue bases across England, Wales and Scotland. As soon as someone signs up to participate with the Big Issue we provide initial support across six areas: housing; wellbeing- food, clothing, energy; health, mental health and addiction; money; digital access and literacy and citizenship.
If a vendor decides they want to move from selling the magazine, we’ll be by their side to support them access to education and training, volunteering and employment within the Big Issue and beyond.
Find out more about the Hand Up service.
Since our launch, we have provided support to over 30,000 Big Issue vendors. Find out more about the difference we make here.