Luke Treadaway has called on his fans to rally round Big Issue vendors this Christmas by buying a subscription to the magazine.
In Treadaway’s newest film, A Christmas Gift From Bob – the sequel to the smash hit movie A Street Cat Named Bob – he plays real life Big Issue seller James Bowen, who shot to fame after writing a book about how his life was turned around by the titular ginger cat.
The actor said the experience of getting to know James gave him a much greater understanding of what it takes to be a vendor.
“I think it’s really good that you can still support the vendors by subscribing online to a weekly magazine,” he said. “That [money] still goes to the vendors, to helping these people. I think that’s something that everyone can do. At least for this month… and then just forget to cancel and carry on subscribing forever.”
Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription
James Bowen echoed his on-screen alter ego.
“I agree with Luke,” he said. “Everybody should be getting a subscription, if they can’t buy from their local vendors, to help support The Big Issue.”
Due to coronavirus, all English vendors are currently unable to work and those in Scotland and Wales are struggling with empty streets and fewer customers.
James said the weeks before Christmas were the most important to him when he was selling the magazine.
“The extra income from Christmas magazines is really important,” he added. “So it’s going to be really hard on the vendors. They can only get minimal support. I really, really wish there was some way that they could be able to keep going but it’s just not allowed.”
James and Luke’s call to action came as The Big Issue revealed a brand new interactive map that allows subscribers to directly support their local vendor.
When customers choose their preferred vendor on the map, 50 per cent of the net proceeds from the subscription will go to that person.
A Christmas Gift from Bob is available to watch now.
Big Issue vendors need your help now more than ever. More than 1,000 vendors are out of work because of the second lockdown in England. They can’t sell the magazine and they can’t rely on the income they need.
The Big Issue is helping our vendors with supermarket vouchers and gift payments but we need your help to do that.
Please buy this week’s magazine from the online shop or take out a subscription to make sure we can continue to support our vendors over this difficult period. You can even link your subscription to your local vendor with our new online map.
Thank you all so much for your ongoing support.