Truro Big Issue vendors got a boost today when they were visited by local celebrity and town crier Lionel Knight.
Knight is a popular figure in the Cornish town and vendors were glad to have his support.
Nick Cuthbert, who sells the magazine outside Marks and Spencer at Lemon Quay in Truro, said: “Having the town crier on my pitch is great to promote The Big Issue and hopefully increase sales.”
Cuthbert added that the backing is particularly appreciated at a time when vendors have seen decreased footfall on their pitches.
“At the moment we are relying on the tourists,” he said. “70 to 80 per cent of regular customers we see are still self-isolating. I am dreading winter, if it carries on like this and everyone keeps self-isolating. It’s hard enough as it is, and it will be even harder this winter I think.”
Town crier Lionel Knight gave Big Issue vendors a boost from his (considerable) voice in Truro today.
— The Big Issue (@BigIssue) September 23, 2020
Andrew Gilbody, who sells the magazine outside Wilco, agreed. “The town crier is the face of the town and I feel supported in these tough times,” he added.
Speaking to passers-by in the town centre this afternoon, Knight emphasised the vendors’ place as part of the commercial heart of the community.
“Thank you all for supporting our local shops and businesses here. But don’t forget about our Big Issue sellers,” he said. “They need our support as well. They are here every day. We know times aren’t good at the moment but please do buy a magazine off them. They also need to live.”
In his role as town crier, Knight has previously taken part in The Big Issue Foundation’s Big Challenge campaign, selling the magazine for an hour to experience the challenges that vendors face every day.
“It’s not so easy,” he admitted, “so please support them and buy a magazine off them.”
The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
Steve Carter, team leader for Devon and Cornwall at The Big Issue, said: “Having the local town crier here with us today brought some great awareness for us, especially during these testing times.”
Big Issue vendors have returned to selling the magazine across the country. However, with footfall significantly lower on many high streets, Big Issue vendors need your support now, more than ever. Please support them by buying a copy of the magazine.