The Beast from the East may have brought Britain to a standstill – but it hasn’t stopped our Big Issue vendors.
Sellers across the country were faced with freezing temperatures and snowy conditions on pitches all week as they sold the magazine to work themselves out of poverty.
Morning people, another #snowday for the kids and staff but you can't keep a good African down – or Jim it seems! Both Craig and Jim will be back at work today for any jewellery or @BigIssue related needs! #open #BeastFromTheEast @NorwichLanes pic.twitter.com/oEdyzIdVhU
— Sonkai Jewellers (@SonkaiJewellers) March 1, 2018
Snow, what snow? Nothing seems to stop Vaio from being outside John Lewis on Oxford Street every morning from 0700. If only everything was as reliable as this seller! @BigIssue @johnlewisretail pic.twitter.com/EVzaUae8t6
— Andrew Wall (@quillsfolly) February 28, 2018
— Abigail de Leon (@Absdeleon) March 1, 2018
No newspapers to be found in Bristol today but you can get your @BigIssue from Jack. He’s also invested in a card reader so no excuse for not having cash. That’s real entrepreneurship on the street! pic.twitter.com/nvZVH5B7yM
— Peter Jones (@HomesPJ) March 2, 2018
I had the pleasure of talking to some lovely @BigIssue vendors on the streets of Bristol today – it was ruddy freezing but there was not a complaint to be heard from them. Thanks for a friendly chat and for putting my complaining about my cold fingers into perspective! pic.twitter.com/SWtofTqj5t
— Ellie Pipe (@eekpipe) February 27, 2018
Despite the wintry blast, intrepid vendors remained on pitches throughout, spurred on by crucial support from regulars in these difficult conditions. The extreme weather was a harsh reminder that it is the most vulnerable who are hit hardest at difficult times.
Rough sleeping alerts app StreetLink demonstrated the harsh reality of life on the streets with record numbers of referrals as 3,600 people got in touch to report people sleeping on the streets – 2,032 in London – as the weather worsened between February 26 and 27.
There are currently around 1,450 Big Issue sellers working hard on the streets each week.
While hundreds of schools and offices were closed, vendors do not have the luxury of working from home. Their job is tough at the best of times but their enterprising spirit was appreciated by people who shared messages across social media.
Super impressed that my local @BigIssue seller, Georgie, is braving the cold today. He needs to sell his stock before he can go inside & keep warm. Anyone on Hampstead Heath today, do pop along to his spot outside Swain's Lane Tesco & buy a copy. ❄❤ pic.twitter.com/TSH2WnvWP1
— Emma Jolly (@emmajolly) March 2, 2018
— john williams (@john_boyojohn1) March 1, 2018
— Stephen Robertson (@Stephen_TBIF) February 28, 2018