For Big Issue vendors our delivery vans are crucial. The vehicles not only supply vendors with magazines to sell, they’re a bright light that represents hope, community and security. This is most keenly felt during winter, as we approach the festive season. It’s the busiest time of year for vendors and, because of often-harsh weather conditions, the most challenging.
Big Issue’s partnership with Citroën will see us replace our existing diesel vans with greener and more reliable electric vehicles, ensuring that our sellers are given the support they need during tough times, while saving us money and helping the environment.
Vehicles will be ‘vital’ over Christmas
Holly O’Connor, Big Issue Midlands Regional Manager, confirms how vital the vehicles will prove in the coming weeks. “Over Christmas we work all hours, getting magazines out to the vendors and making sure that they’re alright on their pitches,” she explains. “We do lots more deliveries, direct to them, so that they can maximise their time on their pitch and sales. We need that flexibility to be there when they need us.
“I think a lot of vendors really like the vibe at Christmas – how busy it is and how much of an interest the public take in them at that time of year. The sales of the magazine increase massively, the vendor numbers increase massively, and the demand for magazines increases as well.
“I’ve met vendors halfway between our offices and their pitch, so that they can get magazines straight away. Without the vans, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
“I’ve met vendors halfway between our offices and their pitch, so that they can get magazines straight away. Without the vans, we wouldn’t be able to do that.”Holly, Big Issue Midlands Regional Manager
Making the most out of the festive period is especially important, given the comparatively lean months ahead. “January is always a bit of a tough time to sell,” Holly continues. “And so, vendors want to maximise their income over the busy period, to act as a bit of a buffer for the harder months. Some of them have families and dependents that they need to support. We always say, ‘build your pitch up, because Christmas is when it’s going to really pay off.’”