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Activism

How does The Big Issue help the homeless?

From an award-winning magazine to investment in sustainable social enterprises, The Big Issue has been dismantling poverty through opportunity for over 25 years

For over 25 years The Big Issue Group has strived to dismantle poverty through creating opportunity, in the process becoming one of the most recognised and trusted publishing brands in the UK.

But it’s not all about our award-winning magazine. We offer employment opportunities to people in poverty, have a multi-million pound social investment business supporting enterprises to drive social change, and support social shopping and ethical trade through our online shop.

Here are all the ways in which The Big Issue Group helps the homeless people of the UK…

The Big Issue

The Big Issue magazine launched in 1991 in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London, by offering people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income through selling a magazine to the public.

Now 26 years on, our vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face the myriad of problems associated with poverty and inequality. They buy the magazine or £1.25 each and sell it on for £2.50 – making each seller a micro-entrepreneur in their own right. It’s important that you take your copy of the magazine when you buy it because our vendors are working not begging.

The award-winning magazine sold its 200 millionth copy in 2016 and is read by over 400,000 people across the UK and circulates 83,073 copies every week. We’ve helped 92,000 vendors earn £115 million.

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The Big Issue Invest

Established in 2005, Big Issue Invest helps dismantle poverty through financing the growth of sustainable social enterprises and charities across the UK. Big Issue Invest’s latest report shows the social investment arm has invested £10.7m in 68 mission-led organisations across the UK in the last financial year, making a current investment portfolio of £26.4m in 150 organsiations.

The Big Issue Foundation

Founded in 1995, The Big Issue Foundation is an independently funded registered charity, which works exclusively with Big Issue vendors, in areas such as employment, training, education, housing and healthcare, helping vendors connect with vital social and financial support to rebuild their own lives. The Big Issue Foundation raises money for its work through individual giving, grant-making trusts, corporate sponsorship, and vendor day experiences – as well as many flagship fundraising events such as The Big London Night Walk, The Big Sleep Out and The Big Step Challenge.  

The Big Issue Shop

The Big Issue Shop is the newest addition to The Big Issue group. The online platform is your chance to indulge in guilt-free retail therapy with a range of products that put people and planet first with accessible, ethical shopping.

Use your spending power for good with The Big Issue Shop because every purchase has a social echo, meaning your purchase will create a positive outcome somewhere across the world. From recycled cement bags from Elephant Branded turned into stylish laptop sleeves funding fuel sustainable work in developing countries, to the award-winning From Babies with Love, which donates all profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world.

Whether it’s picking up a magazine from a vendor, a stylish tie from The Big Issue Shop, taking part in a Big Issue Foundation fundraiser, or learning about the latest investment from Big Issue Invest, there’s plenty ways to support The Big Issue as we dismantle poverty.

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Support us today

Over the last 30 years, your contributions have been vital in providing opportunities for those facing poverty by giving them a hand up, not a hand out. Support us to help thousands more. Buy a copy from your local vendor, donate or subscribe online today.

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