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Big Issue vendors received more than £800k in support through Covid-19

Vendors are unable to earn a living during lockdown so The Big Issue is giving them a hand up with everything from cash to washing machines

the big issue

The Covid-19 pandemic has stopped Big Issue vendors from earning a living, so The Big Issue and Big Issue Foundation have stepped up to support them with more than £800,000 since March.

Throughout the pandemic, The Big Issue has been distributing cash and supermarket vouchers as well as helping vendors pay rent, utility and mobile phone bills while they cannot sell the magazine on their pitches.

In the latest lockdown alone, The Big Issue has given its vendors £99,450 to help them while they remain off the streets and unable to work.

Overall, the essential support has helped 2,111 vendors with £838,527.

All that support is only possible because of Big Issue readers, and it has been a lifeline for Bournemouth vendor Zoe Tuppein. She said: “I’ve been on the streets for such a long time, The Big Issue has given me hope and allowed me to meet new people.

“It means so much to me. I was really scared about going into lockdown again and it has been hard, but The Big Issue has really helped me.

“The Big Issue changes people’s lives, all of their support has been amazing.”

The Big Issue hasn’t just been helping vendors financially. Frontline teams across the country have kept constant contact with vendors to check on their wellbeing and to help them with other issues affecting their lives.

Julie Cherry Jack
Julie Cherry and Jack dropin
Julie and Jack posed for a snap when The Big Issue delivered pet food to her accommodation

Julie Cherry, from Bournemouth, has been given dog food and money to support treatments for her canine companion. She said: “The Big Issue Foundation always helps with treatments for my dog Jack, thank you.”

During the pandemic, The Big Issue has supplied laptops to help vendors take training courses and also provided a freezer for a vendor who recently gained custody of his son.

Vendors have also received:

  • A washing machine replacement for a vendor and their children
  • Clothing and toiletries
  • A replacement bed
  • Curtains and a vacuum cleaner for a vendor who moved into a new home
  • Baby essentials: nappies, formula and wipes

The Big Issue has kept vendors safe when they have been on their pitches too, providing £142,455 worth of PPE for vendors.

As Ed Logan, who sells the magazine in Plymouth, put it: “The Big Issue has been an absolute lifeline to me for many years.”

All that support is only possible because of Big Issue readers. And vendors need you now more than ever.

You can help support vendors by subscribing to the magazine. You can also subscribe to your local vendor by finding them on our map and taking out a subscription, with a third of proceeds going straight to the vendor.

And you can buy individual issues in The Big Issue Shop or subscribe to receive the digital edition on The Big Issue app, available on the App Store as well as Google Play.

Thank you for continued support.

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

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