Employment

Big Issue founder calls on public to support Ride Out Recession Alliance

The Alliance will develop and implement practical steps and solutions to stop families from losing their jobs and homes

John Bird Future Generations

Lord John Bird

Big Issue founder John Bird has called on the public to support the magazine’s Ride Out Recession Alliance (RORA) and help people stay in their jobs and homes following the impact of the pandemic. 

From a simple idea, RORA has grown since July into a powerful movement to prevent Covid-19 poverty.

Over 30 organisations are supporting the Alliance, which will develop and implement practical steps and solutions to stop families from losing their homes and help people remain in employment.

Bird, who sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer, said he launched the Alliance when it “became obvious that there were going to be a lot of people falling into poverty” due to Covid-19.

He said: “The idea about it was to create jobs – new jobs, green jobs, jobs around the environment, jobs around social improvement, jobs that people could do so if they did lose their jobs through Covid-19 they wouldn’t be out on the streets. 

“The big issue for me was avoiding upwards of 200,000 people instantly becoming homeless. 

“So in a way, The Big Issue works with people who were already homeless but now I wanted to work on preventing people becoming homeless.” 

By Spring 2021, 2.6 million people are expected to be unemployed in the UK. The economy has contracted by 11.3 per cent and is not likely to recover until the fourth quarter of 2022.

According to the District Council’s Network, which represents 187 authorities across England, hundreds of thousands of people could become homeless across England. 

TV Architect and campaigner George Clarke recently joined charities, businesses and think tanks in supporting the campaign, calling on the government to work with The Big Issue to prevent mass unemployment and homelessness

“I feel duty bound to do something. So that’s why I’m joining The Big Issue and that’s why I’m going to be making a big noise about the work of RORA,” Clarke said. 

Bird added: “The Ride Out Recession Alliance is about building back better, it’s about getting things right and not pretending that we can return to the old days.

“A lot of it is around the environment, a lot of it is around green jobs and a lot of it is about distance learning and all those skills.

“I hope you will like the Ride Out Recession Alliance and we’d like to see whether you in any way could get involved.”

How can I get involved? 

  • Join the Big Issue’s Ride Out Recession Alliance Facebook Group and become part of the conversation
  • Let us know your big ideas on how we can prevent homelessness and protect jobs by emailing rora@bigissue.com 
  • Sign up to get updates on the progress of the campaign 

Big Issue vendors need your help now more than ever. More than 1,000 vendors are out of work because of the second lockdown in England. They can’t sell the magazine and they can’t rely on the income they need.

The Big Issue is helping our vendors with supermarket vouchers and gift payments but we need your help to do that.

Please buy this week’s magazine from the online shop or take out a subscription. This will make sure we can continue to support our vendors over this difficult period. You can even link your subscription to your local vendor with our new online map.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing 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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