News

How Big Issue is helping millions of people through the cost of living crisis

Our annual impact report shows the impact Big Issue Group has had on vendors and millions more across the UK over the past 12 months

Vendor Nick Cuthbert

Big Issue vendor Nick on his pitch in Truro. Photo: Exposure Photo Agency

Support from Big Issue Group is helping millions of people through the cost of living crisis, a new report has found.

Overall, 7.4 million people in the UK were impacted by Big Issue Group’s systems of support or engaged with our products – an increase of 58% in a year.

The new figures published in the Big Issue Group annual impact report reveal that during 2022, we worked with 3,637 vendors – 876 of whom came to us to sell for the first time, a 10% increase in the total vendors on the previous year.

The men and women who earn a living with Big Issue buy magazines for £2 and sell them on for £4. More than two-thirds – 69% – of our new vendors in 2022 joined to make the Big issue their main or an important additional way to earn money. 

Overall, a staggering £3.76 million was earned by our vendors in 2022. This incredible amount of money goes directly into the pockets of the most marginalised people in the country.

We are helping sellers adapt to the changing economic landscape too. A total of 1,319 vendors have now been supported by our teams to accept contactless payments – 404 in 2022 alone – with 221 vendors provided with Zettle card readers and 205 smartphones given out. This means that 51% of vendors are able to accept cashless payments, which dramatically helps increase their sales.

The impact of Big Issue Group goes far beyond this magazine. Our mission is extended through Big Issue Invest’s investments into charities and social enterprises who are working hard to eradicate poverty. In 2022, Big Issue Invest funded and assisted 138 social enterprises and charities, who in turn have worked with over two million people. Almost two-thirds of investees are in areas of the highest deprivation.

The organisation has also innovated with ventures such as Big Issue Recruit (BIR), a person-centred recruitment service, dedicated to supporting people, including Big Issue vendors, who face barriers to work into sustainable employment. 

Lord Bird, Founder of the Big Issue, said: “There are currently 15m people trapped in poverty. Right now our work is needed more than ever with spiralling living costs, and continuing increases in poverty and hardship.

“In 2022, the number of Big Issue vendors increased by 10% because more people need an income or an additional source of income. We are fighting fires on all fronts but our report findings demonstrate that we are doing that well. Please keep backing us, whether that’s buying or subscribing to the magazine, buying a product from our online shop, or investing in us, so we can keep this support in place for those who need it.”

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people by signing up for a subscription

The Big Issue exists to change lives through enterprise – and we could help you or someone you know. Whether that’s Big Issue Invest providing funding for an incredible new social enterprise or someone becoming a magazine vendor to make a little extra income, The Big Issue is here to help.

If you’d like more information about becoming a Big Issue vendor, click here.

If you would like to support our work – while supporting your local vendor – sign up for a subscription

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus changes to universal credit
money in wallet/ dwp benefits
Benefits

June 2024 payment dates for DWP benefits – plus changes to universal credit

Gen Z want to buy houses, smoke weed and do crimes, report finds. What does this mean for UK's future?
Generation Z

Gen Z want to buy houses, smoke weed and do crimes, report finds. What does this mean for UK's future?

Post-Brexit border checks to cost £4.7bn. Here's how that money could be better spent
The white cliffs of Dover, where Brexit border controls will come into force
Brexit

Post-Brexit border checks to cost £4.7bn. Here's how that money could be better spent

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap
archbishop of canterbury
Two-child benefit cap

Archbishop of Canterbury joins growing calls for end to 'cruel' and 'immoral' two-child benefit cap

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know