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Lord Bird: 'Give Big Issue sellers a fighting chance this Christmas'

Big Issue founder Lord Bird is calling for support as the UK enters a recession and inflation is expected to hit 18 per cent for the UK's poorest.

McGucken (left) and John Gregg (right) in Covent Garden with Christmas lights in the background

Big Issue founder Lord Bird (centre) with vendors Thomas McGucken (left) and John Gregg (right). Image: Louise Heywood-Schiefer

Big Issue founder Lord Bird has issued a plea for the British public to support Big Issue sellers this Christmas by buying a copy of the magazine, purchasing a subscription or making a contribution to the organisation which helps some of the most marginalised people in the UK.

The cost of living crisis is hitting everyone across the country but research has found those on lower incomes have been worse affected. Inflation is expected to hit 18 per cent for the poorest, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and 11 per cent for the richest.

“Winter is always a hard time for the most vulnerable in our society but this year it is worse than ever,” Lord Bird said. “The drop in footfall on high streets, the rise in energy bills and food costs, and the ongoing fallout from the cost of living crisis have made it harder for everyone, but especially for our vendors.”

“Which is why we are urging people to give our vendors a fighting chance this Christmas and ensure they buy as many copies of our weekly magazine that they can over the Christmas period or buy a subscription. Every copy bought from a vendor, is £2 earned. Literally every copy bought counts.”

Your support changes lives. Find out how you can help us help more people this Christmas

Big Issue vendors, who are among the most marginalised people in the UK, buy the Christmas magazines for £2 and sell them for £4, keeping the difference. 

Most towns in the UK have a vendor and many of the vendors are now able to take contactless payments. People who can’t always get to their local vendor can take out a subscription and either link it directly to an individual via the Big issue vendor map or the organisation on the whole. All profits go back into fighting poverty and creating opportunity across the UK.

This festive season, Big Issue Group is going one step further and will be calling for the public to give a little more to help support vendors through the cost of living crisis, by making a contribution through its charitable foundation to help with food and fuel support and to enable distribution of £25 supermarket food vouchers to all working vendors for vital essentials.

John Gregg, who sells the magazine in Muswell Hill, London, said: “My message to all our faithful customers in the run up to Christmas is that we know things are hard at the moment with the cost of living crisis, but we hope that you can pick up our bumper Christmas editions and support your local vendors who are working hard to earn a living through this crisis.”

Frank Thomas McGucken, who sells the magazine on London’s Sloane Square added: “With Christmas coming up, we have all had a hard few years, with the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis. It would be great if people could support us and give a little back. Because when you give a little bit out, you get a massive big bit back.”

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.
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