News

Loss of Big Issue vendor Barry Harding will ‘leave giant hole in our lives’

The much-loved London seller died on May 1 following a battle with liver and pancreatic cancer

Big Issue vendor Barry Harding

London Big Issue vendor Barry Harding died on May 1 following a battle with cancer

Tributes have poured in for much-loved London Big Issue vendor Barry Harding as Big Issue staff and customers remembered a “true gentleman”.

The veteran vendor, who sold the magazine at the Central Line entrance at Shepherd’s Bush tube station, died on May 1 at the age of 64 following a battle with liver and pancreatic cancer. 

As well as selling the magazine since 2009, Barry acted as a franchisee for The Big Issue, helping distribute magazines to fellow vendors across London. The news of his death has had an enormous impact on Big Issue staff and vendors in the English capital.

It’s been an honour and a privilege getting to know him and working with him over the yearsLauren Neale, The Big Issue’s sales and operations manager in London

Lauren Neale, The Big Issue’s sales and operations manager in London, said: “Barry had a huge impact on me and us as a team. He will be leaving a giant hole in our lives and in the lives of the vendors around Oxford Circus, as well as his customers and friends in Shepherd’s Bush.

“He was such a kind man and it’s been an honour and a privilege getting to know him and working with him over the years.

“It’s not sunk in properly yet, and I think it will take time for us all to come to terms with it. He will never be forgotten and will be dearly missed but always in our thoughts.”

As well as making an impact on The Big Issue, Barry also made an impression on his customers.

Following news of his death, one of Barry’s customers Anne Scoular told The Big Issue that her “friend” had supported her in her work.

Article continues below

Current vacancies...

Search jobs

“I have bought the magazine from Barry for many years, and we had I hope I may say become friends,” she told The Big Issue. “He helped me enormously – I have been running a business, and if I was ever doing any big pitch, I would tell him and he would think of me at that day and time.

“Who knows how it worked, but it almost always worked, and I was very grateful – even if just knowing that someone out there in this challenging world was thinking of me! 

“In this last even tougher year, I felt he had my back, and I hope I had his, I was pleased to be able to support him in ways I could, but he gave me more than I gave him. Barry you are a true gentleman, I will miss you very much.”

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
FOSO is the new FOMO: Why are we so afraid to switch off and be out of office?
Work

FOSO is the new FOMO: Why are we so afraid to switch off and be out of office?

Almost no recorded cases of disability benefit fraud despite DWP crackdown: 'PIP fraud is a non-issue'
dwp pip/ disabled person
Disability benefits

Almost no recorded cases of disability benefit fraud despite DWP crackdown: 'PIP fraud is a non-issue'

Deaf man awarded £50,000 after 'oppressive' and 'discriminatory' treatment by DWP
dwp jobcentre
Department for Work and Pensions

Deaf man awarded £50,000 after 'oppressive' and 'discriminatory' treatment by DWP

Green transition: Help retrain gas workers or risk 'cliff edge' job losses, government warned
Green transition

Green transition: Help retrain gas workers or risk 'cliff edge' job losses, government warned

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