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Prince William stuns shoppers with surprise Tesco visit to sell Big Issue with our man Dave

The Prince of Wales reunited with vendor Dave Martin as he helped him sell magazines for the second time, supporting our sellers at the most important time of year

Prince William with Big Issue vendor Dave at Tesco in West London

Big Issue vendor Dave Martin and Prince William pictured selling copies of the magazine in Hammersmith, West London

Shoppers heading to Tesco got more than they bargained for on chilly Tuesday morning when they were greeted by none other than Prince William selling copes of The Big Issue.

The heir to the throne reunited with our vendor Dave Martin on his supermarket pitch in Hammersmith, West London on 5 December – meaning a lucky few could pick up their copy of the magazine before heading for their sprouts and spuds.

The pair first met last summer when the then-Duke of Cambridge joined Dave to raise awareness of The Big Issue and the complex issues surrounding homelessness and poverty in the UK. They sold 32 copies the first time around.

“It was very nice to see Prince William again,” Dave said. “It was surreal but he was so friendly. He was concerned about me and about the homeless people.

Change a Big Issue vendor’s life this Christmas by purchasing a Winter Support Kit. You’ll receive four copies of the magazine and create a brighter future for our vendors through Christmas and beyond.

”There were good vibes from everyone – it’s been a great day.”

The pair have stayed in contact since meeting, exchanging Christmas cards last year and today.

Dave Martin pictured with the Christmas cards that he designed. If you want a Christmas card fit for Royalty, go and visit Dave.

Dave gave William a pack of Christmas cards he had designed himself. Inside one of the cards was a special message for the future King.

“This Christmas every vendor sells magazines, but some vendors are really struggling, maybe because of the weather or the cost of living crisis,” added Dave. “This message is for my customers, who I have known for 12 years: I’d like to thank them all for their support and their help over the years. Without them I wouldn’t be able to make a difference to myself. And I thank them.”

The Kensington Palace X account, formerly Twitter, posted shortly after the surprise visit: “Great to be back with Dave, selling the latest edition of the Big issue once again!”

Since his first experience selling The Big Issue in 2022, Prince William has launched his Homewards initiative, determined to show that through cross-societal collaboration and locally-led projects, homelessness can be ended.

“Homewards aims to give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented by showing them the progress we can make when we collaborate,” Prince William has previously said.

“It’s a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together it is possible to make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated, and I am very much looking forward to working with our six locations [across the UK] to make our ambition a reality.”

Only last month, his father, King Charles III, wrote an exclusive piece for The Big Issue to mark his 75th birthday and ambition to fight food insecurity and food waste. 

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “We are very lucky to have the Prince of Wales throwing his support our way yet again. It’s grand to have this huge level of awareness that HRH brings, especially at a time when thousands of our vendors are facing the crushing pressures of escalating costs and are working hard, often out in terrible weather conditions. 

“Please do support your local vendor and buy a copy of the magazine.”

Dave added: “It’s really important that you support your local vendor this Christmas. It means everything to them.”

Whether or not you’re a member of the royal family, you can also support vendors like Dave.

Vendors are out on the street across the UK right now, doing their best to work their way out of poverty. They purchase magazines for half the cover price and keep the profit. You can help them on their journey by buying the magazine, bumper Christmas editions are on sale now for £4.50.

National Vendor Week 2024

A celebration of people who are working their way out of poverty.
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