Big Issue vendors are a mainstay of the UK’s high streets. There are few people better placed to give a temperature check of the country’s town centres. So when our vendors in Kent told us they’d noticed rising levels of poverty in the county, we had to investigate.
In Dover, Colin Davey said he could no longer sell the magazine in his hometown. Over the last few years, the town centre “just went dead”.
He now has to travel up the coast to Broadstairs every day to go to work. [You can buy a subscription from Colin here.]
According to the latest research by the End Child Poverty coalition, there were 104,951 children living in poverty in Kent in the year 2019/2020.
Dover has the highest number of children living in deprivation in the county. More than one-third of its children (35 per cent) are growing up in poverty.
In Margate, we found a town that feels much more buoyant. But the culture-based regeneration of the town has left many people behind.