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#TakeTheBigIssue: Why you must ALWAYS take your copy

In a new campaign, comedian Seann Walsh joins a merry band of vendors to dispel some common myths about The Big Issue

The Big Issue

The Big Issue


Today, we launch a brand new campaign to bust some Big Issue myths and promote the everyday, life-changing efforts of our hardworking vendors.

Our #TakeTheBigIssue video, below – made in association with marketing behemoth Saatchi & Saatchi, director Jim Owen and Partizan production house – stars comedian Seann Walsh.

Brief and very funny, it sees Walsh – and a number of our vendors – skillfully fillet a host of misconceptions that have grown around The Big Issue.

For 25 years The Big Issue has made a big difference to a lot of lives. But like any great British institution myths grow and need addressing.

We hope you enjoy it, encourage others to enjoy it – and to go out and buy The Big Issue.

And as we frequently like to remind everyone, for £2.50 (the price of a cup of coffee) you’re helping change someone’s life. And, of course, getting a show-stopping, award-winning magazine.

Here are some of the myths that the film addresses…

“If I give them money they’ll just spend it on drugs.”

We support vendors with addiction problems – but not all of them have these problems. And who are we to say what you or anybody else should spend your hard-earned wages on? If you go clubbing, eat junk food, buy a bottle of wine on Fridays, that’s your business.

“They get the magazine for free. They must be making loads of money.”

They wish! Vendors run their own micro-business, paying us £1.25 for each copy – they buy their stock just like every other high street retailer. Of the £2.50 you’ve shelled out, they make £1.25 and £1.25 goes to us to print next week’s Issue and cover our running costs.

“I’ll give them money but tell the vendor keep the magazine.”

Don’t do this. Don’t turn your vendor into a beggar. ALWAYS TAKE THE MAGAZINE. Vendors are working. And its is a fantastic, award-winning magazine – take it, read it, you’ll love it! Giving vendors a handout – not taking the magazine – goes against everything we stand for.

MORE BIG ISSUE MYTHS

“The Big Issue uses homeless people to make loads of money…”

The Big Issue magazine is a social enterprise, a business that puts our profits back into helping others who are homeless, vulnerably housed or at extreme disadvantage.

“Selling The Big Issue is just a scam…”

Being a magazine salesperson on a busy street is not an easy option – if you were looking for a ‘scam’ to make fast money, you wouldn’t be selling The Big Issue.

“It’s not supposed to be a long-term job…”

We have to accept that there are some people who come to us who will never be able to join or rejoin the mainstream of society. For those people, we think continuing as a vendor is better for them and society than pulling the plug on our support and possibly pushing them into begging.

“I saw a vendor shopping at Waitrose…”

Everyone deserves a little luxury, especially if you work as hard as a Big Issue vendor. Smile and say hello, hopefully it means they’ve had a good week!

Our 2020 Impact Report

The Big Issue has given more than £1 million support to Big Issue vendors struggling due to the lockdown restrictions. To mark the significant milestone, we have published an impact report, documenting the seismic shift the organisation has undergone in the past 12 months.

View Report

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

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