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Big Issue vendors temporarily stop selling on the streets

As the Coronavirus crisis grows, we have acted to protect the health and wellbeing of our vendors

The number of people hit by Coronavirus is continuing to escalate and so at The Big Issue we have taken the decision to safeguard our network of vendors by asking that they stop selling on streets across the whole of the UK with immediate effect.

Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, said: “Coronavirus is an unprecedented threat to public health. Our sellers, many of whom are homeless and rough sleeping, are already highly vulnerable and it is only right that we make this difficult decision to protect their welfare at this critical time.”

Bird added that it was vital that the public support The Big Issue at this critical time through the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“In the coming months, 29 years of trade and support of The Big Issue for vendors will come under critical threat. Our income comes from street sales. We are one of the only social business that operates exclusively on the streets, where the crisis of homelessness is most manifest.

“We urgently need 60,000 of you wonderful people to go online and provide us with financial support or else in a short period of time our resources will be depleted.

“We have helped well over 100,000 people over the past 29 years, and on average we put £5m into the pockets of our vendors every single year.

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“Now more than ever, we need your support. Our income comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we cannot support those people that really need us now and in the future.”

For the foreseeable future, you can support us and vendors in these three ways, please give what you can:

Supporters and readers have asked how we will get  funds to vendors. We are working through the details but rest assured we will. We will update on this soon.

The Big Issue has provided a source of income for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people for almost 30 years. We exist to help those who most need us and we need your support to continue doing this work. Thank you.

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Support your local vendor

Give your vendor a hand up and buy the magazine. Big Issue vendors are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. But, at the same time, they are micro-entrepreneurs. By supporting their business, you can help them overcome homelessness, financial instability and other social disadvantages that hold them back.

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