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Press Release

Big Issue Founder calls for public support as vendors face hard Winter ahead with quieter high streets across the UK

Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, has called for public support for the 1,300 vendors across the UK who are facing high streets with reduced footfall due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

  • The organisation has launched a Christmas Appeal called ‘The Big Wish’ to support its network of 1,300 vendors across the UK

Today (Monday, 8th November) Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, has called for public support for the 1,300 vendors across the UK who are facing high streets with reduced footfall due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

The Big Issue, which offers homeless and vulnerably housed people a means by which to earn a legitimate income, has launched its Christmas campaign, ‘The Big Wish’ to highlight the challenging circumstances magazine vendors are facing at what should be their busiest time of year.

Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, said: “Our Big Issue vendors used to thrive in Winter but with much quieter high-streets, they’re now struggling to get by, more than ever before.

“We all have Christmas wishes and our vendors are no exception. Our vendors are working hard this Christmas to achieve their Christmas wishes by selling The Big Issue. Whether it’s saving to take their son out for the day or a train ticket home to see their family.

“With your support, you can help us be here for our vendors this Christmas. That’s because every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing ‘a hand up not a hand out. You’re helping Big Issue vendors achieve their Big Wish.”

Clive, a Big Issue vendor, who sells in Plymouth, said: “I would like me and my dog to come up to travel up to London to visit an old friend of mine I haven’t seen for 11 years.”

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Rahala, who sells the magazine in Bournemouth, said: “I hope for this year to be much better than last year. Last year was so hard. I hope I can have a nice year with my children and treat them to a nice Christmas!… I also wish for my health! and for everyone elses’ health”

Dave Martin, who sells in London, said: “Have an art exhibition and try and make a living from my artwork.”

Paul Logan, who also sells in London, said: A new guitar and a chance to play in front of a crowd.”

The Big Issue recently celebrated its 30th Birthday, in that time ,the organisation has helped over 105,000 vendors earn over £144 million.

To support “The Big Wish” appeal, you can buy a copy of the magazine or a subscription from your local vendor so they receive 50% of the profits.  Alternatively, you can make a donation to The Big Issue Foundation. Your gift will enable vendors to move forward, regain their independence and turn a livelihood into a life. Visit bigissue.com/bigwish.

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    Every copy counts this Christmas

    Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

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