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Press Release

Big Issue Group Founder calls on British public to give magazine vendors a fighting chance this Christmas

All year round, but particularly at Christmas, Big Issue vendors are working hard to earn a living. At Christmas, vendors will buy the Big Issue Christmas magazines for £2 and sell on to the public at £4, the difference is their income.

McGucken (left) and John Gregg (right) in Covent Garden with Christmas lights in the background

Big Issue founder Lord Bird (centre) with vendors Thomas McGucken (left) and John Gregg (right). Image: Louise Heywood-Schiefer

Big Issue Group Founder Lord Bird, has called on the British public to help vendors get through a time of extreme crisis and need by buying a copy of the magazine from their local vendor, purchasing a subscription or supporting the organisation this year with a contribution.

Lord Bird has asked for support for vendors as we enter what is due to be one of the toughest Winters in 40 years, with rising costs in rent, energy and food prices[1]. All at a time when high streets are quieter than ever and there has been a decline in spending[2] and people are continuing to work from home[3].

All year round, but particularly at Christmas, Big Issue vendors are working hard to earn a living. At Christmas, vendors will buy the Big Issue Christmas magazines for £2 and sell on to the public at £4, the difference is their income.

If you don’t have a local vendor, you can buy a subscription directly from the Big Issue or allocate this subscription purchase to a vendor via our vendor map, with 50% of net profits going straight to the vendor. By buying a subscription you are helping the Big Issue Group support vendors through their Frontline team, to get vendors ready to start earning, as well as providing ongoing support in selling the magazine and equipping vendors to go cashless.

This festive season, the organisation is going one step further and will be calling for the public to give a little more to help support vendors through the cost of living crisis, by making a contribution through its Foundation to help with food and fuel support and to enable distribution of £25 supermarket food vouchers to all working vendors, for vital essentials. All at a time when the food and fuel crisis really hits vendors hard.

Lord Bird, Founder of Big Issue Group, said: “Winter is always a hard time for the most vulnerable in our society, but this year it is worse than ever. The drop in footfall on high streets, the rise in energy bills and food costs, and the ongoing fallout from the cost of living crisis, have made it harder for everyone, but especially for our vendors.

“Which is why we are urging people to give our vendors a fighting chance this Christmas and ensure they buy as many copies of our weekly magazine that they can over the Christmas period or buy a subscription. Every copy bought from a vendor, is £2 earned.  Literally every copy bought counts.”

Jon Gregg, who sells the magazine in Muswell Hill, London, said: “My message to all our faithful customers in the run up to Christmas is that we know things are hard at the moment with the cost of living crisis, but we hope that you can pick up our bumper Christmas editions and support your local vendors who are working hard to earn a living through this crisis.”

Frank Thomas McGucken, who sells the magazine on Sloane Square, said: “With Christmas coming up, we have all had a hard few years, with the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis. It would be great if people could support us and give a little back. Because when you give a little bit out, you get a massive big bit back.”

If you would like to support Big Issue vendors this Christmas, you can buy a copy from your local vendor or subscribe online or support us at big issue.com/christmas.


[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/consumerpriceinflation/september2022

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/bulletins/retailsales/september2022#:~:text=When%20compared%20with%20the%20pre,sales%20values%20rose%20by%205.5%25.

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/ishybridworkingheretostay/2022-05-23

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