Today (Thursday, 15th December) the Big Issue Group founder and crossbench peer, Lord Bird, has appealed to the public to help the organisation support vendors, amid freezing cold temperatures this Christmas, the worsening cost-of-living crisis and reports of nearly seven million living in fuel poverty.
With the organisation reporting that it has seen seven times more Big Issue vendors needing critical fuel and food support this winter, it has renewed its call to the public to support by subscribing or making a contribution through the Big Issue Foundation to help vendors through this uncertain time.
The country is living in a time of extreme need and crisis, with rent and energy prices soaring, and food prices the highest they’ve been in 45 years, with 9.7 million adults experiencing food insecurity this year, and a further 1.7 million people facing financial destitution, or even worse, homelessness – having a stable income from selling the magazine is more important than ever for Big Issue vendors.
Big Issue Group set up subscriptions to the magazine as a response to the pandemic crisis, but now during freezing cold temperatures, the pervasive cost-of-living crisis, and with millions living in fuel poverty, the stable income provided by magazine subscriptions has made it just as important as it was during lockdown.
Jim Hannah, 63, who sells the magazine on Dove Street in Norwich, said: “My pitch is completely empty in the mornings so I’m doing late morning and into the afternoon. Those online subscriptions are bringing me back up to somewhere where I was before the pandemic.
Jim added: The subscriptions have been a game-changer. If they hadn’t come in I don’t know what would have happened. Hopefully things will pick up at Christmas.”