Press Release

Big Issue Group ready to step up for millions more left struggling as a result of the Cost of Living Crisis

Big Issue Group are reaching out to people after the news that 5.2m people are being forced to take second jobs to pay their bills due to the rise in energy bills and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Big Issue Vendor at Waterloo. Credit: Louise Heywood-Schiefer

Big Issue Vendor at Waterloo. Credit: Louise Heywood-Schiefer

Today (Monday, 10th October), Big Issue Group are reaching out to people after the news that 5.2m[1] people are being forced to take second jobs to pay their bills due to the rise in energy bills and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Due to the rise in energy bills and the recent fiscal policies announced by the new Chancellor, it has been revealed that not only will millions of people across the UK be forced to take second jobs, but that 95 per cent of people will be worse off this winter, with an additional 2.3m people being pushed below the poverty line, according to research by Resolution Foundation[2].

As a result, Big Issue Group are calling on people to consider selling The Big Issue as a way to help them through these next few months. Becoming a Big Issue vendor can help you earn up to £150 a week[3], whilst having the flexibility of working hours set by you.

Vitally, all Big Issue vendors receive regular, on hand support from Big Issue Group staff and access to tailored support in areas such as sales coaching, health, financial and digital confidence. And further training programmes and work placements are available to anyone who would like to explore their options. It is also incredibly easy to get started, all you need to do is contact the team here.

Big Issue Group has supported over 100k people over the last 30 years, with many vendors having found it critical in helping them get back on their feet during difficult times.

Darren Brown, 48, who sells the magazine outside Sainsbury’s, Wilson Street, Middlesbrough: “The Big Issue’s given me an opportunity to have an income myself. I don’t push the magazine on people, I just stand here and make jokes. I chat to my customers too. That’s the most important thing in my eyes. I’ve tried to make it a proper job. I have a good work ethic. I’ve worked all my life.”

“The Big Issue has been the best thing since sliced bread for me. I just love it. I feel wanted again. I’ve got a cheesy grin on my face, and I can’t get rid of it.”

Artemiza Tudor, 50, who sells the magazine outside Co-op, Moseley, Birmingham: “The Big Issue was something that I was able to do quickly to generate some income for me and my family.

“The Big Issue was a very good support at the time. They explained to me what it was going on with the pandemic and it helped me not to panic and to know that I was not the only one in this situation.

“For me it is not only about generating an income and offering me the flexibility that I need so much due to my family commitments, but it is improving my mental health too. I am a social person, I love interacting with people and this is an important aspect that The Big Issue brings to me.”

Will Herbert, 62,  who sells the magazine outside of Budgens, Islington, London: “I was homeless, on the drugs and everything. I’ve cleaned up my act, thanks to The Big Issue. Thanks to them giving me the chance to sell papers it’s a different ball game now.

“I’ve been to loads of different places with The Big Issue. I go to Chelsea Flower Show every year when they can book me in. I used to go to Glastonbury too.

“To get to where I am I’m glad I had The Big Issue with me, selling them papers, keeping away from everyone, doing the right things. I’ll give a lot of credit to the Issue for that, it helped me manage my money.”

John, Lord Bird, founder of Big Issue Group and crossbench peer, said: “Once again Big Issue Group is ready to step up for those who need us most.

“Millions of people across the UK having been forced into looking for a second jobs and over 2m more individuals and families are facing being pushed below the poverty line. At Big Issue, we have over 30 years experience supporting people experiencing poverty or facing difficult times, which is why we want to remind you we are here to help now.

“Selling the magazine allows you to earn an income whilst working the hours that work for you. Big Issue Group also provide support with mental health advice to guidance on how to manage your finances. If you are struggling please do not hesitate to reach out, we are here to support you through this time.”

The Big Issue magazine is an award-winning weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine, where vendors are able to buy magazines for £1.50 and sell to the public for £3, keeping the difference. Vendors are provided with a free starter pack and a free pitch to sell on. You only need yourself and some magazines, Big Issue Group will give you 10 free magazines to get you started. No car, fuel or office required and you can start immediately.

If you are interested in selling The Big Issue, or finding out more about what being a vendor involves, please visit: www.bigissue.com/become-a-vendor/

Alternatively, you can drop into your local office or call the team on 0207 526 3445.


[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63036425

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2022/sep/24/mini-budget-benefits-london-and-south-east-england-study-shows

[3] (based on selling 100 magazines per week)

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
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