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The Big Issue Winter Appeal

Our vendors had an incredibly tough 2021 and January is always a difficult time, but with continued restrictions in place, vendor street sales are plummeting. We and our vendors urgently need your support. Please buy from your local vendor and if you can’t please buy a subscription or donate today, your money will go to supporting our work with vendors.

John Williams David Wagstaffe 1421

John’s story

“When the pandemic hit I thought it was only going to be for a short amount of time, but then it carried on and carried on and I had some depression with that as well. It was hard from previously getting up, going out and having a laugh with people. I know that one of my regular customers has died because of the virus so I felt sad about that. There’s the loneliness too. The Big Issue helped me through it and gave me a laptop. They also contacted me to make sure I was OK. And I called them a couple of times when I was struggling, just because I wanted to hear a friendly voice.”

John, Swansea

Big Issue vendor Rodney Lyall

How your support helps

In 2021, it was estimated that there were around 227,000 people experiencing the worst forms of homelessness – rough sleeping, sleeping in vans and sheds, and stuck in B&Bs – across England, Scotland and Wales. With the prospect of rising homelessness due to the pandemic, The Big Issue is committed to tackling poverty and preventing homelessness. Your help enables us to provide support and training to vendors, campaign for social equality and to protect future generations, and helps us deliver much needed independent journalism in the UK. Last year, your support enabled us to be there for 3,000 Big Issue vendors and provide over £1.3m of direct financial support, reducing the increase of housing debt during the pandemic and likelihood of eviction.

Mary’s Story

“I spent about 15 years on the streets, just travelling around Brighton, Bournemouth, Poole, Cambridge… To be honest I was in a bad way with drink and drugs. I used to work as a carer untilI got sacked because of my problems. But I’ve been clean now for four years.

The Big Issue has helped me to live because I really wasn’t getting anything else. So I started doing it again, because I need an income for one thing, and for another I’m a hermit so I was just deteriorating. It forces me to go out and speak to people. It saved my life.”

– Mary, Weston-super-Mare