Find out more about our services

We offer four key services to support vendors through our Frontline team.  

Earning an income 

Big Issue Vendors are able to earn an income by selling Big Issue magazine. Our frontline team set vendors up with selling locations, provide sales support and arrange for cashless payment options. 

We support every vendor to run their own mini business, buying and selling the Big Issue magazine each week. We sell the Big Issue magazine to vendors at £2 and vendors sell the magazine on to customers for £4, keeping the difference. Vendors can earn an income whilst gaining valuable social and transferable business and financial skills.  

Working as a vendor is fully flexible, so vendors can sell on their pitches any time of day, working their own hours, as their own boss to earn as much as they can.  

Securing the Basics

As soon as an individual signs up to sell Big Issue or to participate in one of our other enterprises they can access support across six Hand Up pathways:

  • Housing: access to and maintenance of secure, affordable, and stable accommodation
  • Wellbeing: access to adequate food, weather appropriate clothing, home energy, toiletries, and other essentials
  • Health: access to the right care and treatment for physical and mental health needs, including addiction support needs, and access to resources to sustain health
  • Money: support with budgeting, saving and connection to debt support, financial advice and benefits services
  • Digital: access and capability to use the internet to reach essential services, cost efficient products and to undertake financial transactions
  • Citizenship: access to enablers for active citizenship including gaining official ID, developing language skills, and establishing social networks

These pathways are designed to help vendors find their feet and make the most of the financial independence they begin to gain when they sell the magazine, accelerating their journey out of poverty, addressing the toughest challenges like homelessness quickly and helping to prevent problems getting worse by taking action early.

New Futures

If a vendor decides they want to move from selling the magazine, we’ll be by their side to support them with their next steps through our New Futures pathways:

  • Education and training: access to informal, community-based learning in universal skills including numeracy, literacy, digital literacy, ESOL, and civic skills, as well as connection to training and adult education within and beyond the Big Issue  
  • Volunteering: access to community-based volunteering opportunities to develop skills, confidence and networks  
  • Involvement: access to opportunities to influence social change within and beyond Big Issue 
  • Employment: pre and in-work support for disadvantaged individuals entering the workplace for the first time or after time away from work. We support individuals accessing Big Issue enterprises and those accessing local employment opportunities 

Hand Up Fund  

We offer a small grant scheme for individuals accessing our services. The scheme contributes resources towards the achievement of a personal goal, such as taking part in training or gaining a qualification, or towards putting in place the foundations for change. For example, obtaining official ID or setting up a first home. The grants are partial and individuals accessing them contribute towards the total cost required. This contribution is determined based on total cost, urgency, and the income of the individual. Our grants catalyse the ability for individuals to move forward. 

Gabi Sima, Service Broker Team Leader

“I ended up with only a few minutes to finish preparing the imminent English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) lesson, as vendors are already coming into the office. My students are doing their best to learn English and have many questions. This lesson focused on giving personal information, including introductions and etiquette.”