The struggles of a Big Issue vendor

Frontline support

The Big Issue has always provided a hand up, not a hand-out. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, we have had to work harder than ever before for our vendors. 

With multiple lockdowns and a lack of footfall on high streets throughout the restrictions, Big Issue sellers faced their hardest year in 2020 as they were not able to sell for months on end. 

But the challenge wasn't just economic. Vendors also faced loneliness and boredom.

With support from Big Issue subscribers, we worked hard to offer practical solutions for vendors' physical and mental wellbeing. Throughout the lockdowns, video calling has become the new norm but - with many of our vendors not able to access this kind of technology - we have been able to provide laptops for some of them to keep in contact with family members or continue their studies, as well as providing items like cooking utensils or a replacement freezer to a bundle of books and dog food.

We were only able to provide the required support with your generosity. But our vendors still need your help, now more than ever. 

One other way in which we have had to adapt for our vendors in 2020 was the introduction of an interactive vendor map to the website.
This fantastic feature allows you to locate your local vendor, read their story and purchase a subscription to The Big Issue. 50% of net proceeds goes directly to your chosen vendor meaning they still benefit even when you can't buy the magazine from them in person.
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