Here's how you can help your local Big Issue vendor during the coronavirus crisis

As the UK goes into lockdown, Big Issue vendors can’t sell the magazine anymore but there’s a way to help.

The Big Issue has launched a subscription service and online news stand to help vendors during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Shutterstock
The Big Issue has launched a subscription service and online news stand to help vendors during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Shutterstock

After the prime minister’s announcement on Monday 23 March, which effectively put the UK into lockdown, no-one is allowed to venture from their homes more than once a day unless they fall under some of the exemptions.

Because of this, homeless people are no longer able to sell the Big Issue on the streets, but the company has launched a new subscription service to keep money coming to those that need it most.

Posting on their website, the team said: “The Government has stated that we will be in lockdown for at least 12 weeks. For our street vendors, whose only income comes from selling The Big Issue magazine, this will be devastating. Deserted high streets. No customers. And no way for them to make a living.

“Many of our vendors are homeless and living in vulnerable circumstances. We need your urgent help to ensure they have ongoing access to support from The Big Issue at this extremely difficult time.”

Read More

Read More
Britain on 'full lockdown' as Boris Johnson says police will stop all gatherings...

How to subscribe

The Big Issue has set up an online news stand where you can buy this week’s magazine, priced at £2.50, order a three month subscription for £32.50 or make a one-off donation.

All of this can be done from their site here.

How the money will be spent

The Big Issue team said: “Your money will go to support Big Issue vendors in the following ways: If you make a financial contribution to us, 50 per cent of the money will go to supporting our vendors and 50 per cent will go The Big Issue. On any magazines and subscription purchases, 50 per cent of net proceeds will go to supporting vendors and 50 per cent will go to the Big Issue.”

Speaking to i news, Big Issue founder and editor in chief John Bird said: “The Big Issue is on a knife-edge. The Big Issue vendors are no longer able to sell the paper. The streets are deserted. People have to keep their distance. Millions of transactions between the homeless and the public have been undermined if people cannot buy our weekly magazine.

“For the vendors, it is a disaster. It means empty pockets for our 1,500 sellers. For the Big Issue, the temporary collapse of the high street could be fatal. No sales means no money. It means the end of our incredibly powerful 29-year-long message of “a hand up not a hand-out”.

“Please buy your weekly magazines online. Please continue to support us. And please, stay with us. We will be back.”