About us

“As soon as you are NFA – of No Fixed Abode – you become invisible….” Big Issue Vendor

“A hand up is what The Big Issue offers, helping me to be self sufficient and being the guiding light I needed”. Eliot Schofield, Big Issue Vendor

The Big Issue Foundation is a financially independent charity. We believe in a ‘hand up and not a hand out’ and recognise that earning an income is a key step in a person’s journey towards stability and a better life. Achieving something for yourself is 100% more empowering than having it done for you. The Big Issue offers the incentive of earning an income; it means that we engage with a number of individuals who are not seen by other services or projects. We work exclusively with Big Issue vendors. People who are homeless are often excluded from mainstream society, financially impoverished and disadvantaged in multiple ways; we seek to address the fundamental issues attached to social and financial exclusion. Please click here for more basic facts about us.

We operate an open door policy and work with individuals who have made the first step to try and work themselves out of homelessness. Our charity work focuses on delivering brighter futures, boosting self esteem and helping vendors to reclaim their citizenship. 

What We Fund

Our service team supports vendors to determine their own paths towards a better future and then connects them with local services to achieve it. We provide vendors with bespoke support to help them address the issues that may have contributed to their housing insecurity, or the issues that have arisen as a result. We enable vendors to: open bank accounts, access health services, find accommodation, meet their aspirations and reconnect with families and friends, volunteer, train, learn and start their own enterprises and find paid work.

Our approach as ‘brokers’ allows us to work at a volume and scale that ensures value for money as well as meaningful achievements; ‘brokerage’ is flexible, it allows us to access a multitude of service partners and form new relationships as the ‘needs’ of the vending population change. Last year the average full cost of a positive outcome for a Big Issue vendors was just £228.

Year on year we are improving our effectiveness and impact. We worked with over 2500 individuals compared to 1900 in 2012, positive outcomes increased by 1849 to a record level of just over 4500 in the full year.

Our ‘vendor support fund’ is available on application throughout the United Kingdom; vendors save and contribute a minimum of 20% towards the cost of something that has been identified as important to them in their journey. We grant the additional 80% from our donated funds. The simple items that we can all take for granted can seem like an impossible dream to a person who is experiencing homelessness.

£10.70 covered the costs for Michael to attend a housing appointment in Birmingham

£17.99 helped John from bath get trainers to help him get fit before joining the army

£55.50 helped Chris from Oxford buy the kitchen basics he needed when he moved into a self-contained flat

£77.20 helped Anne from Bristol take her driving theory and practical driving test to help her prepare for future job opportunities

£200 enabled Paul from Plymouth to buy a set of tools for the start of his plumbing course.

Please make a donation today. You support will literally change lives.

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