The Big Issue was launched in 1991 by Gordon Roddick and John Bird in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London. The two believed that the key to solving the problem of homelessness lay in helping people to help themselves. Vendors buy their magazines with their own money and sell them at their own profit or loss.

To complement the self-help ethos of The Big Issue Magazine, The Big Issue Foundation was established in 1995 to link vendors with the vital support and services which help them address the issues that led to and have arisen as a result of their experiences.

Our Vision

To create opportunities that will end poverty and exclusion for Big Issue vendors.

Our Mission

To connect Big Issue vendors to the vital support and specialist services that enable them to rebuild their lives and determine their own pathways to a better future.

Our Supporters 

Our supporters are the lifeblood of our work. They enable our Service Brokerage teams to better the lives of over 1,240 Big Issue vendor every year.

We are members of the Fundraising Regulator and adhere to the Code of Fundraising Practice. In the financial year end March 2019, we did not work with any professional fundraising agencies nor receive any complaints about our fundraising.

The Big Issue Foundation is accountable to its supporters, funders, stakeholders and partners. We are fully transparent and ensure we are fully compliant with current and changing regulation. The feedback of our supporters is valuable to us and always taken on board to improve our future fundraising activities.

Our Supporter Promise

  • We will always respect your privacy. We will only communicate with you in the way you ask us to. You can change your mind at any time.
  • We will always protect your data. Your data is safe with us. We will never sell your details or swap them with any other organisation; and we will always collect and use your data in accordance with Data Protection laws.
  • We will always be transparent and honest with you. If we face challenges or make a mistake we will let you know; we are always learning.
  • We are accountable and responsible. We abide by the rules of the Fundraising Regulator and are honest, respectful and accountable to our supporters and beneficiaries.
  • We will share stories of how your support is helping to create hope and transform lives for the better.
  • We are dedicated to supporter care. We always love to hear from you and appreciated all comments and feedback. You help shape our work.