The Big Issue (TBI) has called upon the public to support its network of vendors unable to sell due to a third national lockdown by subscribing or donating to an The Big Issue’s 100 Days of Action Appeal.
Following the Government announcement of the third national lockdown, 1,386 Big Issue vendors are once again unable to sell the magazine.
Big Issue vendors are self-employed, buying magazines for £1.50 before selling them on for £3. This means that they are not eligible for furlough and they cannot work from home.
During the last two lockdowns, TBI was able to support vendors with payments over this period due to the incredible generosity of members of the public and businesses, enabling their Frontline team to work closely with vendors and offer emotional as well as financial support.
The organisation is asking the public to support The Big Issue’s 100 Days of Action Appeal, in a countdown to a hopeful end of lockdown and improved situation as the vaccination programme rolls out across the UK.
Lord John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, said:
“We are in lockdown once again and, as before, our vendors will be hammered hard. But, with the approval of the three vaccines, there is now a sense of an ending and hope on the horizon.
“We’re counting down because we believe that in 100 days things will be on the up. But we need you. Together we can stand with your vendors and look forward to them being back on the streets, making their living, changing their lives and seeing you.
“By supporting us, you will be helping us to provide support payments, outreach work and welfare help to support vendors who are locked down and isolated. Please subscribe or make a donation to help us to be here now and when lockdown lifts – when we fear we’ll be needed even more.”
Cambridge vendor, Lee Welham, 37, said: “Usually at this time of the year, my Bi-polar gets really bad so without work, it will only get worse. I really miss working and it’s only been two weeks. I really miss the interaction with my customers because it’s not always about the sales. I really enjoy the 2 minutes chat with people that actually care about you. I do worry about the virus though and I worry for my customers as well. I hope they are all safe.”
London vendor, Rob, 52, said: “It’s an absolute nightmare and it just looks like it is all going to get worse. My income is going to be affected but the lockdown is also very isolating. When you are out selling The Big Issue, you’re always in contact with people so this lockdown and not being able to see anyone, is going to be very isolating as I am on my own. I have lost my sense of purpose and I feel all over the place and don’t really know where I stand now.”
You can support The Big Issue’s 100 Days of Action Appeal by buying a subscription directly from your vendor, which will earn your chosen vendor 50% of proceeds, or by subscribing or donating to support The Big Issue’s vital work.