MORE ABOUT THE APPEAL
The pandemic has changed how we work with Big Issue vendors forever.
Emma is one of the vendors we provided both emotional and financial support to during the past year. Many years ago, before Emma found the Big Issue, she was sleeping rough after losing her job. The Big Issue helped her re-find herself and gave her a source of credible income.
We helped to support Emma into temporary accommodation and after several years, she was able to secure permanent accommodation, a place to call home.
And then the pandemic hit.
"I didn’t really have savings. During the first lockdown, I remember I didn’t have electricity for a whole week. I also didn’t have much to eat. The Big Issue provided support and it made a big difference. I was able to get supermarket vouchers to ensure I could eat regularly."
Emma's mental health also suffered as well as she was living alone and felt very isolated. She said that regular welfare calls from The Big Issue really helped her to get through some difficult times.
During the 2021 lockdown, we explored options for how to improve her wellbeing. We supported her to return to volunteering with a befriending service for rough sleepers she had previously given her time to before.
This led to her being asked to apply for a paid role. We supported her to prepare for her interview and we are happy to say she has been offered the role. We will continue to support her as she navigates this new role.
We want to continue to support to Big Issue vendors during the third lockdown. When possible, we want to ensure Big Issue vendors have a safe and successful return to selling the magazine.
Even before the pandemic, vendors were reporting that more and more potential customers were not carrying cash. We were already supporting vendors to offer cashless payments, the pandemic just sped up the timeline. We’ve worked even harder to support vendors to get ID, bank accounts, set up email addresses and ensure they are equipped with a card reader and a compatible phone.
So far, over 570 vendors now take card payments with more offering sales through a card machine every week. On average, a cashless vendor sells 30% more than a non-cashless vendor. We are working to empower more Big Issue vendors to take control of their finances.
We want to support vendors to regain their independence whilst also making sure the lights stay on and there is food on the table.
Your donation of £25 today will support Big Issue vendors through whatever challenges lie ahead.
ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO DONATE
Text TBIF 5 to 70085 to donate £5. Texts cost £5 plus one standard rate message.
Text TBIF 10 to 70085 to donate £10. Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message.
Text TBIF 20 to 70085 to donate £20. Texts cost £20 plus one standard rate message.
If you would like to make a direct bank transfer by BACS you can do so using the following details:
Bank Name: NatWest
Account Name: Big Issue Foundation
Sort Code: 60-20-31
Account No: 40110133
Please ensure you use a reference so we can identify your payment and if you can confirm you donation/payment by emailing email@example.com we can ensure this is allocated back to you.
You can post a cover letter with a cheque directly to us.
Please make the cheque payable to: The Big Issue Foundation
Send to: FREEPOST RTTS-JGTR-LRYR, The Big Issue Foundation, 3rd Floor, 113-115 Fonthill Road, London, N4 3HH