It has now been over 10 weeks since Big Issue vendors have been able to work. In the past week, we have helped to provide financial support to 1,440 vendors.
Here are some of their stories.
We have been supporting vendors across the country with utilities payments. Although it is possible to get emergency electricity credit, this does need to be paid back and so leaves the person in debt. One vendor let us know they were in debt with their electricity and so we used the Vendor Support Fund to pay the debt and top up their electricity with £100 for future use.
A vendor who has been selling for several years, he has a small flat which he rents privately, but is currently struggling to pull together the £80 per week to pay his rent. He was worried and stressed about what might happen should he not be able to pay his rent and asked us for help. We have provided an emergency payment to help pay the rent as well as pay bills and provide essential necessities for the family.
A vendor and their partner who also sells the magazine has struggled without their income form selling the magazine. They used to do food deliveries however their car is in urgent need of repair. We used the Vendor Support Fund to help with the repairs. They can now supplement their income with delivery driving until they are able to sell the magazine again.
We have provided a vendor with an internet dongle for their laptop. She has used her new internet access to receive online counselling. This is incredible as it’s allowed her to make huge strides towards bettering her mental health. Lockdown has allowed her to focus on her well-being rather than the pressures of normal day to day. Although she’s still very keen to come back!
A vendor called to say he has been given keys to his new accommodation. It is studio accommodation where he has his own space to call home. He said he has a bed, washing machine, cooker and fridge and will need other bits. We used the Vendor Support Fund to help him get a quilt, pillows, duvet set, sheets, cutlery set, dinner set, glasses, cups, kitchen utensils and pans. We have also got in touch with Emmaus to see if they know if anywhere is donating larger items of furniture.
Every vendor’s needs will be unique as every person’s situation is unique and thanks to your support, we will support each individuals needs as best we can.
Please support Big Issue vendors if you are able: https://www.bigissue.org.uk/donate/