Big Issue fears for wellbeing of vendors due to ‘quieter high streets’

The Big Issue has raised concerns around the wellbeing of its vendors this winter due to the reduction of high street footfall amid increasing interest among consumers in online shopping.

To tackle quieter high streets, the Big Issue has launched a campaign calling for the public to support their often vulnerable and homeless vendors.

Called The Big Wish it highlights “the challenging circumstances vendors are facing at what should be their busiest time of year”.

Big Issue founder John Bird said “Our Big Issue vendors used to thrive in Winter but with much quieter high-streets, they're now struggling to get by, more than ever before.

“We all have Christmas wishes and our vendors are no exception. Our vendors are working hard this Christmas to achieve their Christmas wishes by selling The Big Issue. Whether it’s saving to take their son out for the day or a train ticket home to see their family.

“With your support, you can help us be here for our vendors this Christmas. That's because every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing 'a hand up not a handout. You're helping Big Issue vendors achieve their Big Wish.”

One Big Issue vendor, Clive from Plymouth, added that the ancipated drop in footfall follows a tough year due to high street lockdowns amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I hope for this year to be much better than last year,” he said.

“Last year was so hard. I hope I can have a nice year with my children and treat them to a nice Christmas.”

The Big Wish campaign urges people to buy a copy of the magazine from sellers or arrange a subscription from them, so they receive 50% of the profits.

In May the Big Issue reported an increase in sales through the introduction of contactless payment systems.

Also, earlier this year it launched a subscription video on demand service, called The Big Issue TV. This showcases documentaries highlighting social activism and issues around technology and health.

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