More than 1,000 Big Issue vendors are out of work because of the lockdown in England. They are unable to sell the magazine and can’t rely on the income they need.
We have been checking in with vendors to find out how they are getting on during this uncertain time.
In this piece, we hear from Rob Lovett, 50, who usually sells the magazine in Longfield in Kent. He explains how his customers have disappeared and says that as a COPD sufferer, he is holding out for his two vaccinations.
Lockdowns have taken income away from hundreds of Big Issue sellers. Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription.
I’ve covered more than 3,700 miles on my bike since the pandemic started. I try to get out every day but I don’t always manage it; when I do get out I try to do about a marathon a day at least. I’ve got an app on my phone to count the miles and I just get up from my house and go. I explore along the coast mainly. This winter I’ve been out for literally hours when it’s been snowing and when I’ve come back my hands aren’t cold, they’re numb. I’d be scared to bend them in case they’d snap.
Last year, before the pandemic, I’d planned to walk the length of Britain to raise money for charity but that’s all been put on hold now. Instead, I’ve just bought a boat. I’ve got a friend who wants to live on a boat and I thought it was a brilliant idea so we were looking at ones to buy for months. Then I got told about this one, she’s big – 45ft and 12ft wide. I went to have a look and I bought her just like that.