Advertisement
News

‘There’s no one out here’: Big Issue sellers plead for support as streets empty ahead of Christmas

Big Issue sellers have made a plea for support as the streets empty and people stay in their homes to avoid Covid-19 at Christmas

Big Issue sellers are urging the public to support them by buying the magazine as the streets empty of Christmas shoppers and commuters due to Covid.

While Christmas would usually be the busiest time of year for the self-employed magazine sellers, earning them much-needed income during the coldest and most difficult time of the year, customers are this year staying at home to avoid becoming infected with the new Omicron variant of coronavirus. 

“Our vendors have no choice but to ‘work from home’ on the streets, which are, once again, quieter and present less of an opportunity to earn their way out of trying circumstances to a more promising future,” said Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

People have been urged to scale back their Christmas socialising by chief medical officer Chris Whitty, who implored the public to only mix with others if absolutely necessary as Omicron surges.

“The rule change means sales are down, it’s been empty in the last few days and it should be the busiest time of year,” said “Suggs” Macklin, a Big Issue vendor, who sells the magazine in central London.

Support The Big Issue

Give your local vendor a hand up and buy the magazine

Each of our vendors buy their copies of the mag for £1.50 each, selling them for £3 and keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor.

Another vendor, Sam Woodlock, added: “It’s not great just before Christmas. Since people have been told to work from home, they’re doing what they’re told and there’s no one out here. The fact is Big Issue vendors can’t work from home. If you can support your local vendor, please do.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Thirty years after founding The Big Issue, Lord Bird is calling for urgent support for the magazine’s vendors, describing their livelihoods as “hanging on a precipice.”

To the great British public, Lord Bird said: “We would love you wonderful people to make buying The Big Issue a part of your yearly Christmas traditions, as much as buying the Christmas pudding, gifts for family and friends or decorating your Christmas tree are.”

“Please buy a copy of the magazine this week from your local vendor and if you can’t then please subscribe online and help someone living in poverty to lift themselves up and out.”

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
'People will starve and freeze' if government U-turns on promise to increase benefits
Cost of living crisis

'People will starve and freeze' if government U-turns on promise to increase benefits

Everything you needed to know about volunteering to get stuck in
Volunteering

Everything you needed to know about volunteering to get stuck in

Landlords set to pass on mortgage rate hikes to tenants
Renting

Landlords set to pass on mortgage rate hikes to tenants

All the protests and strikes taking place this weekend as anger grows over the economic crisis
Protest

All the protests and strikes taking place this weekend as anger grows over the economic crisis

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.