It has been 15 long weeks of isolation for The Big Issue’s vendors – and that ends today. The Covid-19 lockdown brought an immediate and abrupt end to street sales of the magazine. To protect vendors we had to remove them from the streets from March 20.
Shop sales, subscriptions and donations, readers and friends have helped us support vendors since. We have been able to give out shopping vouchers, help with bills and supply things as diverse as a rowing machine and a Beano subscription to keep sellers healthy both physically and mentally.
The fresh air, the cycle and getting back to work is what I’m most looking forward to
Today they make a triumphant return. It’s not the same as before – we have provided vendors with PPE and implemented a number of health and safety measures to keep them safe – but it is a step towards normality.
Ahead of the resumption of sales, we caught up with vendors from all over the UK to see what they had missed the most from the stint where they couldn’t sell the magazine and what they were most looking forward to about getting back.
You’ll have to buy the magazine from your local vendor to see them all – but here’s what Newcastle Central Station seller Earl John Charlton and Amanda Hill, who sells the magazine outside Waterstone’s and the Hilton in Cardiff as well as in Pontypridd.
Earl has been shielding due to underlying health conditions and is relishing the chance to get back outside.