Unsurprisingly, the combination of money worries, boredom and loneliness has had a negative impact on mental wellbeing for some.
“I know a lot of people on my pitch. I treat them as part of my family, because I don’t have a family myself. I’ve been missing the social aspect, as well as the sales. I’ve had days when I’ve been really down,” said Dave Martin, who is looking forward to getting back to his pitch in Hammersmith.
All the vendors expressed their excitement at getting back to work.
Kenny, who sells the magazine in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, said: “I am excited, I’ve been buzzing since I got told. What have I missed the most? It’s got to be the people of Stockbridge.”
Whilst they have been unable to be on the streets, The Big Miss You Podcast has been a digital street corner, celebrating the important relationships between vendors and their customers.
Since this period of enforced separation is about to come to a close, this week’s special edition of the podcast – which features the voices of many of our vendors as they look forward to returning to work – will be the final episode.
“It’s been a real honour to offer a platform for the voices of The Big Issue’s team of vendors,” said The Big Miss You Podcast host Laura Kelly. “They are an inspiring bunch. Hearing their stories and their experiences of the lockdown has reaffirmed the vital role that The Big Issue plays in UK society.
“I hope that the podcast has tided supporters over through the lockdown – and that they’ll all go and buy their Big Issue again next week. We can all do our bit to help vendors get back in business.”
You can listen to the latest edition of The Big Miss You Podcast, and all previous episodes on Apple, Spotify, Acast, Google, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts.
You can also read more from our vendors in the next edition of The Big Issue, which will be on sale from your local vendor from July 6. Find out more about how they are getting back to work here.