Big Issue highlights ‘life-changing’ support as sellers struggle

The Canary

The “life-changing” support given to Big Issue sellers is being highlighted to mark World Homeless Day on Saturday .

The magazine launched a digital campaign to show the work of its frontline team in a bid to boost sales.

The Big Issue decided to stop selling the magazine on the streets during the national lockdown from March, returning in July, although the number of people is significantly lower on many high streets.

The Big Issue team of over 60 frontline staff work with sellers to connect them to specialist support services, access safe and secure accommodation, and gain official ID which helps with obtaining a bank account

The campaign consists of a series of success stories, such as Big Issue seller Martin McKenzie, 39, from London, who now hopes to expand his mobile bike repair business.

He said: “I’m educating myself in electric bikes at the minute so I can have a general understanding of how the battery packs work, and the motors, and how to rechain them and so on.

“The Big Issue has always led to better things for me – it’s been there to help me get back on my feet a few times now, and I’m determined to get back on my feet this time too.”

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “With city and town centres a good deal quieter than usual, it’s very tough out there at the moment for Big Issue sellers.

“We felt it important to show people how life-changing our support can prove to be.

“Not only do we provide people with a means to earn a legitimate income by selling the magazine but we work closely with each and every seller to help them on their way to pursuing ambitions that they may have.”

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