Big Issue North is in the business of changing lives.
We believe that everyone has the right to earn an independent income. That’s why we do not ask for a permanent address, ID, a bank account, qualifications, or previous experience – anyone who wants to sell Big Issue North can do so.
We produce a wide range of socially conscious media content, including a weekly magazine sold by homeless and vulnerably housed people in the north of England with few other means of earning an income. Big Issue North vendors are self-employed and buy magazines from one of our regional offices for £1.50 each, then sell them on established pitches in towns and cities for £3 across the north, keeping the £1.50 they make from every sale. Selling Big Issue North also gives vendors motivation and helps to boost their self-esteem.
As well as selling the magazine, our vendors are given advice by staff on how to get help with anything from developing their skills or accessing English language courses, to getting housing, financial or health advice, which can help them achieve their goals and improve their lives for good.
Big Issue North vendors are making a commitment to earn an income – working not begging. 75% of vendors have never begged, and all of the 19% of vendors who had committed crime prior to selling the magazine say they have offended less since they have been selling.
Big Issue North Trust is a registered charity (charity number 1056041), which raises funds to provide a range of support for vendors, including support accessing services, help getting ID, home furnishing packages and projects such as breakfast clubs. During COVID-19, it has also provided vendors with financial aid while they have been unable to work, as well as funding PPE and contactless payment devices – and the photo ID required to use it. As well as improving the safety of our vendors and customers, we hope that this will lead to increased earnings.
The Trustees of the Big Issue North Trust are Fay Selvan, Edna Robinson, Mark Fitzgibbon, Safina Islam, Andy Rafferty and Liam Symonds. Big Issue North and the Trust are part of The Big Life group – to find out more about what that means, and Big Life in general, click here.
If you’d like to help us to support our vendors to change their lives for good, please click here.
To make a donation, please visit our JustGiving page, or text BINORTH to 70201 to give £1, 70331 to give £3, 70970 to give £5 or 70191 to give £10. Thank you.