How you can help your vendor

Coronavirus has once again forced our vendors off the street. But this time, the consequences could be even more severe.

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As England enters a third lockdown, our vendors face a dire predicament: they are once again not permitted to sell Big Issue North.

The 350 people who sell Big Issue North are self-employed, buying magazines from our offices for £1.50 before selling them on the streets for £3. This means that they are not eligible for furlough, and as they cannot work from home, homeless and vulnerably housed people across the north of England now find themselves without a source of desperately needed income. We will do everything we can to support them through this incredibly difficult time, but we need your help.

During the first lockdown, we paid out a total of £500 each day to support vendors’ cost of living, from rent and bills for those in their own accommodation to essential shopping and transport. This time, we expect to pay out even more, as we experienced an influx of new vendors when the first lockdown was lifted, and the bitter cold will lead to an increased need for help with accommodation and bills. We predict that to make it through the weeks ahead, we will need a total of £10,000 to pay out to our vendors. We were overwhelmed with the support we received from our readers last year and know that many of you will be keen to come to our vendors’ aid once again.

Here are some things you can do to help:

You can make a donation to our hardship fund, providing everything vendors need to survive the weeks ahead, by texting HARDSHIP to 70970 to give £5, going to, or scanning the QR code below:

You can continue to buy Big Issue North either in Sainsbury’s (including the online shop), Co-Op, McColl’s or Booths, or online at Half the cost of each magazine will go directly to our hardship fund. You can also subscribe to Big Issue North, either by purchasing a three, six or twelve month subscription package at, or by taking out a weekly direct debit at We will be publishing an issue every three weeks for the duration of lockdown, and subscriptions will be extended to ensure that you receive the amount of magazines you would normally.

You can subscribe to our quarterly subscription magazine, The New Issue, which contains real stories – beautifully told. It offers stunning photography combined with high-quality independent writing, covering everything from changing landscapes and social issues to lifestyle and fiction. To subscribe, buy individual issues, or just find out more, just go to

Another great way to support our vendors through this difficult time is to do some shopping at our online shop, For just £5, you can buy our 2021 calendar-cum-cookbook, featuring recipes for twelve of our vendors’ favourite dishes, transformed by The Creameries chef and Eat Well MCR founder Mary-Ellen McTague and beautifully shot by Rebecca Lupton. We also have a beautiful range of handmade jewellery and homeware. Each item is totally unique, with just one of each in stock, and all of the proceeds go directly towards supporting our vendors. We also have our usual stock of back issues, tote bags featuring quotes from poet Ian McMillan, music merchandise, and more, so whether you’re treating a loved one or yourself, we have something for everyone.

2021 calendar

You can also support us by buying a mask from, with £1 from every sale going to our hardship fund. Or, if you need a tangible reminder of life before lockdown, you can transform ten photos from your Instagram account into magnets for just £9.99, with £5.33 from every order going directly to our vendors! To get started, just go to

Our vendors have never faced a challenge like this one, and your support is greatly appreciated.

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Interact: Responses to How you can help your vendor

  • You can help Big Issue North vendors survive the COVID-19 pandemic – Brontë Schiltz
    23 Dec 2020 09:32
    […] 06/11/2020 […]

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