How to help your vendor (March 2021)

While lockdown endures, our hardship fund is providing critical support, and our online shop offers an array of products

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Last Tuesday marked one year since the first introduction of lockdown restrictions in England but, for our vendors, it also marked the close of a year in which they spent a total of six months unable to work. Many vendors rely on selling Big Issue North for both financial income and social interaction, so the impact of Covid-19 has been devastating.

When the first lockdown began, we set up a hardship fund to provide vendors with financial aid while they were unable to work. With the help of generous donations from the public, we were able to support many vendors with small payouts in lieu of the money they would normally make selling the magazine. Now the fund has started to dwindle and we have had to prioritise who gets support. This is a heartbreaking situation, but you can help.

There are several things that you can do today to make a difference.

You can make a donation to our hardship fund, helping us to provide vendors with everything they 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, Co-Op, McColl’s or Booths, or online at Half the cost of each magazine will go directly to our hardship fund, with the remainder covering production costs. You can also subscribe to Big Issue North, either by purchasing a three, six or 12 month package at, or via a weekly direct debit at

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 find out more, go to

Another great way to support our vendors is to visit our shop, Our 2021 calendar-cum-cookbook is now just £3, and features recipes for 12 of our vendors’ favourite dishes, transformed by the Creameries chef and Eat Well MCR founder, Mary-Ellen McTague, and beautifully photographed by Rebecca Lupton. We also have a range of unique handmade jewellery, back issues, tote bags featuring quotes from poet Ian McMillan, music merchandise and much more, so whether you’re shopping for yourself or a loved one, we have something for everyone.

If you’ve been trying to break a bad habit, you can use to trigger a donation of your choice to the Big Issue North Trust every time you slip – so even if you do give up on that social media detox, you can rest assured that you’ll be doing good too! Or, if you own a business, why not share your success with our vendors by setting it to make a small donation every time you make a sale?

When we reopen our offices, we will also need certain items, such as backpacks, flasks, wipes and jackets, to help our vendors get back to work safely. You can send these items directly to our offices for as little as £3.29 at Alternatively, if you’ve been doing some spring cleaning and have some used goods you’d like to donate, please get in touch at

Some fantastic small businesses have also stepped up to support our vendors through the Covid-19 crisis. If you’re in need of a stylish, comfortable and eco-friendly mask, you can also support us by buying from, with £1 from every sale going to our hardship fund, or you can buy a canvas bag from with 10 per cent of the proceeds going to our vendors. Or, if you need a tangible reminder of life before lockdown, you can transform 10 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, go to

We are incredibly grateful for your continued support at this difficult time. Thank you so much.

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