Public urged to back Big Issue magazine as vendors told they're not eligible for furlough

A vendor selling The Big Issue magazine

A vendor selling The Big Issue magazine - Credit: PA

The public has been urged to back The Big Issue after its vendors were again forced to stop selling the magazine because of the latest coronavirus lockdown.

Almost 1,400 vendors are affected, are not eligible for furlough and cannot work from home.

The Big Issue called on the public to support its 100 Days of Action Appeal, in a countdown to a hopeful end of lockdown and improved situation as the vaccination programme rolls out across the UK.

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “We are in lockdown once again and, as before, our vendors will be hammered hard, but, with the approval of the three vaccines, there is now a sense of an ending and hope on the horizon.

“We’re counting down because we believe that in 100 days things will be on the up.”

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He urged people to subscribe to the magazine or make a donation.

Cambridge vendor Lee Welham, 37, said: “Usually at this time of the year, my bipolar gets really bad so without work, it will only get worse.

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“I really miss working and it’s only been two weeks. I really miss the interaction with my customers because it’s not always about the sales.”

London vendor, Rob, 52, said: “It’s an absolute nightmare and it just looks like it is all going to get worse. My income is going to be affected but the lockdown is also very isolating.

“When you are out selling The Big Issue, you’re always in contact with people so this lockdown and not being able to see anyone, is going to be very isolating.”

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