The Big Issue offers some of the most excluded people in the country a unique opening to take some control of their lives and earn a legitimate income. Vendors make a personal choice to buy their magazines with their own money, taking charge of their finances and sales whilst developing the skills required to retail to the public.
Vendors buy the Big Issue magazine for 50% of the cover price. The magazines are not free and we do not operate a sale or return policy. We believe in the merits of work and do all we can to support Big Issue vendors as they move their own ‘micro-businesses’ forward.
The formula is simple but challenging. Becoming a vendor gives people who are homeless or sleeping rough, in temporary accommodation, in danger of losing a home or unemployed and facing financial crisis the opportunity to sell a weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine to earn money. We are unique because our service users are working, they are our ‘customers’ and not our ‘clients’.
The Big Issue Foundation is a financially independent charity for people who are homeless. We build around the unique trust that we establish with people who are homeless as they purchase magazines. We support and encourage vendors to make further changes to their lives so they can move away from homelessness and back into main stream society. We believe change is possible and never give up on people no matter how challenging or complex their needs, wants and aspirations may be.
We believe in a 'hand up not a hand out', and recognise that earning an income is often only the first step on a persons' journey away from homelessness. Our charity work for people who are homeless focuses on delivering brighter futures, boosting self esteem and helping vendors to reclaim their citizenship.