Stevie Taylor Image: The Big Issue
Big Issue vendors unable to sell the magazine
The Big Issue (TBI) has called upon the public to, once again, support the organisation as hundreds of vendors are being forced off the streets as Tier 4 COVID-19 measures in London, south-east and east of England and South Wales take effect.
Christmas week is traditionally the busiest week of the year for Big Issue vendors. TBI said that 350 vendors will be unable to sell the magazine on the street as the new strain of the COVID-19 virus caused governments around the UK to backtrack on Christmas plans.
The newly created Tier 4 measures mean residents in all 32 boroughs of the English capital, the city of London and across the south-east and east of England have been told to stay home.
Meanwhile, planned level four measures originally set to be introduced from December 28 have been brought forward in Wales and mainland Scotland will go into a three-week lockdown from Boxing Day also affecting vendors sales. In other areas of the country, vendors remain on the streets.
Steve Taylor, 48, who sells the magazine outside Pret on Old Street, London, told The Big Issue that the Tier 4 announcement made over the weekend is a devastating blow. He said:
“This lockdown has stuffed us right up. It’s usually the best week of the year for all vendors.
“It’s absolutely ruined me. This year as a whole has been a non-starter and this is the absolute cherry on the cake. I was thinking it was all too good to be true about Christmas and lo and behold everything has messed up.
“The city has been atrociously quiet because of Covid and I was hoping to be out this week to sell some magazines but there’s no chance of that now.”
Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said:
“With hundreds of our vendors unable to sell, we once again urgently need your support to survive and be there for our vendors beyond Christmas.
“If you can’t reach your local vendor, please buy a copy of the Christmas special from our Shop, subscribe or make a donation, to enable us to be there for our vendors, both now and in the future.”
If you can’t reach your regular vendor, you can buy a copy from bigissueshop.com for £4, 50% of net proceeds will go directly to a fund which provides emergency payments for vendors.
You can also support The Big Christmas Appeal by making a one-off or regular donation, or by subscribing at www.bigissue.com/support.
Lord John Bird founder of The Big Issue Image by The Big Issue