"We need you now": Big Issue editor pleads with UK to support vendors

24 March 2020, 15:44

By Seán Hickey

With the government calling for people to stay indoors during the coronavirus lockdown, vendors of The Big Issue have found their income disappear.

Paul McNamee is the editor of The Big Issue, a magazine that employs thousands of homeless and vulnerable people and he was speaking to James O'Brien about measures the company are taking to keep these people earning during the UK lockdown.

Mr. McNamee told James that the magazine was implementing a subscription service to help keep vendors earning while the lockdown takes hold.

The editor told James that with a subscription, you will get "isolation busting delights" in the form of their magazine for three months. He also announced plans to launch an app whereby you can get Big Issue content direct to your devices and further help those most vulnerable in society.

"You can make a donation to support vendors to keep the big issue going" he said. The publication, which at the moment Mr. McNamee believes to be employing over 1,000 vendors is now relying on "the good will of the Great British public" to help their vendors remain safe and well during the lockdown.

"We have to very quickly find ways to get them the support they need."

The Big Issue helps to give vulnerable people in society an income
The Big Issue helps to give vulnerable people in society an income. Picture: PA

Mr. McNamee added that The Big Issue needs "the public to support us on this". The organisation made the decision to keep vendors off the streets to ensure their health and safety, with many being in the at-risk categories for coronavirus.

James pointed out that when the coronavirus crisis is over, organisations such as The Big Issue will be needed more than ever to help people who may have fallen on hard times during the pandemic.

"I am confident that when this is over we will still be needed" Mr. McNamee said. He ensured James that the company will strive to protect their vendors in this time and once the crisis passes, they will open their arms to help those in need.

"It makes me proud to be part of that organisation" the editor said, when speaking of the charity of The Big Issue.