Big Issue Editor Paul McNamee has urged people to continue supporting their social mission during the current crisis - and has unveiled a series of ways in which readers can help their vendors, even if they are avoiding social contact.
McNamee pledged that his team will continue to produce a magazine to be sold on the street, until they are told otherwise by the authorities. At present vendors are still out selling _The Big Issue_, though they are facing challenges due to decreased footfall in our cities and towns.
In order to boost the income of people who may be struggling, the magazine will increase its cover price from £2.50 to £3 from Monday March 23. All of the increased cover price will go to vendors - meaning that they will pocket an extra 50p from every magazine you buy.
McNamee said: "As an organisation, our prime focus and reason for being here is to provide the poorest in society with a means of making a living. Until things change, stop by with your vendor and buy a magazine. This will help a great deal. If you are able to, buy more than one. Perhaps drop it round to a neighbour who is not able to leave the house. Such an act has a double-sided benefit."
For those people who are unable to get to a vendor, The Big Issue has several other ways that people can continue to access the award-winning magazine - as well as getting money to the vendors who need their help.
The money from these sales will go into a central pot that will be used to offer support to vendors.
"We are committed to supporting our vendors throughout this time," said McNamee. "That may involve direct financial support from a central pot. It will certainly involve referrals to partner organisations able to help. This, like much around coronavirus, is developing."
Big Issue vendor image: Louise-Haywood-Schiefer