Seven ways you can support the Big Issue North at home during the lockdown

  • The lockdown restrictions in England have caused many difficulties for small, local businesses and companies across the country 

  • With no financial help from the government, vendors from the Big Issue North have now been out of work for 26 weeks over the year because of the pandemic

  • The money from the Hardship Fund is depleting as around £500 is being paid out daily to support vendors; here are seven ways you can support the Big Issue North from the comfort of your home

1. Donate directly to the Hardship Fund online or with your mobile

Founded before the start of the first lockdown, the Hardship Fund was created to support Big Issue (BI) North vendors financially whilst they could not work throughout the lockdowns. There are between 250 and 350 vendors are working at any one time, with around a thousand vendors selling the BI North throughout the year and vendors are currently completely reliant on the Hardship Fund.

To help support your local vendor – text the word ‘HARDSHIP’ to 70970 to donate £5, or you can donate online at their website with all proceeds going directly into the fund.

2. Subscribe to the Big Issue North magazine online

There is a range of subscription plans available to ensure you never miss an issue of the BI North whilst helping your local vendor in the process. In the online shop, you can find subscriptions last for three, six and 12 months, as well as the option to buy individual magazines. 

Image of Big Issue North vendor Andrew collecting a magazine.
BI North vendor Andrew buying copies to sell (Credit: Lee Brown)

3. Subscribe to the new quarterly magazine The New Issue

The New Issue magazine is released quarterly and features a beautiful combination of photography and independently written real-life stories. The magazine is a longer read which covers a range of topics from lifestyle to social issues to give you something to ponder whilst you wind down.

With the options of an annual subscription for £40 or an ongoing subscription available through a direct debit every three months, you will always be in The New Issue loop.

4. Purchase a copy of the BI North from your local shop

“Alexa – add milk, bread and the latest copy of the BI North to my shopping list.” On the highly anticipated occasions that you are allowed to leave the house for your weekly shop, why not add the new edition of the BI North to your basket as well? Half of the cost of each magazine will go directly into the Hardship Fund. Not only will you be supporting your local vendors, but you will also enjoy some quality reading. 

Image of a magazine stand inside of a shop.
Find the BI North in your local Sainsbury’s, Co-Op, McColl’s or Booths (Credit: Billingham)

There is something for everyone inside the magazine from video game reviews to an interview with Felix the Huddersfield Train Station cat!

5. Buy unique and handmade gifts from the BI North online shop

Whether you’ve forgotten your sibling’s upcoming birthday or you simply fancy treating yourself, the BI North online shop has something for everyone. There is a beautiful range of handmade jewellery including rings, necklaces and earrings made by Beaglebum Jewellery using recycled copies of the BI North. With a combination of supporting your local vendor, a small business and the environment, how could you resist this stunning jewellery?

You can also buy a range of merchandise such as canvas tote bags with words by poet Ian McMillan; limited edition t-shirts by Street Noise the music events to aid the BI North; and the new 2021 food-themed calendar featuring recipes for the favourite foods of 12 vendors.

6. Buy an eco-friendly face mask from MancMade

As a suitable face-covering must be worn while in an indoor setting, you may be worried that your mask game is not quite up to scratch. But worry not as MancMade has you covered with a range of reusable and eco-friendly facemasks in a range of colours and patterns. From each sale £1 is donated to the Hardship Fund, which means not only will you look amazing, but you will support an incredible cause too.

£1 from each mask sold will go to The Big issue #hardshipfund

Posted by Mancmade Clothing on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

7. Donate to Stefan’s marathon fundraiser for the BI North Trust

BI North vendor Stefan will run the Manchester Marathon on 10 October to support the BI North Trust with the help and support they provide to vendors. The money that Stefan is raising will go towards many support services for vendors including home furnishing packages, breakfast clubs, and helping vendors getting a formal ID card. To help Stefan reach his £1000 target donate here.