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Housing firm pledges £25,000 to Big Issue - after pandemic forces it to change its business model

Housing firm pledges £25,000 to Big Issue - after pandemic forces it to change its business model

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

A HOUSING firm has committed £25,000 to the Big Issue – which has been forced to transform its business and protect its vendors in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Big Issue is a social enterprise, launched 29 years ago by John Bird and Gordon Roddick in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London. The two believed that the key to solving the problem of homelessness lay in helping people to help themselves, through vendors purchasing the magazine with their own money and selling them on to the public, at their own profit or loss.

As a result of the coronavirus crisis, the organisation had to take the difficult decision not to sell a magazine on the streets and ask vendors to stop selling for their own health and safety. They moved quickly to adapt their business model in new and innovative ways, to offer a level of support to vendors through this crisis.

They launched an appeal to support the organisation, encouraging people and businesses to take out subscriptions, download their newly launched app, or to make a contribution to their appeal fund, with 50% of net proceeds going directly to supporting vendors and 50% to ensuring The Big Issue is able to be there for those that need them now and in the future.

Responding to the call, Barratt Developments PLC, which has developments in Lancashire, pledged £25,000 to the appeal.

David Thomas, chief executive of Barratt Developments PLC, said: “As one of the Big Issue’s supporters, we recognise the vital work it does for people who don’t have a safe place to call home. We’ve seen such a great effort by businesses and local communities to support those affected by the current crisis and we want to keep doing our bit to help. We’re proud to play our part in supporting the Big Issue and its vendors – not just over the coming weeks, but for many years to come.”

You can subscribe at https://wwwbigissue.com or make a one-off support payment to help The Big Issue through this period.

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