Big Issue campaign calls for support during the winter period

The marketing campaign calls for public support during ‘unprecedented poverty crisis’ and seeks for help for vendors beyond Christmas

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


This year the harsh weather of the winter season will bring with it more challenges than ever. A new campaign from the Big Issue Group (BIG) aims to draw attention to an ‘unprecedented poverty crisis’ and seek public support during the festive period and beyond.

Record levels of inflation combined with the cost of living crisis meant that in 2022, according to JRF Destitution, 2023 over 3.8 million people experienced destitution. This includes one million children, who did not have basic physical needs to stay warm, clean and dry met, an increase of 148% since 2017.

To help combat this ‘unprecedented poverty crisis’, the Big Issue Group (BIG) has launched a new marketing campaign for Christmas, including a new Big Issue Winter Support Kit which gives vendors help with immediate winter needs as well as training and employment opportunities to help vendors beyond Christmas.

Ad-hoc support from the Government is simply not enough to deal with the levels of destitution, so BIG is pointing to an urgent need for action to tackle destitution in the UK and support those in need. In the face of the harrowing circumstances that many are facing, over the winter 

The new campaign being spearheaded by Lord John Bird, Founder of the Big Issue and Big Issue Ambassador and Actor, Daniel Mays, calls for the British public to support thousands of magazine vendors selling across the UK this winter.

In the face of the harrowing circumstances that many are facing, over the winter period BIG is expecting to experience a huge influx of people at the sharp end of poverty to sign up to sell the Big Issue magazine as a source of income. The organisation is therefore working hard to plan and provide for those affected by preparing them with valuable tools for survival.

“At the Big Issue, we have witnessed an influx of people at the sharp end of poverty, coming to us to sell the magazine as a vital source of income. Big Issue is working harder than ever to provide those most affected with the tools for survival.  Our Frontline team are out every day supporting vendors to earn an income from magazine sales and getting them access to vital services such as food, fuel, mental health and housing. ” says Zoe Hayward, Group CMO at Big Issue Group.

The organisation is looking for public support, which can be given in the form of buying a magazine from a local vendor, purchasing a subscription to the magazine, or making a financial contribution to the organisation. 

New for this year, the Big Issue has launched a new way to support the organisation, The Big Issue Winter Support Kit. The kit can be purchased at £34.99 and gives the buyer four copies of the magazine, while the vendor receives a Big Issue beanie hat to keep warm, a hot drink and lunch item, equipment to increase earnings through cashless transactions and a personalised support plan, including sales and employment training from the Big Issue’s Frontline Team. Greggs has teamed up with the Big Issue to provide food and drink items and help fund the kit.

“This support will not only ensure vendors survive the winter but can make a better life for themselves in 2024. We hope that our message of “Be a beacon of change for Big Issue vendors this Christmas” will affect real change, while supporting our ongoing mission to dismantle poverty.” says Hayward. 

You can support by buying a magazine from a vendor in the street, subscribing online, making a financial contribution or buying a Big Issue Working Winter Support Kit for £34.99 by clicking here.  

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