Jessica Cross is a long time supporter of Big Issue and has a regular advertorial blog in the magazine. She is also a shepherdess and runs wool-based bedding company, Southdown Duvets.
During the pandemic, she recognised vendors would be having an extremely difficult time. Jessicadecided to collate her favourite blogs in a book which they called Laughing With The Lambs to raise funds to support Big Issue vendors. True to its title, the blogs dealt mainly with farming life and the spontaneity of the domestic and wild animals with whom she shares her farm.
Southdown Duvets contacted their database of duvet buyers about the book and received an overwhelming response, raising over £2,000. Jessica is delighted to see Big Issue vendors back on their pitches and is also now back to writing her weekly words for Big Issue. All’s wool that ends wool.
In the Repair of Soles and Souls – Jessica Cross
In late March 2020, my Big Issue account manager rang me. The anxiety in her voice was palpable. The country had just been locked down and the implications for the Big Issue vendors was swiftly becoming painfully apparent. With shops closed, the vendors on the High Street would have no customers for their Big Issue hard copies. With this traditional sales model imploding, the cold commercial decision for an advertiser in the magazine would be to pull the financial support. It was of particular concern for me, since just a week prior, I had renewed my advertising campaign for another 4 months. No wonder Jenny was worried.
I told her not fret. In the first instance, I stand by my commitments and never renege on a deal but, specific to the Big Issue, I told her there was never a more important time to stand behind the organisation.