The Vendor Support Fund

The Vendor Support Fund (VSF) is an enabler for Big Issue vendors to achieve employment, training and other personal aspirations which require financial support. This fund is open all year-round and available to any vendor UK wide. Vendors are helped to identify goals and aspirations and assisted to complete an application form. They then save and contribute a discretionary amount – typically 20-50% (waived during the pandemic) – towards their chosen cost with the VSF Fund covering the remainder.

Examples of some recent employment, training and personal aspirations that the Vendor Support Fund has helped to facilitate include:

  • £5.00 covered the costs for Michael to attend a housing appointment in Birmingham
  • £12.00 helped John from Bath get a card reader so he could take contactless payment
  • £50.40 bought Chris from Oxford a new suit and shoes for a job interview
  • £85.00 provided Anna from Bristol with a passport to use as official ID to open a bank account
  • £200.00 enabled Paul from Plymouth to buy a set of tools for the start of his plumbing course

Vendor support during 2nd lockdown: December 2020-April 2021

  • Over 1,000 of our most vulnerable vendors were supported with direct payments and supermarket vouchers valuing £68,575
  • Approving 136 applications to the Vendor support Fund helped families to purchase specific essential items totaling £8,911
  • 1,822 vendors took up the subsidy scheme (The Big Issue contributed 50p for each magazine) so each vendors receiving an average benefit of £95.

The past year has been the hardest we have ever faced, but your support has meant that our vendors have not faced destitution. It was because of the generosity of our supporters we were able to support over 1,000 during the second lockdown (December 2021-April 2021). From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much.

Big Issue vendor Dave's sales have been helped by going cashless. Image: Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Make a donation today

Your gift now could help more Big Issue vendors like Ian be supported into onward employment. It could also fund everything vendors need to sell successfully, including smartphones, contactless payment devices and the ID required to use them, and some free magazines to get them back on their feet.

Ian Duff, Bath

I just want to let everyone in Bath know that me and Boycie really appreciate all the custom and all the help we have had over the last 13 years. I’d like to thank The Big Issue, too, for all the help they have given me and continue to give me. The Big Issue Foundation is helping me with some chef whites and a month’s bus pass to get me to my new job so I can get started. It’s all good, it’s very helpful.

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