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Number of people helped by Big Issue increased in past year

Number of people helped by Big Issue increased in past year

More than 3,700 vendors now sell the magazine across the UK

The number of people helped by the Big Issue Group in the last year has increased, including more vendors selling the magazine, according to new figures.

More than 3,700 vendors now sell the magazine across the UK while hundreds of people have been helped into work through the Big Issue’s recruitment scheme.

The figures, to mark the Big Issue’s National Vendor Week, showed the number of people affected by poverty that the group has helped increased by 8% last year amid the continuing cost-of-living crisis.

The group estimated that its work generated £4 million through sales of the Big Issue magazine and £1.3 million through helping marginalised individuals into the full-time workplace.

The Big Issue said the current economic landscape of a recession and ongoing cost-of-living crisis has increased the number of people in the UK affected by poverty.

The success of the programmes of work shows that, with the right approach, people can move into sustainable employment, it added.

Paul Cheal, Big Issue Group chief executive, said: “We believe that the Government’s Back to Work scheme requires further consideration and enhancement to truly serve the needs of marginalised people.

“There is a huge opportunity to get more people into work and generate an enormous amount of social value in the UK.

“As of July 2023, there were 520,000 individuals facing unemployment in the UK for periods exceeding six months, this represents 35% of all individuals facing unemployment .

“If those 520,000 individuals could all be supported into employment opportunities through services like Big Issue Recruit, it could generate a potential, total social value of more than £12 billion for individuals, communities and the UK economy.

“At a time when the country is facing an incredibly challenging economic recession, this is an approach we believe the Government should take.”

Will Payne, who used to sell the magazine on the streets of Bristol and has recently secured a job as a street cleaner, said: “Big Issue helped me recuperate after I had a bit of a breakdown.”

Sandrine Mpongo, a Big Issue Recruit candidate from London, recently secured a catering job with the support of job coach Shak Dean: “Before the interview, we were talking every day for a week. Shak told me I could call him any time.”

Big Issue National Vendor Week will see a special edition of the magazine full of personal stories of people moving on with their lives, a series of celebrities’ supporting vendors by selling the magazine and will culminate in a reception at the House of Lords.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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