The Big Issue sellers return safely to our streets

Watch: report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A sign that life is slowly getting back to normal after the third lockdown is the return of Big Issue sellers on our streets.

Many of the sellers are considered vulnerable, so during the pandemic they were provided shelter for their own safety. Local authorities and homeless charities received government funding to house the homeless and want that money to continue.

In the meantime, projects like the Big Issue magazine are once again a lifeline.


Many of the sellers are considered vulnerable, so during the pandemic they were provided shelter for their own safety.  Credit: ITV News Meridian

On the streets of Boscombe, there is competition for donations. 

Rodney Lyll is well know, and well liked by the locals, selling about fifty copies of the Big Issue every week. He says it's good to be back.

Rodney Lyll, Big Issue seller


£3

The Big Issue price

£1.50

goes to the seller


Rahela Bujor has been selling the Big Issue in Southbourne for five years. 

She has four children, and although she receives Universal Credit, she says she needs the income from the magazine and enjoys selling it.

Rahela Bujor, Big Issue seller

During the pandemic, most homeless people have been provided accommodation, paid for by extra money from the government.

Now homeless charities want that to continue. 


The brilliant thing is that local authorities, working with homelessness charities and volunteers have really stepped up and have provided accommodation and support and advice. There was an initiative called 'everyone in' and it made a huge difference to the life chances to those who were rough sleeping.

Steve Douglas, St Mungo's homeless charity

It costs £3 of which £1.50 goes to the seller.  Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Big Issue magazine helps people like Rodney pay their rent.

It costs £3 of which £1.50 goes to the seller. 

And these days, not having cash is not an excuse, because most Big Issue vendors, like Rodney, they now have card readers.

For more on the Big Issue, click here.