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Issue 1480 - 30th Anniversary

Thirty years after vendors first got a hand up from The Big Issue we look back on what’s been achieved since September 1991. Over 220 million magazines have been sold since we first hit the streets. If you stacked them on top of each other that would reach far beyond the International Space Station – end to end they’d travel one and a half times around the planet!

30 moments that made us
Take a trip back in time as we look back on the significant moments that defined The Big Issue. From being namechecked by Oasis to a street cat joining his owner on his pitch, it’s been quite a journey.

Why don’t the homeless just go home?
Our first cover asked this question. Its writer Nick Hardwick was director of homelessness charity Centrepoint in 1991 and we caught up with him to find out what he thinks has changed – or not – in the last three decades.

I was a Big Issue vendor, now I’m a…
Over 105,000 people have sold The Big Issue since 1991, each with their own personal story and unique circumstances. Many used us as a stepping stone to move onto other things and we profile some of them. There’s senior firefighter and our ambassador Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, furniture restorers, theatre director and the former vendor who not only became “London’s happiest bus driver” but is now bringing clean drinking water to Nigeria.

What The Big Issue means to me
Famous faces have their say about how The Big Issue has impacted their life – from Benedict Cumberbatch to Aisling Bea, politicians to charity chiefs.

Monica in London
For this week’s My Pitch we speak to Monica who, like the magazine, has turned 30 this year.

These are just a few of the highlights in this birthday magazine. Next week to continue the celebrations we let vendors themselves take charge of the magazine with all of the content coming from them!

The Big Issue

The Big Issue’s own-brand products support the creation of a range of work-based opportunities for disadvantaged people.
The Big Issue has spent over 27 years at the helm of self-help revolution. It all began with the launch of The Big Issue magazine in 1991, which was created to offer homeless and disadvantaged people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by selling a magazine on the streets. Since then over 200 million copies magazine have been sold by over 100,000 people. Vendors buy the magazine upfront for £1.50 and sell it on to the public for £3.00, and in doing so each runs their own micro-enterprise. In 2005 Big Issue Invest was launched, with the aim of extending The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of social enterprises and charities across the UK. To date the organisation has directly invested in over 350 such organisations, and manages or advises on more than £170 million of social funds.
Read all about The Big Issue

The Big Issue big sellers

Support The Big Issue
Issue 1484 - Black History Month £3.00 GBP
Support The Big Issue
Issue 1483 - The Power of Protest £4.00 GBP
Support The Big Issue
Issue 1482 - Finance Special £4.00 GBP
Support The Big Issue
Issue 1481 - Vendors Takeover £4.00 GBP
See all The Big Issue items

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Supporting the Makers (icon)

SUPPORTING THE MAKERS

Our suppliers create opportunities for disadvantaged people

Protecting the planet (icon)

PROTECTING THE PLANET

Our products are sourced with sustainability in mind

A hand up, not hand out (icon)

A HAND UP, NOT HAND OUT

We’re striving to dismantle poverty through social trading