An app and digital copy of the magazine have been created to help vendors who are unable to sell copies in the street due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Sales of the magazine by street sellers have stopped due to social distancing measures through the Covid-19 lockdown.
In response, the charity, with pro-bono support from digital publishing platform Pugpig, has launched an app and digital edition.
The app is free to download and weekly digital downloads of the magazine cost £2.99 for a copy, or via a subscription starting at £32.99 for three months.
Half of the net proceeds from magazine sales through the app will go directly to vendors, says the charity.
“Our income largely comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we are losing our ability to directly provide them with a source on income,” said Big Issue Managing Director Russell Blackman.
“They desperately need our help and we have continued to adapt to the situation, by launching our new app.
Jonny Kaldor, Pugpig Chief Executive Officer added: “The app gives readers a way to pay for the magazine and help vendors at a time when being stuck at home would have otherwise made it almost impossible. I really hope this is just the beginning of what will become a valuable service for The Big Issue, both in the short term and for the future.”
Joe Wicks support
The app and digital magazine, is being promoted on social media by Youtube fitness coach Joe Wicks. He features on the cover of the first digital edition, which is now available.
“Since the Coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Big Issue vendors haven’t been able to sell on the streets. We need to ensure that, once this is all over, it’s still here to support vendors to earn a legitimate income and lift themselves out of poverty,’ said Wicks.
“One of the ways you can support right now is by downloading the new Big Issue app. I’m so proud and pleased to be the cover star of the first edition.”