The Big Issue (TBI) has announced the appointment of Christopher Eccleston, George Clarke, Daniel Mays and Sophie Winkleman as official Big Issue Brand Ambassadors.
The stars of the screen have started their ambassadorships by calling on the public to urgently support the organisation and its network of vendors at a time of crisis by subscribing, buying a gift subscription from your local vendor or donating to an urgent Christmas Appeal.
Following the Government announcement that England would enter lockdown on Thursday 5th November, TBI has had to ask more than half of its 2,000 vendors to stop selling the magazine for the duration of the strict four-week national lockdown to halt the second wave of Coronavirus.
During the last lockdown, TBI was able to support vendors with payments over this period due to the incredible generosity of members of the public and businesses, enabling their Frontline team to work closely with vendors and offer emotional as well as financial support.
The organisation needs to be there for vendors again during this lockdown and is urgently asking for public support in the form of a donation to The Big Christmas Appeal, by taking out a subscription to the publication, or by buying Christmas gift subscriptions from your local vendor to purchase as gifts for their friends and family this Christmas.
Christopher Eccleston, who first appeared on the cover of The Big Issue in 1996, said: “I remember when it was launched. And to see something like The Big Issue born makes you proud. Because you feel like the social conscience of the nation is active…So the first thing I’d like to say as an Ambassador is that if you’ve always supported your vendor, in almost 30 years of The Big Issue’s existence, please continue to do so. Because it’s even worse now. And if it’s worse for you, you can only imagine how much worse it is for people living on the streets. We’ve got to get that message out there… I’ve been very moved and very touched to join The Big Issue. When I start thinking about this great creation that I’m becoming a small part of, it’s an honour.”
George Clarke said: “I accept it wholeheartedly. I’m so honoured to be a Big Issue Brand Ambassador. I wish we did not have the problem with homelessness in this country. I wish The Big Issue was not needed. But we have it. And it is. So I’m all in. And I’ll do it for the rest of my days, if they want me. It’s a lifetime commitment for me. Because the Big Issue very, very directly and very powerfully makes a difference.”
Daniel Mays, said: “I’m incredibly humbled to be asked to become an Ambassador for The Big Issue and help raise awareness for the incredible work the organisation does for homeless and vulnerable people in the UK. I’ve long been a huge admirer of the whole concept of supporting and championing people to run their own small business, but also the work the whole team at The Big Issue do behind the scenes, helping people with the fundamental issues that have brought them there in the first place.”
Sophie Winkleman, said: “I am honoured to come on board as a Big Issue Brand Ambassador. A helping hand should be available to anyone and everyone who finds themselves in the horrific predicament of being homeless. Having a certain number of The Big Issues to sell every week gives a person a sense of purpose, hope and self-esteem. There is nothing like The Big Issue and I believe it to be vital to the heart and soul of our country. If you can support the organisation at this time of need, please do think about donating to the appeal or buying a subscription to ensure that they are able to be there for the vendors this Christmas and beyond.”
Dr Sabrina Cohen- Hatton, who once sold the magazine in Newport as a teenager and is now a British firefighter, psychologist and writer has been a Big Issue Brand Ambassador since 2019, added: “It is so important that, during these incredibly testing times, we support people who need it. Big Issue vendors are not only suffering a loss of income but a lack of the same level of interaction with their customers has not only made it difficult to meet their most basic needs but has taken a toll on their mental health. If you can support the vendors whilst times are so tough, please do buy a gift subscription, subscribe or donate to The Big Christmas Appeal. They need our support, now, more than ever.”
Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “It’s an absolute privilege to have our Ambassadors shouting from the rooftops for The Big Issue at what is the most challenging time in our history. With the vast majority of our vendors unable to sell, we once again urgently need your support to survive and be there for our vendors beyond Christmas. Please subscribe, buy a gift subscription from your local vendor, subscribe or donate to The Big Christmas Appeal, to enable us to be there for our vendors, both now and in the future.”
You can support The Big Christmas Appeal by making a one-off or regular donation, or by subscribing in print or digital for 3, 6 or 12 months – visit www.bigissue.com/support and show your support for vulnerable people this Christmas. You can buy a subscription direct from a select number of vendors, to find out more, visit www.bigissue.com/vendors/.