Skip to main content

The Big Issue

Our mission is to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity, through self-help, social trading and business solutions.

The Big Issue offers people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income through selling a magazine to the public. Our vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face the myriad of problems associated with poverty and inequality. Vendors buy The Big Issue magazine for £1.25 and sell it for £2.50, meaning each seller is a micro-entrepreneur who is working, not begging. Therefore it is vitally important that buyers take their copy of the magazine when they pay for it.

The Big Issue Foundation established in 1995 is an independently funded registered charity, which works exclusively with the Big Issue vendors, connecting them to the vital support they need to enable them to rebuild their lives and determine their own pathways to a better future.

Working in areas such as employment, training, education and learning, health care, housing, and personal development, The Big Issue Foundation seeks to deliver positive outcomes by supporting vendors to access the appropriate service and support to meet their individual needs. The Big Issue Foundation addresses the fundamental issues attached to social and financial exclusion by working with individuals who have made the first step towards working themselves out of poverty through selling the magazine.

Since 1991, the magazine has helped over 92,000 vendors earn £115 million. There are currently around 1500 vendors, and last year alone we helped them to earn a total of £5.5 million. Currently the magazine is read by an estimated 379,195 people across the UK and circulates 82,294 copies every week.

Becoming a vendor is easy -

If you are:

  • Homeless or sleeping rough
  • In temporary accommodation
  • In danger of losing your home
  • Unemployed and/or facing financial crisis

You can begin selling immediately, and getting started couldn’t be simpler:

  • We have lots of pitches available, and produce a great magazine
  • You will receive free copies to get you started
  • We offer training and support to all new vendors

Being a vendor gives you the opportunity to earn some cash, meet new people and develop new skills, all whilst selling the world’s best known street paper.

We are based in Society of St James, 10 Southampton Street, Southampton, SO15 2ED  There are staff on hand to complete your initial assessment and provide guidance on pitches to sell from. We also have Big Issue staff conducting regular outreach within Southampton and the surrounding areas offering advice and guidance to all vendors. 




Who to contact

Contact Name
Kirsten Thomson
Contact Position
Area Manager South West
01202 314 261
07887 514519
Big Issue website
Charity number
Company number

Where to go

Society of St James
Southampton Street
SO15 2ED
Children's Centre Areas

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4pm
Time of day

Other Details


Referral required
Referral Details

Referral from services or self referrals welcome. 

A form of I.D is required if you are under 25

Share your feedback on this page ∇

Please provide feedback on our website. Try to include any constructive suggestions for improvements and we will do our best to incorporate them.

Back to top


Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this directory, we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors that have occurred. It is recommended that you always check with providers that their service or organisation meets your requirements. We offer an impartial service and we cannot recommend or endorse any providers listed.

Further information