News

'We're needed more than ever': Big Issue's work has helped millions affected by poverty in last year

The annual Big Issue Group Impact Report showed Big Issue vendors collectively earned £4m through selling the magazine in 2023

Big Issue vendors visited Downing Street to hand in a petition – signed by 11,910 members of the public – urging Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to act on the housing crisis. Credit: Gemma Day

Big Issue Group’s (BIG) work reached 9.6 million people in 2023 signalling a stark rise in reach, support and engagements with its services as Brits continue to be trapped in an ongoing poverty crisis.

The annual Big Issue Group Impact Report showed a 24% increase in the number of people reached by the organisation’s work. The group is hoping to reach 11 million people at the end of 2026.

That’s against a backdrop of rising poverty across the UK with more people needing support for escalating mortgages, rent costs, energy bills and food prices.

More than one in five people are now in poverty in the UK and 3.8 million people are reportedly living in destitution in 2022, including around one million children. This is almost two-and-a-half times the number of people in 2017. 

One of the country’s leading social enterprises and B Corps, the Big Issue is continuing to come up with innovative solutions to the crisis to change lives through enterprise.

Paul Cheal, CEO of the Big Issue Group, said: “Our enterprising solutions to support people in poverty, be it direct or through our work with other organisations, are making a real difference to people’s lives.

“Whether through our work with vendors, our social investments, our person-centred recruitment service, or the impact of our campaigning, we’re determined to unlock social and economic opportunities that help millions endure the poverty crisis the UK is currently facing.  

“We’d like to thank those who have supported us, be it readers, partners or investors. This report demonstrates that our work is needed more than ever.”  

The impact report showed selling the Big Issue magazine remains an enterprising solution for people facing poverty to generate an income.

A total of 913 people sold the magazine for the first time in 2023, and £4m was collectively earned by vendors across the UK, an 8% increase on 2022. 

In addition, there was a 57% increase in the number of people reading the Big Issue’s journalism online. In total, 7.9 million unique users sought out Big Issue exclusives on issues impacting people feeling the bite of the cost of living crisis, from energy price fluctuations to universal credit changes

Big Issue Group’s social investment arm, Big Issue Invest (BII), improved the lives of 1.5 million people through the 140 purpose-driven organisations they’ve invested in. BII backs passionate social entrepreneurs to deliver projects that work for their communities, with around £45m of assets under its management in 2023, a 20% growth on last year. 

Big Issue Recruit (BIR) also supported 229 individuals on their journey to employment. BIR is dedicated to finding sustainable employment for people who face barriers to finding work, such as people struggling with their mental health and placed 85 people into new job opportunities in 2023. 

Head here to read the full report and find out how you can support us today.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
AI in schools: Bullies using AI to create sexually explicit images of classmates, parents warned
Artificial Intelligence

AI in schools: Bullies using AI to create sexually explicit images of classmates, parents warned

'Get a grip' and act on reality, not prejudice, MP Liam Fox tells his Tory colleagues
Liam Fox
Politics

'Get a grip' and act on reality, not prejudice, MP Liam Fox tells his Tory colleagues

Why the general election could and should be fought on the frontier of poverty
Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner on the first day of the general election campaign
General election 2024

Why the general election could and should be fought on the frontier of poverty

From the NHS to levelling up: Here are all the broken promises after 14 years of Tory rule
General Election 2024

From the NHS to levelling up: Here are all the broken promises after 14 years of Tory rule

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know