Big Issue launches first Christmas appeal film to highlight plight of vendors


The Big Issue has launched its first ever Christmas appeal film to help raise awareness of the need to support its network of magazine vendors who are facing an unprecedented period of hardship this winter.

The film features Big Issue vendor Martin McKenzie, who compares his experiences before the coronavirus pandemic with the emptier streets that he faces when out selling the magazine in present times.

It also features a voiceover from actor Christopher Eccleston, who is a Big Issue ambassador.

He said: “There has never been a moment when visibility and clarity of message has been more important.

“The homelessness crisis we currently face in the UK is a serious problem. I hope this Christmas appeal will make people think and importantly help, however they can.”

Mr McKenzie, who sells the magazine in Finsbury Park, London, said: “2020 has been trying for me but thanks to The Big Issue, I have been able to keep my head above water.

“The filming made me feel like a real celebrity. This has all been a great experience.”

The film will be seen across Big Issue social channels and asks the audience to support The Big Christmas Appeal by making a one-off or regular donation, or by subscribing in print or digital.

Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “We hope that people take the time to watch this wonderful film, which gives us all a small insight into how tough 2020 has been for our vendors.

“Martin’s story is very moving and we hope it will motivate people to show an act of social kindness and donate to the appeal, subscribe or buy the magazine or a gift subscription from a local vendor to enable us to be there for our vendors, both now and in the future.”