The Big Issue Launches New App in Partnership With Pugpig to Support Vendors


From 16th April 2020,  The Big Issue, in partnership with a publishing platform, Pugpig, has launched a new app and digital edition to maximise sales and support vendors across the UK in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Big Issue app offers existing and new readers a fresh platform by which to access the award-winning weekly publication as well as access to “The Big Community”, a curated channel providing hope through positive and inspiring stories, focused on the people and businesses coming together in this crisis to support the most vulnerable in society – our Covid crusaders.

Joe Wicks, the cover star of the first edition of the magazine to go live on the app, has thrown his support behind the app by giving the magazine an exclusive interview.

Joe Wicks said: “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.

“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 that is available from today. I can’t urge you all enough to keep this awesome organisation alive by downloading it for free today and buying my digital edition for just £2.99 or subscribing for regular editions.”

Russell Blackman, MD, at The Big Issue, said: “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. They desperately need our help and we have continued to adapt to the situation, by launching our new app.

“We are so pleased that we were able to work with the amazing team at Pugpig on the app so that new and existing readers are able to keep reading and supporting The Big Issue throughout this incredibly tough time. The money raised will help to secure the future of the Magazine and make a real difference to the lives of our vendors around the country.”

Jonny Kaldor, CEO of Pugpig, said: “We were thrilled that The Big Issue asked us to help launch their digital edition and support such an important social enterprise. 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.”

Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “We may not be on the streets for now but we are fighting on every front to allow readers the means by which to keep supporting The Big Issue and our vendors. Don’t hesitate, download the app today!

“We want to be here for our vendors when this is all over. Please help us to make this a reality.”

The app, designed by the team at Pugpig at no cost to The Big Issue,  is free to download, and available on Apple Store and Google Play and will make the magazine accessible through weekly downloads at £2.99 for a copy or via subscriptions, starting from £32.99 for three months.

Of magazine sales through the app, 50% of the net proceeds, will go directly to supporting Big Issue vendors at this critical time. For more information visit

For more information, please contact Ruth Law, Group PR Manager, on E: / M: 07976 680181.

The Big Issue

  • The Big Issue is a social enterprise which exists to dismantle poverty through creating opportunities for people and communities.
  • The Big Issue is an award-winning weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine, which offers new hope for homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK.  In normal trading conditions, vendors buy magazines for £1.25 and sell to the public for £3, keeping the difference. In this way the magazine provides them with the means to earn a legitimate income.
  • Vendors come from a variety of backgrounds and face a range of issues, but all are experiencing the effects of poverty. Upon becoming a Big Issue vendor they receive training, are allocated a fixed pitch from which to vend, and must agree to adhere to a code of conduct whilst selling the magazine.
  • Since its launch in 1991, over 200 million copies of The Big Issue magazine have been sold by over 100,000 vulnerable people.
  • The Big Issue Foundation is the organisation’s charitable arm, which exists to link vendors with the vital support which will help them address the issues which have led or contributed to their circumstances. The Foundation works exclusively with vendors, offering support, advice and referrals.
  • Big Issue Invest extends The Big Issue’s mission by financing the growth of sustainable social enterprises and charities across the UK. Big Issue Invest offers loans and investment from £20,000 to £3 million. Since launching in 2005, we have invested in over 330 organisations, all of which have positively influenced the lives of people across the UK. We currently manage or advise £170 million of social funds. Created by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs, Big Issue Invest is the world’s first ‘Social Merchant Bank’ and a stead-fast champion of social enterprise. For more information go to:
  • For further information please go to