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Paul McNamee: You heard our call and we thank you

Posted On: 30 Mar 2020   |   Posted By: The Big Issue

Things changed quickly. A matter of days ago, and it seems like a lifetime, we removed The Big Issue vendors from the streets of Britain. It was becoming clear, at incredible speed, that they were unsafe. The streets are tough enough at the best of times. When they're stalked by an invisible enemy that picks on the weakest, and your people have underlying problems putting them right in the crosshairs, you've got to act. And so, for the first time since John Bird wrestled this magazine into being 29 years ago, an edition didn't appear on the street. That was a hell of an emotional thing to happen.
But that was just the start. No time to rest and ponder. It precipitated a complete change in how we work. Our means of operation have been hardwired since day one. A hand up, not a handout. We create a magazine, we sell it to the marginalised people of Britain, the poorest, those who are most often neglected or ignored, they get it from us for half the cover price, then they sell for cover price. That's their...

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