The simple gift you can give to help the homeless this year

Laura Hampson
·2-min read
Over 14,000 rough sleepers were provided with emergency accommodation in May this year (Getty)
Over 14,000 rough sleepers were provided with emergency accommodation in May this year (Getty)

Christmas is a season of giving which, yes, means gifting presents to loved ones, but it’s also about giving to those most in need.

In a year when the UK entered a new recession due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic; as many as 8.9 million Brits were furloughed during the peak of the first lockdown and redundancies reached a record high between July and September, many have been left unexpectedly homeless.

Read more: How the COVID pandemic has changed the way we eat and drink

According to the government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency accommodation survey data, published in June this year, over 14,000 rough sleepers were provided with emergency accommodation in May alone.

Homeless charity Shelter estimates that, as of December 2019, there are 280,000 homeless people living in England.

In an interview with The Times, actor, royal and ambassador for The Big Issue, Sophie Winkleman urged people to take out subscription to the magazine sold by homeless or vulnerably housed people.

Winkleman said: “Half of the vendors have had to stop selling. We have to get people online to set up subscriptions to the magazine because it is so good.”

Read more: How the pandemic will change the way we buy clothes

According to The Big Issue’s Christmas appeal, 2020 has been the toughest year the organisation has faced.

“Our work with vendors is more vital, and more challenging, than at any time in our history,” the appeal read. “We are asking for your support to help us and help our vendors through the Covid-19 pandemic this Christmas.”

The best way to buy a subscription, which costs just £38.99 for three months of the print edition, is through your local vendor as they will receive 50% of the net proceeds.

But you don’t need to venture out to do so, you can buy a subscription from your local vendor from home, via The Big Issue’s local vendor finder tool, pop in your location and select your vendor.

It’s a win-win: a lovely Christmas present for you and for them.

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