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Big Issue Foundation to close as part of organisational merger

02 Jun 2023 News

Rob sells The Big Issue outside Waitrose on Marylebone High Street

The Big Issue Group has announced it will be merging its company frontline sales operation with the Big Issue Foundation into a new community interest company (CIC). 

The Big Issue Foundation’s staff will be transferred to the new Big Issue Changing Lives CIC, with support staff in fundraising and finance set to move to the Big Issue Company. 

No redundancies will be made as a result of the process. 

During the pandemic the two teams worked as one, and Big Issue said it believes its work will be best delivered under a combined team. 

Big Issue states the new CIC will improve ways of working and enable it to help more people affected by poverty and homelessness. 

‘Our responsibility is to steward the foundation’ 

Alison Newman, Big Issue Foundation chair, said: “It has been an absolute privilege to lead the Foundation for the last five years and I am indebted to my fellow trustees and staff, who have created a strong and effective organisation that has grown its services whilst making a profound difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society.  

“As trustees our responsibility is to steward the Foundation to the best of our abilities. The landscape has changed significantly over recent years forcing us to think hard about the optimal way to support vendors. After extensive conversations with Big Issue Group over recent months, we have agreed to move towards a new chapter for vendor support and we are proud that we pass the Foundation onto the CIC in such good shape.” 

The Big Issue Foundation was registered in 1995 and works directly with Big Issue vendors to give them a pathway out of homelessness and poverty.  

According to the foundation’s accounts ending March 2022, its total income was £1.7m. 

Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue, said: “We are indebted to the Big Issue Foundation, its trustees, CEOs, and staff, past and present, for the fantastic commitment they have given to all of the vendors it has worked with and supported over the last 28 years.

“It has provided us with an amazing platform with which to begin the next stage of our journey for vendors and others. This new structure brings together the incredibly talented and dedicated teams that both support and fundraise for our vendors.” 

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