By John Barn, News and Mags Manager

I’m excited to announce that from today, customers will be able to temporarily purchase The Big Issue in all our stores. This award-winning magazine was established in 1991 as a social enterprise which exists to dismantle poverty by creating opportunities, through self-help, social trading and business solutions.

The Big Issue vendors often come from many different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common – every day, they experience the devastating effects of poverty. By selling the big Issue, they’re able to earn an income from their sales, and get access to support and help from the Big Issue Group.

As you might have seen in the news, vendors had to stop selling the magazine on the streets with immediate effect in March for the foreseeable future. For many, this essential lifeline has seen their income vanish overnight.

We’re incredibly proud to be selling the magazine on behalf of The Big Issue and the thousands of vendors across the country. This is the first time in its 29-year history that the magazine is temporarily being sold in stores. Vendors will continue to receive 50% of the net proceeds as per the current practise, whilst the other 50% will help enable Big Issue to continue its vital work with vendors and secure the future of the magazine.

Russell Blackman, MD, The Big Issue, said: “Our income comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we cannot support those that really need us now and in the future.

“We are delighted with the support from the Co-op, which operates at the heart of communities across the UK. 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.

You can pick up the magazine in all Co-op stores now, or you can purchase a three-month subscription online to receive the weekly magazine direct to your door.