TRURO town crier Lionel Knight visited the city’s Big Issue sellers on Wednesday (September 23) to show his support for magazine and its vendors.

The Big Issue, which offers homeless and vulnerably housed people across the UK a means by which to earn a legitimate income, took the decision to safeguard its network of vendors and the public by asking that they stop selling on streets across the whole of the UK with immediate effect on March 20.

On Monday, July 6, Big Issue vendors returned eagerly to their pitches to sell the magazine for the first time since lockdown.

The Big Issue had taken measures including the provision of extensive PPE, contactless card payment equipment where possible and magazines being coated with an anti-microbial product. The organisation also introduced stringent health and safety procedures in all distribution offices to ensure vendors’ and customers safety remained paramount.

Mr Knight said he wanted to help local vendors and has volunteered to visit local vendors across Truro.

He said: “Thank you all for supporting our local shops and businesses here. But don’t forget about our Big Issue sellers. They need our support as well.

"They are here every day. We know times aren’t good at the moment but please do buy a magazine off them.

"They also need to live. Last year myself, the ex-Mayor and managers of major stores tried selling The Big Issue for one hour. It’s not so easy so please support them and buy a magazine off them."

Nick Cuthbert, who sells the magazine outside M&S at Lemon Quay in Truro, said: “Having the town crier on my pitch is great to promote The Big Issue and hopefully increase sales. At the moment we are relying on the tourists; 70 to 80 per cent of regular customers we see are still self-isolating.

"I am dreading winter, if it carries on like this and everyone keeps self- isolating. It’s hard enough as it is and it will be even harder this winter I think.”

Andrew Gilbody, who sells the magazine outside Wilko, said: “The town crier is the face of the town and I feel supported in these tough times.”

Steve Carter, team leader for Devon and Cornwall at The Big Issue, said: “We are very lucky to have the support from the public and our great agency here in Truro.

"Having the local town crier here with us today brought some great awareness for us and our local vendors and working alongside Dani and her team made it all an enjoyable and entertaining hour for the public especially during these testing times.”

Falmouth Packet:

Big Issue Entrepreneur Dani and team member. Picture: The Big Issue

Another local hero, entrepreneur Dani Wills, also wanted to support Big Issue sellers from her area.

She runs a local craft business and has donated handmade face masks.

Dani said: “I made 10,274 facemasks with my team and gave them away to vendors and the public. Any donations that I get go into making more masks. I was so pleased to join The Big Issue this morning.”

Big Issue vendors have returned to selling the magazine across the country.

However, with footfall significantly lower on many high streets, Big Issue vendors need your support now, more than ever.

Support them by buying a copy of the magazine or, if you don’t have a local vendor, you can support The Big Issue by downloading the app, available on Apple Store and Google Play, or subscribe online.