Official vendors of The Big Issue, the magazine supporting work with people facing homelessness, will now be instantly recognisable thanks to new, distinctive bags provided by Barclays.
In addition to serving the practical purpose of carrying the magazine, the bags are being introduced to reduce the number of fraudulent vendors operating under the guise of official sellers, an increasing problem in the UK.
Lisa Kennedy, head of community relations at Barclays, said: "The Big Issue does a fantastic job in enabling homeless people to earn an income. This is a key step towards getting them back into society’s mainstream, and we are very proud to support this project."
Jim Richards, business development manager for The Big Issue said: "The bags will be a guarantee to people that they are dealing with an official vendor – someone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness, who has undergone a training session with the Big Issue and who, most importantly, has signed the vendor code of conduct."
Barclays is initially providing funding for approximately 2,000 bags, one for each vendor in England and Wales. The bags bear the slogan, ‘Street trade not street aid’ and complement The Big Issue badge that official vendors wear around their neck.