Pugpig designs app for The Big Issue at no cost

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

The Big Issue has launched a new app and digital edition to maximise sales and support struggling vendors across the UK, which was created by London publishing platform Pugpig on a pro bono basis.

The app was officially launched by Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, who is the cover star of the first edition of the magazine to go live on the app. It offers existing and new readers a new way to access the award-winning weekly publication at this restricted time.

It also provides access to 'The Big Community', a curated channel designed to provide hope through positive and inspiring stories. This is a time when Big Issue vendors have had to stop selling the magazine, which for many is a financial lifeline, so increased revenue through a digital issue will support them.

The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices, with weekly issues available individually for £2.99 or via a subscription package which starts at £32.99 for three months. 50% of the net proceeds of magazine sales through the app will go directly to supporting Big Issue vendors at this critical time.

Joe Wicks said: “Since the Coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Big Issue vendors haven’t been able to sell on the streets. We need to ensure that, once this is all over, it's still here to support vendors to earn a legitimate income and lift themselves out of poverty.

“One of the ways you can support right now is by downloading the new Big Issue app. I’m so proud and pleased to be the cover star of the first edition."

Russell Blackman, MD at The Big Issue, said: “Our income largely comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we are losing our ability to directly provide them with a source on income. They desperately need our help and we have continued to adapt to the situation, by launching our new app.

“We are so pleased that we were able to work with the amazing team at Pugpig on the app so that new and existing readers are able to keep reading and supporting The Big Issue throughout this incredibly tough time. 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.”

Jonny Kaldor, CEO of Pugpig, said: “We were thrilled that The Big Issue asked us to help launch their digital edition and support such an important social enterprise. The app gives readers a way to pay for the magazine and help vendors at a time when being stuck at home would have otherwise made it almost impossible. I really hope this is just the beginning of what will become a valuable service for The Big Issue, both in the short term and for the future.”

Paul McNamee, Editor of The Big Issue, said: “We may not be on the streets for now but we are fighting on every front to allow readers the means by which to keep supporting The Big Issue and our vendors. Don’t hesitate, download the app today!  

“We want to be here for our vendors when this is all over. Please help us to make this a reality.”