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It's in the bag for the Big Issue

Barclays is initially providing funding for approximately 2000 bags, one for each Big Issue vendor in England and Wales. The bags are easily recognisable thanks to their bright colour and their “Street trade not street aid” slogan. They will be a useful and higher visibility complement to the Big Issue badge that official vendors wear around their neck. Jim Richards, Business Development Manager for the Big Issue said: “The bags will be a guarantee to anyone buying the Big Issue 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.” Kirstie Robbie, Head of UK Community Relations for 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.” The bags have been designed with practicality in mind: they are completely waterproof, are big enough to hold issues of the magazine, food, drink and clothing and have reflective strips for safety. They are expected to be available for distribution among Big Issue vendors by the end of January 2007.