Why do you sell the magazine?
I’ve been selling the magazine on and off for 11 years. I suffer with my back and find it hard to get other work and I can’t just sit at home all day doing nothing, I would be bored. Selling the magazine gives me something to do in the morning. And I love the people here. I’ve had this pitch so long I know virtually everybody. I am right next to a door into the back of Marks and Spencer, so I spend a lot of time holding open the door for customers. It’s a pretty stiff door, and I was brought up in the generation that if you see someone struggling, you help them out.
‘If you see someone struggling, you help them out’
Where are you from originally?
I come from the West Midlands but I love Sheffield. There’s just something about it. This is my home now. It does me good being up here.
Where are you living?
I’m currently have a room in a house, but I would like to have my own place one day. But when I get one I want to make sure I can afford to live there and get things like a phone and the internet. That’s my main priority. Getting a house and getting my teeth done. It’s hard to get a dentist here but I need to get them sorted.
How old are you?
I’m not old – 45 – but I’m getting older. My priorities have changed now. It used to be all about me when I was taking drugs. But I’ve been clean for over five years now.
How long did you use for?
I first used when I was about 12. It started with cannabis, and then I got into clubbing. I used to be really good at dancing and used to get paid to dance at raves. It was fantastic. But there were a lot of drugs about. And one day, when I was 19, a mate of mine brought some gear [heroin] back – no one knew what it was. The hit I got was like using weed the first time. It super chills you out and it was like wow. So I got some the next day, some the next day and went on for about a week and that it was it then. I was hooked. We didn’t know at the time how bad it would be coming off it. If I knew what I knew now, I would have never have touched it. I could never find proper work and stuff like that when I was on it.
What was the hardest thing about giving it up?
I honestly didn’t find it that hard doing without it. But the thing I found hard was that I had some money in my pocket, and I didn’t know what to spend it on. It took me a bit to get used to spending money on anything other than drugs. Like if I needed a pair of jeans, and I saw some in the shops for £30, I’d think: “I’ll get them later.” It’s weird because I would not have thought twice about spending £30 on drugs.
What do you do in your spare time?
I play on my computer. I’m waiting for Destiny Two to come out at the moment. It’s a first-person shooter. And I love Warframe. It’s amazing – you can download it for free. It keeps me going. That’s my life at the moment, my computer.
Do you have a message for your customers?
Big love and respect to everybody. Thank you.