Andy, John Lewis, Sheffield

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It’s been a while since we last spoke, Andy. What’s going on?
I’ve got life going on, that’s what. I’ve still got my flat. Been there for two years now. I’m keeping on top of bills and that. I’m in the black, which is a good thing. We’re liking that. And I’ve got a relationship going on. That’s a new development in my life. We’ll see how that pans out. 

‘Sheffield’s a very caring city. I’m proud to be from here’

What’s been the highlight of 2018?
The World Cup. It was a good football tournament all round though England got a bit over-rated. I don’t think they were that good.

What does Christmas mean to you?
Family, love and happiness and, above all, Jesus! Ha! I mean, I am sort of a religious person. Jesus existed whether he was just a man before his time or something. I don’t know. 

What will Christmas day be like with you?
I’m off to my parents in Lincoln. Christmas Day, I’ll get up, open presents when all the family are up. I’m always first up. I’ll get some sweets off my mum so I’ll be eating those before breakfast. Last year there were eight of us, but it’s going to be quiet this year. My sister is in Bristol now – she’s a paramedic. I’d like to visit her next year. 

What’s your favourite Christmas song?
Last Christmas by Wham. That’s going to be a big one this year, because George Michael died last year, didn’t he? Oh actually, the one I really like is by Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?

If you could have a Christmas wish, what would it be?
To spend one more day with my nan. She was a queen and I miss her a lot.

When was your best ever Christmas?
When I was a kid. It was fantastic, until I found out that Santa wasn’t real. I saw my dad sneaking into my room with a plastic bag with the presents. I was devastated. I was about eight, I think. 

When was your worst ever Christmas?
Oh, in prison! That’s not the best. It was a long time ago though, and it could have been worse. I could have been on the streets. It must be awful. There shouldn’t be any homeless around, but at least in Sheffield there are a lot of services about to try and help people.

What do you like about Sheffield?
It’s a very caring city. I’m proud to be from here. Some places have got nothing going on for homeless people. Some countries have got nothing! 

You’re in the 2019 Big Issue North calendar, aren’t you?
I am indeed! It shows what we like to do in our spare time. I like doing art and I’m really into colour. Especially blue and white. 

Why blue and white?
Sheffield Wednesday! 

What are you plans for next year?
2019? Keep the punters keen! Hopefully continue as I am. Try and stay on top of everything. If I can end every year happy, it’s good for me. 

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you to everybody who stops and talks. It means a lot. A little hello can make a big difference. 

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