Craig, Boots, Hull

Hero image

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 40 and from Hull, born and bred. 

What’s Hull like?
It’s dying a bit now. It was the City of Culture a couple of years ago, but it feels like that has been and gone. There are shops closing in central Hull and some main streets are just dead now. It is a good community though. 

How long have you been selling Big Issue North for?
For about two or three months now, so I am just getting used to the game, building up my pitch. It’s going OK. It was tedious to start with, but I’m getting there. 

Do you enjoy it?
I do. I’m out socialising with people now. I have isolated myself a lot in the past. I have had a bad couple of years really, but I’m on the way up now.

Where are you living at the moment?
I’m living in a hostel. It’s all right. I’ve got my own room. It’s like a self-contained flat really. It could be a lot worse. 

‘I wanted better for myself. I have three kids I need to provide for’

How did you end up there?
I was living on the streets after I split up from my wife three years ago. I was in and out of prison for a couple of years after that and into drugs. But I am clean now, thank god. It was a bit of hard work, it took me a while, but I’m getting there. It’s hard getting clean, staying clean. But I got fed up of living the life of an addict every day. I had had enough. I wanted better for myself and I have three kids who I need to provide for. I don’t see them right now, but that will change one day. 

What work have you done in the past?
I’m a joiner by trade. I worked for the city council for five years when I was younger. And then I met my wife, got married, settled down and stayed at home as a house husband for 10 years. While my wife went to work, I stayed at home and looked after the kids. So it was a bit of a shock when we split up. It was a big loss. 

What do you hope for in the future?
To settle down again, with my own place. To have contact with my kids again – that’s the main thing. My eldest was 18 last month. I see him now and again in town. And I don’t really talk to my own family much, my mum and dad. I need to sort that out. That’s another goal. Now I’m clean I hope they will welcome me back into the family. I lost contact when I was using. I didn’t want to be around them, didn’t want them to see me in that state. 

What makes you happy?
Life, really. I was very glum last year. I made a couple of suicide attempts. It just felt like there was no hope. But then I moved into the hostel I am in now and I have sorted myself out since I have been there. It’s been a step in the right direction. At the end of the day you get out what you put in to life. I have a bit of hope now that I will get back to where I used to be.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thanks – and please support your local vendor! 

Interact: Responses to Craig, Boots, Hull

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.
Close

Big Issue North during the Coronavirus pandemic

We have taken the difficult decision to tell our vendors that they cannot sell Big Issue North on the streets during the Coronavirus pandemic, for the safety of the public and themselves.

This is a serious emergency for our vendors, and they need your help. There are three things you can do right now to help them get through this impossibly tough period.

  1. Buy our digital issue of this week’s magazine Buy
  2. Donate to our hardship fund, which we’ll use to help vendors in the most urgent need Donate
  3. Buy subscriptions and back issues online Shop Now