How did you first hear about Big Issue North?
I first heard about the magazine when I was homeless. This was about six or seven years ago now. It helped me get a job, so I stopped selling it. But sadly the job I was at, the business went bankrupt and so I was unemployed again. It is a vicious circle really. That’s why I came back to selling the magazine.
How has this job improved your life?
Me and my dog Bumper are indoors virtually every night, whereas before I was out on the streets.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I am not sure what I’m going to be doing in five years’ time, but I do have plans to go back to college in the future and start my education again. But I must make ends meet, so right now I am just focused on earning money by selling the magazine.
Do you enjoy selling Big Issue North?
I really do as it allows me to speak to new people every day, but the most important thing is that my dog really enjoys it as it allows him to get out and meet new people. Customers are always stopping to play with him. He also does a lot of walking around and he seems to enjoy that a lot.
What is the most annoying thing about the job?
It would have to be the abuse you get from people. People walking by have hit me and spat on me before just for asking them to buy a magazine. This happens quite often – I’d say about once a week. It really does get annoying but you’re not allowed to retaliate.
When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
I spend my time playing with the dog. He takes up all my time. A walk in the morning, then we come to my pitch in the afternoon and then a walk in the evening to keep him happy.
Owen Colclough and Lucy Woods are students at Xaverian College, Manchester