Darius, Liverpool city centre

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 40 years old. I have sold Big Issue North for three years and I am from a small town in Poland.

Do you have any family?
I have a brother and a sister here. They live in Preston. And I have two sisters in Italy. My mother lives in Poland. I haven’t seen her for three years. It is difficult for me to travel because I am always having to go to the doctors and take medicine.

Why is that?
I am very sick. I am diabetic. I have lost sight in one eye and I have a cataract in the other. I have had three operations on my stomach. My sugar levels change a lot. Sometimes they are very high, sometimes very low.

Do you like selling the magazine?
Yes. Every day I like the contact that I have with people. Some people are nice but some people say no to me. The weekends are the best times to sell the magazine.

What do you do in your spare time?
I am a poet, I write my poetry in Polish. My poetry is about my life and homelessness. I also go to school three days a week to learn English and maths. I like reading. I try to read in English. I try to practice, practice, practice. I also love fishing. And I like going to the gym to keep fit, and swimming, cycling and climbing. I try to look after myself. I do not take drugs or drink alcohol.

Where do you live?
I live in Bootle. It is a good place. It has many good things like shops, a bank and a GP.

What do you think of Liverpool?
I love Liverpool. I love the music, the churches and the people here. But there are a lot of problems with drugs and alcohol in the city. You see a lot of homeless people. The other day I saw a pregnant woman sitting in the street. It hurts my heart to see so many homeless people. Everyday, I try to help with food, drinks and clothes. I make a thermos of tea and coffee in my home every morning and I take it with me to give out to people. I love people. I want to help and do what I can.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you.

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