Cornel, Co-op, Outwood, Wakefield

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from Romania but I have lived in the UK for nine years. I am 37 years old. Life in Romania is very different. There is no work there.

How long have you been selling Big Issue North for?
I have been selling the magazine for about two months. I need to change my life for me and my family. I want it to be better.

What work have you done in the past?
I’ve done agency work but it is difficult. I call them and sometimes there is work, sometimes not, and it feels like I am wasting my time. It’s not a regular income. I have a family and I have to look after them. I have to pay for the rent, to pay my bills. And it’s not just the money. I feel better when I go to work every day, no matter what money I make. That is better than sitting at home waiting for agency work. 

Tell us a bit about your family.
I was married when I was 19. We fell in love. My wife is a good woman. She also sells the magazine. We have three children and the eldest is 19, the youngest is four. The eldest is now in college. 

What are your plans for 2020?
I just want my children’s life to be better.

Are you worried about Brexit?
For my children, it is better in the UK so I am worried a little about Brexit. Ask me again in a couple of years. It’s hard to know what will happen now. 

What do you do in your spare time?
Sometimes I listen to music. I can also play the accordion. I used to play on my pitch sometimes, but someone broke into my car a couple of weeks ago and stole my instrument. I told the police but there was no CCTV nearby and they said there was nothing they could do. 

What makes you happy?
My family. People make me happy. I already have some good customers in Wakefield on my pitch. They are good people. They are very nice to me there. 

What makes you sad?
I am not sad. This is not a good feeling. I want to be happy all the time. Life is better when you are happy. 

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you for looking after me. I hope you have a good new year. 

Interact: Responses to Cornel, Co-op, Outwood, Wakefield

  • Michael
    14 Feb 2020 09:54
    I have seen Cornel often at Outwwood Co-op.I always try to speak to him and loved his accordian playing.Always a smile on his face and I feel really upset that his instrument waa stolen.Is there anyway that we could find /get him another?

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