Carol, Worksop

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How has 2020 been so far?
Not so good. I broke my humerus, which wasn’t funny, and I spent five days in hospital back in May. Then I had three trapped nerves and that means I have trouble with my left hand. Luckily I am right handed. 

How did you break your arm?
I had a fall in my flat. It hurt a lot. Luckily I now live in sheltered accommodation so I just had to pull the cord and ask for an ambulance.

‘Liver and onions was my favourite meal. My mum cooked it well’

Are you still selling the magazine?
I have been trying to but without much success, which is to do with this Covid. It’s just dead. None of my regulars are about – one or two people, but not many at all. It’s disheartening, especially when I have two buses to catch to get here and then there’s no one about anyway. It’s just when I am out and trying to sell, people don’t even say: “No, thank you.” They have what I call selective hearing. It’s because you see different people out, different to the people you normally see. But I know that’s the same for a lot of vendors. 

Have you been feeling safe from Covid?
When I went into hospital I didn’t have Covid but when I came home I had another test and I was positive. I didn’t have any symptoms but I did self-isolate when I came out of hospital. And I was lucky because I have been in hospital in the past with COPD and the flu so I was a high risk.

What was the worst thing about not being able to sell the magazine?
Just not going out and meeting people. I didn’t really miss the money, but I missed my regular customers. 

What did you do during lockdown for entertainment?
Well, I couldn’t do any crocheting, because of my hand, which is how I would normally keep myself busy, so I just watched a lot of television and I did some puzzles.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m thinking about packing in selling the magazine when it comes to Christmas. I’m going to see how things go on. I’m 63 now and I could do something else instead of selling to get out and about. Maybe I could volunteer in a charity shop or something. 

Are you happy?
At this moment in time, no, because I am not selling magazines like I used to do and I am getting a bit discouraged by the non-answers and people being rude.

What’s your favourite food?
One thing would be liver and onions, because that was my favourite meal growing up. My mum cooked it really well. I still cook it sometimes, but it makes me shudder to think about raw liver. And I don’t make it as well as my mum used to. 

Do you have a message for your customers?
It’s a message for customers and people who don’t buy the magazine – please help to support your local vendor.

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Big Issue North during the Coronavirus pandemic

Following the announcement of a full national lockdown from Thursday 5th November, our vendors are once again unable to sell Big Issue North and earn an income.

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. Donate to our hardship fund
  2. Buy the magazine online or from Sainsbury’s, Co-Op, McColl’s or Booths
  3. Subscribe to Big Issue North or The New Issue or do some Christmas shopping on our shop

Every donation makes a difference.