Ramona, Manchester

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 32 years old and I have sold the magazine for a long time – 13 years.

Why do you sell Big Issue North?
I like selling magazines to make money for my children. 

‘I want my kids to grow up healthy and happy – that’s why I am here’

Tell us about your family.
I have ten children. The eldest is 15 and the youngest is two and a half. I come from a very big family. My mum had 16 children. So I also always wanted a big family. 

What was your childhood like?
My childhood was very good, thank you to God. I grew up in Romania. I had a large family around me – many cousins, aunties and uncles. I lived with my brothers and sisters in a fairly big house. 

When did you come to the UK?
I came to England in 2007. Like other people I came here to try and make a living so I could give a better life to my children. I am very pleased that I did that. I have sorted out permanent residency for me and my children. It’s very important that people have done that. The office has encouraged and helped me to do it. 

What do you hope for in your life?
I want my kids to grow up healthy and happy because that’s why I am here and why I am working. All my kids are in school and I hope they will do well in life.

Do your children speak English with you at home?
At home my children speak Romani, Romanian and English. They do sometimes speak English to me but I can’t always understand them. 

What was life during the lockdowns like for you?
It was very very difficult. Like everyone else, we couldn’t work, we couldn’t sell the magazines and the children were all at home. 

How does it feel to be back on your pitch?
It’s like being in paradise! It’s amazing that everything is opening up – the schools and the shops – and that I am able to sell the magazine. I just hope they do not lock us down again! 

How long have you been married for?
14 years.

How did you meet your husband?
Ha! God gave him to me! He is a good man. 

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you for purchasing the magazine. They are helping me in many ways. They are beautiful people.

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