Marcela, Horwich

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 23 years old and I have sold Big Issue North for about five years. I enjoy selling the magazine. It’s a good thing for me. I do not have the possibility to find a different job because I have two children and I do not have a husband.

‘I want my children to have a normal life, to go to college, get jobs’

How old are your children?
They are eight and nine. I was very young when I had my children. It’s always been just me and my mum looking after them. I am divorced. My ex-husband lives in Romania. He is a good man but it is impossible for us to be together because he stays in Romania and it is better that I am here.

Where do you live?
I live in Gorton with my children and my mum. I travel to Horwich on the bus – it’s quite a long way. It costs about £20 to travel to my pitch but it is worth the trip.

Tell us a bit about your mum.
She is a good woman. She has five children. She sells the magazine and also cleans other people’s houses. We take it in turns to work and to look after the children.

What are your hopes for your children’s future?
I just want them to have a normal life, to go to school, go to college, get jobs and just be like any other English person. They enjoy school, which is very good.

What was your childhood like?
My childhood was okay. I grew up partly in Romania and partly in England. I was something like ten years old when we first came here but then I went back to Romania and then came back to England again. But now I stay here. This is my home. I prefer it here because my children can go to a good school here and there is work. It’s nice here.

What’s life like in Romania?
Life is hard – it’s no good. The schools are not as good as here and there are no jobs there.

How has the last year been?
So difficult! During the pandemic, when I wasn’t able to sell the magazine, I also went to clean homes to earn some money, but I prefer to sell the magazine.

What do you hope for in your life?
At the moment I do not have time to think about my life but when my children are grown up I would just like to find a normal job and live in a house and have a normal life.

What makes you happy?
My children.

What makes you sad?
When my children are unhappy. When I do not have money to buy the things we need or the things my children want.

What do you do in your spare time?
I do not have a lot of spare time. But I like to go to the park and play with my children. I love to cook at home and we all go to church as well. That is very important to us.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you so much for coming to buy the magazine from me! I know that my customers were very worried about me when I could not sell the magazine because of lockdown and they always look after me when I am on my pitch.

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