Vicky, Town Hall, Sheffield

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 50 years old and I currently live in Bridlington, but I stay with my boyfriend Terry when I’m selling the magazine here in Sheffield. I go back to Brid now and again for a few days for doctor’s appointments and things.

How long have you sold Big Issue North for?
I’ve only been doing it about a month. It’s going fine. I’m really enjoying it. I love meeting new friends and meeting new people every time I come out. It’s building my confidence up because that was shot from past relationships. I’m getting back on my feet and Big Issue North is really helping me. I come out and sell four days a week at the moment and might move to five. I’ve got a few regular customers and I’m getting to know people more and more.

Why did you start selling the magazine?
It was actually Terry’s idea. He’s a Big Issue North vendor himself in Sheffield. I was struggling with some of my bills, and he suggested coming to do it. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to, but I had a word with the office in Sheffield and Terry said that he could train me up to do it. 

Are you from Yorkshire?
No, I was born in Manchester, in Moss Side. I left when I first got married in 1989. Bridlington is okay, but not as good as it used to be. It’s gone downhill a lot in recent times. I’m hoping to move to Doncaster soon. 

What was it like growing up in Moss Side?
When I was there, it was very rough. You couldn’t go down the street on your own. I was threatened on my way to school once by someone with a machete. Yeah, it was bad. I haven’t been back since. Since I left I don’t want to go back. There are too many bad memories there. 

What makes you happy?
Good question! Our dog Roxy. And I’ve got a cat at Terry’s which I had to bring over from Bridlington to look after. The cat is called Nala, named after the character in The Lion King. The two of them just ignore each other.

What makes you sad?
Being name-called, which happened when I first started selling the magazine. Some of the other vendors just didn’t like me doing it and they put me down and all sorts. I’ve not had any trouble since though. 

How did you meet Terry?
I met him on a dating site. He’s very cheeky and that’s what attracted me to him. Without him I’d be stuck where I was. I’m engaged to him now. We got engaged last year after he proposed to me. 

When are you getting married?
Ha! You’ll have to ask Terry about that! 

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