Lee, Leeds city centre

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 47 years old and I’m originally from Blackpool. I’m pretty tall – six foot three. So I stand out in a crowd!

How long have you sold the magazine for?
I used to sell it years ago but then I stopped doing it for a long time. But my partner died about a year ago, which was really tough, and there were financial problems, so I started selling again a few months ago. 

Where do you live?
I’ve got a flat so that’s good, but I need extra money to pay bills and things, so selling the magazine tops up the money coming in to pay what I need to pay. And I really like selling the magazine. It’s a good way of making a bit of money.

Why did you first start selling the magazine?
When I first started selling Big Issue North many years ago, it was because of drug use, but I’m clean these days. I don’t use anymore. 

Do you have any family?
I don’t really. I have two kids but I don’t have contact with them. So I don’t have any family now that my partner has died. It’s just me.

What was your childhood like?
I was six foot when I was a kid but it didn’t really affect the way I was treated. I had a pretty good childhood. I was brought up by grandparents, but they died when I was young. So yeah, that was hard. 

Are you happy?
Not really, to be honest. I’m not very content. I just take things day by day. 

Do you have any plans for the future?
I don’t know yet. I’m still trying to figure things out. I was with my partner for 20 years and so when she died everything went to pot.

What do you do in your spare time?
I like playing computer games on my PS4 – racing games and shooting games. I don’t do much else. I just go home when I’m finished selling the magazine and that’s that really.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you for buying the magazine off me. It’s really nice talking to people and some are very generous, so thank you. It puts a smile on my face when people chat to me. 

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