Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Romania and I am 27 years old. I’ve sold Big Issue North for about eight years now.
How have things been lately?
Horrible! I live in Manchester but sell the magazine in Nantwich. The train strikes have really affected me because I’ve not been able to get to my pitch. The last strike was on a Saturday and that is one of my best sales days, but I had to spend the day at home instead. It’s okay if the strike is on a quiet day but when it’s on a busy day when you have to work, it’s very hard. I just hope things get back to normal soon so we don’t have to put up with these kind of things, especially in the run-up to Christmas when I really need to get to my pitch to earn some money.
Are you worried about the cost of living rises?
Oh my God! I have started to make cutbacks. There are things I used to buy that I just don’t buy anymore. I’m worried about the cost of things and I’ve been trying to save some money for the future but there’s no chance.
How did you feel about the death of the Queen last month?
It was a shock – well, not a shock because she was very old, but we have been so used to her being in our lives. I knew that when she died there would be a big change. If Charles has good intentions for the people, that will be fine. I know he’s got property in Romania – he has a house in a small village there. Romania used to have a royal family, but they were forced to leave by the Russians in the 1940s. They have sort of come back to Romania now, but the country is still a republic and they are not particularly famous in our country. Nothing like the Queen. No one will ever be like her.
When did you last visit Romania?
I’ve been back this year. I had some dental problems and it is cheaper to go to Romania to get help there than get treatment here.
Tell us about your family.
I have five children. I have twins and they are the youngest. They will be four in January. My eldest is 11 and he has started high school now. He’s been very busy and there’s a lot for him to learn but he’s doing well. It’s a new challenge for him. My husband used to be a delivery driver but it was so expensive paying for the petrol and the insurance that he had to give it up. He’s still looking for work now, but he’s going to start work in scrap metal, I think.
Do you have any other family?
My mum and dad live in Birmingham. I haven’t seen them in a while though. I’m hoping to go sometime soon but who knows. I guess I’ll have to wait to see.
What are your hopes for the future?
To be healthy and to be able to provide for my family. The most important thing these days is to stay healthy. The rest will follow.
Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you so much for your help and support. I wish them all good health and happiness.