Ionuț, Tesco, Goole

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 25 years old and I have been selling Big Issue North for about three years. I am from Romania and there my name is very common. In English my name would be Johnny. Previously, I was selling the magazine in Normanton but I have just started selling on a new pitch in Goole. 

Why did you change pitches?
A previous vendor who had been selling in Normanton a long time ago came back and asked if they could sell on that pitch again. I agreed to move because they are well known there, and I have respect for them. It’s okay. I am quite good at selling the magazine and the people in Goole are very good people. I try to be happy and show that people can approach me and talk to me. I smile and be nice. 

Tell us about your family.
I have two children – a girl who is two and a boy who is five. I live with my wife and our two children in Leeds. My children enjoyed Halloween and decorated the house for that. 

What do you like most about Leeds?
I love Leeds! It is a good place. Everything is good here. The people are very nice. Everyone is a friend. We have lived here since we came to the UK from Romania three years ago. 

Why did you come to the UK?
I came here for a good life for my children. My children go to school here. I am very happy that they can learn in this country. Romania is good but only if you have money to spend there. It is no good if you do not have money. You work hard for nothing at all there. 

What do you do in your spare time?
I do not have a lot of spare time. I have two jobs. One is selling the magazine. I am on my pitch on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday. I enjoy selling the magazine and would not want to stop doing that. It gives me money for my kids so that I can give them a good life. But I also work for a pizza place part time. I work very hard for my children. 

What makes you happy?
If I see my children happy, then I am happy – seriously. 

Do you have any other family?
My mum and dad live in Germany and I have brothers and sisters there as well. I have one sister in the UK. I have six brothers and two sisters. My mother was very busy! But it is good to have children, I think.

What do you hope for in the future?
That my children have a good life. Maybe they could grow up to be doctors. That would be very good. My son speaks very good English. He speaks better English than me already. We speak English at home. He doesn’t really speak any Romanian because he started to learn to talk here in England. 

Do you have a message for your customers?
Please come and say hello to me and buy the magazine. It would be good to meet you. I am very happy to be in Goole. It is a friendly place and people seem very nice. 

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