Meet our vendors: Joseph

Sheffield City Centre

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It’s great to meet you, Joseph.

You are a new vendor. Why did you decide to start selling The Big Issue?

I was doing well; I had a good job, but things dried up. I was speaking to one of my friends and asking if he knew of any work going. He was selling the magazine in Bournemouth, and he suggested I could sell the magazine. He told me it wasn’t just for homeless people, but that anyone who needs a job could do it. I didn’t know that. I thought, okay!

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but I didn’t have a choice. I needed to earn money. I have three children.

So, I got the office number and signed up to sell. Then, when I started, I did like it. Even on days you don’t make much money, it’s nice meeting lots of people.

What did you do before working as a vendor?

I was working as a private translator, so I earned more money per hour. I didn’t enjoy it as much as this though. I’m not sure what it is, I am really liking selling to people and interacting with customers. I think I am good at it.

So, what languages do you speak?

I speak Slovak, Czech and Roma. I’m Slovakian but I was brought up in Bournemouth. I moved to Sheffield when I started working as a translator. Then Covid happened and my work really slowed down.

Do you think you would like to return to working as a translator?

You know, I realised something. Waking up in the morning and having a job that you look forward to going to makes a big difference. Right now, I wake up and the day is a mystery. I don’t know who I am going to meet. My interactions with people so far have been friendly. I like that.

I’m just going to see how it goes. I’ve been telling some of my friends who need some work as well about it.

You have had a great start to your new job – you sold lots of magazines in your first week!

Yeah – it’s just the rain that will slow me down!

Find out more about our vendors and our work at Big Issue North here.

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