Christina, Birkenhead

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Tell us about yourself.
I am from Romania, near Bucharest. I came to England in 2008 and I am 26 years old.

“People in Birkenhead are nice. They ask how my children are.”

Why did you come to the UK?
I came here because my country is bad. I didn’t have any job in my country – anyone who comes to the UK from Romania will tell you that. I came here because I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have anything. I came here for myself and for my babies. I have three girls and one boy. My eldest is seven years old. My youngest is two.

Do you have any other family?
I am married but my husband lives in Romania. I live here with my aunty. She helps look after my babies. My mum died earlier this year, just after Christmas. She was 44. I have 10 brothers and sisters but they all live in Romania with my father.

Did you miss Romania?
I miss my brothers and sisters but I don’t miss Romania. This is my home.

What was your childhood like in Romania?
It was bad. Life was hard. I didn’t go to school in Romania, I didn’t like it. I like it now for my children though. It’s important for them, because they are happy and I want them to be OK.

Why do you sell Big Issue North?
I sell the magazine because I don’t have any other job. This is my job and I’ve been doing it for five years. I use the money I make to pay my rent, buy food and look after my babies.

What makes you sad?
When I don’t have any money. When I can’t buy food for my babies. That makes me sad. And when I think about my mother. I saw her only once in six years before she died because I could not afford to go back home. She died in Romania. She was a strong woman. I cry when I think about her.

Where do you live now?
I live in a two-bedroom house with my aunty and my four children.

Do you have a message for your customers?
I want to say to them, thank you very much and have a good life. People in Birkenhead are very nice. They ask me how my children are. They know that I am doing this for my children.

What do you wish for?
I don’t know. A bigger house maybe. But I am happy now. Sometimes life is OK, sometimes it’s not. I don’t want anything but for my babies.

Interview: Christian Lisseman

Interact: Responses to Christina, Birkenhead

  • Jayne
    01 Sep 2017 20:46
    I have seen Christina a few times in Birkenhead but I only recently had the opportunity to speak with her. She is such a lovely lady and I admire her strength of character and everything she does to support her family. I'm not often in the area but when I am I will make sure to take the time to chat with her and buy the latest edition. I find it heartbreaking to see the number of people who just walk on by (something I myself have been guilty of in the past) without acknowledging her. It takes but a brief moment to say hello, give a smile and make her feel that yes, she is important, as important as the rest of us and that she is making a difference, to herself, her family, and to those who have met her. And I hope that we will look at Christina and appreciate her for everything that she does for her family, and in turn, we will appreciate everything that we have, no matter how small.

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