Tell us about yourself
I am from Romania, I live in Leeds and my pitch is in Holmfirth. I travel there every day by bus, which takes one hour 30 mins each way. I live in a flat with my wife, who also sells the magazine.
“I want people to buy the mag. This is my job – I do it with pride.”
How long have you worked on your pitch?
Over four months now and people expect me to be there. One lady comes every week. She is very happy and always buys the magazine. Some people want to give me half of the money or less and not take the magazine, but I want them to buy the magazine. This is my job and I do it with pride. The staff in the Leeds office are very helpful. They helped me get ID and register as self-employed, and they are always smiling and helping.
Why did you come to the UK?
In Romania there is poverty and little opportunity to work. When I came to this country it was to work. I wanted to have a good life. I am a hard worker but the job opportunities were hard here because of my English. I sell the magazine to make money to stay here. It’s difficult because I have to earn £150 a week, every week to be able to get any benefits. This often isn’t possible. Selling the magazine to do that is hard even though I have many good customers. Many people often say to me: “Why are you in this country? Go back home.” But no, Leeds is my home now.
What are your hopes for the future?
I would like to get a job where I can work and get paid a steady amount. I would like to do anything. I could do painting and decorating or work on construction sites. I am getting better at English all the time so I am hopeful I can get another job soon. I work very hard and always have a smile on my face. When I have a good job, maybe my wife and I could have some children. I would like that very much.
Interview: Genevieve Waite