Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 30 years old. I come from Romania and I have lived in the UK for about three years. I am married and I have four children – three boys and a girl. We live in Levenshulme.
“I like playing football but before all that I look after my children.”
Why did you come to the UK?
I came to the UK for work. Life in Romania was good, but there it was hard to earn some money. You could only get a job for about £100 for a month.
Why do you sell Big Issue North?
I was a delivery driver in Romania. But here I don’t have a car and when I came here I found it difficult to get work because of my English. Now I sell Big Issue North, which is good because every day I go to work and I earn money for my children. I buy food for them and I pay the rent. I use the money for my children but for myself, I live very cheaply.
What do you do in your spare time?
I watch sport. I like a lot of sport, especially football. I am always looking for football on TV. I am a Manchester City supporter. They are a good team. I can’t afford to go and watch them play but I like watching them on TV. I also like playing football in the park with my friends. Before all of that I look after my children. My children always come first.
What was your childhood like in Romania?
My childhood was good but here in Manchester it is nicer. There was no school in my town in Romania so I only went to school a little bit because I had to walk about three or four miles to get there. But now my kids go every day to school and I am very proud of them.
Do you have any plans for the summer?
Maybe after my children have finished school we might go back to Romania to see my family. I would like them to see their grandparents again. But then we’ll come back in September.
What are your hopes for the future?
My son also likes to play and watch football. He plays every day after school. I tell him, if you are good at it and you keep playing you could one day play professionally and you could earn a lot of money. If I had the money I would like to help him play football and be paid for it. I would also like to get a car so that I could be a delivery driver again. I like selling the magazine and I am really grateful when people stop to buy one. But a lot of people walk past. It is hard selling the magazine. You have to stand on your feet for maybe eight or 10 hours a day to sell some magazines. But at the moment this is what I have to do for my family.
Interview: Christian Lisseman