Leonard, Lime Street Station, Liverpool

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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 24 years old. I am from Romania. I have been selling the magazine for seven months and now everything is good.

“Conversation is important. Respect is important.”

What was life like in Romania?
In Romania there is no job, no nothing. It’s no good. If you work, you only make a little bit of money each month. In Romania I was sleeping in the streets. It was very dangerous there. There are a lot of people sleeping on the street.

And what is life like now?
Now life is good. Here I have a flat. I’m working for Big Issue North and I can pay my rent and afford food every day.

Do you have any family?
No. I have no family. My dad died 20 years ago when I was a small boy. My mum is very ill in Romania.

Do you like selling the magazine?
Yes, I like this job. It’s good. Sometimes people are not nice. Sometimes people are racist. They say gypsies are no good and they should not be here. But everybody is different, like the fingers on my hand. There are many people who are good and they help me.

What are your plans for 2017?
I don’t have a plan for next year. Today is today. Today is reality. I cannot make a plan for the future. Only God knows what will happen.

What do you do in your spare time?
I read the Bible. Sometimes I watch TV. I go out and speak to people. I like to speak to people. And on Sundays I go to the Pentecostal church.

Where will you be on Christmas Day?
I am looking forward to Christmas but I will be on my own. I don’t know what I will do. I might just come to my pitch to see if someone wants to buy a magazine.

What makes you happy?
I am happy that I am here in England. This job – that makes me happy. A lot of people don’t have what I have. In Romania, a lot of people do not have anything at all. God is in my heart and that makes me happy also. That is important for me. And I have life. That is good.

What makes you sad?
There’s too much corruption everywhere. The people in power, they do not care about the people who are sleeping in the street, who do not have a house. They only care about the people who have pockets to put money in. People think this planet is only for them. They don’t care about others. They say they believe in God but they only think of it in their heads and not in their hearts. They should help people. If you help people then God will give you what you need.

Do you have a message for your customers?
Thank you for coming and speaking to me. Conversation is important. Respect is important. I wish people a good day and I wish them a happy Christmas.

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