Amar and Decembre, Congleton

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Tell us about yourselves.
We are husband and wife and we have been married for about 24 years. Amar is 44 and Decembre is 41. We met and married in Romania.

How long have you been selling Big Issue North for?
We have been selling the magazine for about 10 years.

Why did you come to the UK?
We came here about 11 years ago. We came here for our child. For a better life.

‘Every day we want to change our circumstances a little bit.’

Tell us about your son.
He is 20 now. He lives here and he works for British Gas. When he was a child he went to school every day and now he has a job. This is a good change in circumstances, a good change in fortunes. We are very happy because we have helped our boy change his life by coming here.

What do you hope for in the future?
Every day we want to change our circumstances a little bit. We know things can’t change all at once but slowly we can get a better life.

What have you been doing at the Big Issue North office today?
We have been learning about what to do to help people if they have problems with their heart. We have learnt how to do compressions and how to use the defibrillator. It was good training. Amar has used this kind of equipment before because he learnt to drive in Romania, and as part of getting your driving licence you have to learn first aid and how to give help. Now we would both feel confident about helping someone who collapsed if we were out selling the magazine and we saw that happen.

What do you do in your spare time?
We rest when we can because selling the magazine is hard. It can be hard standing up all day. In our spare time we take care of the house, watch television and read. We go to the church every Sunday. This is very important for us. And we both cook. Decembre has a certificate in food hygiene and cooking. She used to volunteer for Sure Start Longsight and helped organise a community event there where she cooked for the local community.

What makes you both happy?
Our family. Our child. Life getting better. Things have been changing for us since we came to the UK. We feel very accepted in our community, at home and in Congleton. People are so lovely there. They are like our family. They are great people.

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