INSP Advent Calendar: day 15

Christmas is definitely in the air now! Continue the countdown with #INSPadvent… Donate to back INSP’s work supporting street papers and their vendors here.

Carol sells Big Issue North in Sheffield. Credit: Christian Lisseman

Carol, 58, Sheffield, UK

I used to sell the Sheffield Star newspaper, but then I was made redundant. I have also been dealing with depression since the 1980s. I suffered from post-natal depression after giving birth, but in the 1980s health professionals did not take it seriously. Later, I was a victim of domestic violence, which both affected my mental health and led to me being homeless. I like selling Big Issue North mainly because it lets me meet people and listen to their experiences and talk about mine. I am glad that I have Big Issue North to sell. I have been selling it for about four years.

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?

I used to like getting Lego as a child. I liked making things. I would make a house and I would think, one day I am going to live in that house.

How do you plan to spend Christmas this year?

I am going to the Archer Project at Sheffield Cathedral where they have a Christmas dinner. It’s good to have company at Christmas.

If you did not sell a street paper, how do you think you might be spending Christmas this year?

I would be looking for some kind of work, either paid or voluntary because I need something which gets me out of the house and talking to people.

Do you have a special Christmas message for your customers?

Thank you for all your support. All the very best and Merry Christmas. I hope to see you all in the New Year!