Our vendors: John Williams (The Big Issue, Weston-super-Mare, UK)

By Adam Forrest, The Big Issue

I started selling the magazine a couple of years ago now, and it’s gone really well for me. You have good days and bad days, but I really enjoy it. I enjoy my chats with customers so it’s good when there are plenty of people around.

I used to work as a chef but, with my addiction issues, I found it difficult to carry on, so I had to stop. When I started selling The Big Issue I found things easier. I work hard at it but I’m my own boss and I can set my own pace. The support I’ve had from The Big Issue staff has been great too. It’s put a smile on my face after a tough time.

By Bill Bradshaw

I grew up in Swansea, but I came down to Weston-super-Mare over 10 years ago, and I really took to the place. In the summer it gets very, very busy with all the visitors down at the pier, in and out of shows and the amusements. I’ve been to see a few acts – The Wurzels and a really good ABBA tribute band. It can feel a bit like a ghost town when they leave but I like it regardless. The beaches are lovely and there are some nice spots to go for a walk along the coast, where it’s wilder and quieter.

It’s just a nice little community here. I’m a big football fan, so if I have enough money I’ll go along to support the local team, Weston-super-Mare AFC. It’s non-league level but it’s cheap and the atmosphere is great. I’m actually a Swansea City fan but it’s good to watch a competitive game in a small ground and to get behind a group of local lads.

I’ve got a place to stay now and I’ll do some reading in the evening sometimes. I like novels; mostly sci-fi and historical thrillers. What’s the one I’m reading at the moment? It’s called City of Fiends by Michael Jecks. It’s a really good medieval murder mystery.

By Bill Bradshaw

I’m happy with the progress I’ve made selling The Big Issue this year, and I hope to carry on with more next year. I must thank my customers for all the brilliant support they’ve given me.

My favourite team [pauses] Swansea City. We’ve had some great years of late, but this season isn’t going too well. We’ll stay in the Premier League, though, that’s the main thing.

The place I would love to see again is The Philippines. I’ve been there before and it’s wonderful. The people are so friendly, relaxed and family-orientated. I’d go back at the drop of a hat.

My pitch is at M&S in the Sovereign Shopping Centre, Weston-super-Mare. I’m there from Monday to Friday, from 9am-4pm.