Nadia sells the Big Issue North in Todmorden, near Manchester in the UK. Originally from Romania, she talks about her journey to the UK and aspirations for the future.
Interview by Nicole Cunliffe, Big Issue North
How old are you and how long have you sold the Big Issue North for?
I’m 34 and I have been selling the magazine for about six years.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Fetesti in Romania. I came to the UK with my family in 2007. We wanted to give our children a better future in the UK than what they would have had in Romania.
I really like living in England. It’s very different from Romania. People in England are really nice. They wish you a good morning and speak to you politely.
Why did you start selling the street paper?
Both me and my husband started selling the magazine to support our family. We needed to buy school uniforms and food, pay our rent – all the normal things. Selling the magazine helps me make an income to be able to support myself and my family, and give my children a good future.
Tell us more about your family.
I have eight children. My first four children are all boys, the last four are girls. My eldest is 21 and my youngest is five. I think that is enough children now! My husband sometimes sells the magazine in Manchester but he can’t work as much because he is very ill. He is a diabetic and needs four injections of insulin a day.
What’s Todmorden like?
People in Todmorden are very nice. I’ve made many friends over the years. It was sad to see all the damage that happened during the floods but I’m glad things are getting back to normal here now. I live in Manchester, so I wasn’t affected by the floods.
What are your hopes for the future?
I would love to work a different job but I have no education. I was not able to attend school in Romania and I never learnt to read or write. Most jobs won’t even consider me because of this. I would love to work as a cleaner or look after children.
What do you like doing when you are not selling the magazine?
I don’t have a lot of free time. I spend most of my time looking after my family, cooking and cleaning. I also look after my husband. I give him his insulin injections and make sure he’s OK. If I ever get any time to myself I like watching TV, especially the BBC. Also, we are a Christian family and attend church twice a week.
Do you have a message for your customers?
I want to say thank you to all the people in Todmorden for buying the magazine from me.
INSP publishes an international vendor story every week. Come back next Wednesday to read another story from one of the thousands of inspirational men and women who sell street papers.