News

Andy’s Story

An Interview with Andy at Victoria station

Andy sits down and tiny old school caf with a coffee. I ask is he wants to have a soft drink as well…he says no “I don’t want to be greedy.”

Andy used to work as a lorry driver, but when he was run over a crushed by a reversing car his life changed for ever. The accident made him unable to work and Andy ended up sleeping rough and to make matters worse he caught TB. Three years ago Andy started selling The Big issue at Victoria and in that time he has build of a regular customer base of nearly 60 people. People he truly values. One night sleeping rough, Andy had all his possessions stolen and he lost his driver’s licence and passport. With help from the Big Issue Foundation’s Vendor Support Fund Andy managed to save for a new passport and license and he hopes to one day be able to buy a van and run his own little business as a driver.

Andy talks vividly about how he managed on the streets, the difference between sleeping in front of a McDonalds versus his secret hiding places behind a building site. One place he particularly liked, but as he said “I never get use to rats”. ”. Andy seems a strong guy, a survivor. Yet he relays a touching story of a Christmas card. One of his regular customers came by one day and gave him a Christmas card. He pauses and looks away. “It said… Andy, you are great guy”. A moment’s thought and a coffee later Andy is back on the streets selling his magazines, seeing his regulars and focusing on his dream job as a driver.

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Still no opening date set for UK's first drug consumption room
Drugs

Still no opening date set for UK's first drug consumption room

'Shameful stuff': Labour suspends seven rebel MPs who voted to end two-child benefit cap
keir starmer
Two-child benefit cap

'Shameful stuff': Labour suspends seven rebel MPs who voted to end two-child benefit cap

DWP should prioritise supporting benefit claimants over sanctions, most people say
jobcentre plus/ dwp
Department for Work and Pensions

DWP should prioritise supporting benefit claimants over sanctions, most people say

Campaigners welcome closure of Bibby Stockholm asylum barge – but Labour faces calls to go further
Bibby Stockholm
Bibby Stockholm

Campaigners welcome closure of Bibby Stockholm asylum barge – but Labour faces calls to go further

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know