News

Tributes paid to much-loved Big Issue vendor Marc Jones, 47, found dead in hostel

Big Issue vendor Marc Jones died on December 10 just days after speaking to the Big Issue about how he was trying to turn his life around

Big Issue vendor Marc Jones

Big Issue vendor Marc Jones pictured in Cardiff just days before his death. Image: Exposure Photo Agency

A much-loved Big Issue vendor who had recently returned to sell the magazine in a bid to turn his life around has sadly died.

Marc Jones was sadly found dead at Adams Court Hostel in Cardiff on 10 December just days after speaking to the Big Issue for an interview that was due to be published in the new year.

Marc, 47, was an on-off seller of the magazine who had been back working as a vendor for a month and a half before his sudden death.

Change a Big Issue vendor’s life this Christmas by purchasing a Winter Support Kit. You’ll receive four copies of the magazine and create a brighter future for our vendors through Christmas and beyond.

As part of the progress he was making as a vendor, Marc put himself forward for the My Pitch page of the magazine to speak about his life and his thoughts on homelessness, Cardiff and his plans for the future.

Marc had been living in the hostel since January after falling into homelessness when he lost his job working on the dodgems at a fairground in Porthcawl.

“I went in there [the hostel] because I had nowhere else to go,” said Jones. “It was getting as cold at is now and I was living on the street. Rats used to chew through my tent and when they used to chew where the zip was, I couldn’t close it up at night so it was very cold.”

Big Issue vendor Marc Jones
Marc was hoping to find a place to call his home in 2024 before he sadly died. Image: Exposure Photo Agency

Marc came back to the Big Issue at a time of great need. He said previously he had sold the magazine but hadn’t “stuck it out”. The difference this time was that he “needed to get myself sorted”.

He had already made progress. He told the Big Issue: “I’ve not been in trouble now for 10 years, since 2013. I used to rob cars, rob car stereos. I was in and out of court all the time but I decided that I need to make a change.”

Originally from Bridgend, Marc said he had been living in Cardiff on and off since 1996.

He had seen a lot of Wales during his life and held a particular fondness for Aberystwyth. Marc said: “It’s got the beach, the castle and they’re right next to each other. It’s just quiet and you can even see a dolphin sometimes in the sea.”

His big plan for 2024 was to find a home of his own and to win his battle with heroin addiction.

“Next year I want to get off everything and get my own place to be independent. It would mean a lot to have my own place,” said Marc.

Tragically, Marc’s goals will remain unfulfilled. Tom Watts, Big Issue sales and operations manager in Wales, paid tribute to Marc.

“I’ve known Marc for several years and he has always been an on-and-off vendor but in the last couple of months something changed and he seemed to be taking selling the magazine more seriously,” said Watts.

“He was very kind, easy to work with and honest and he never got angry, he was always very calm. We all liked him and had a lot of time for him. We made a great effort to support him.

“We’re all saddened by Marc’s passing and he’ll be much missed.”

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Long-term sickness cannot be fixed by tightening 'harsh' disability benefits system, experts warn
long term sickness/ ill
Benefits

Long-term sickness cannot be fixed by tightening 'harsh' disability benefits system, experts warn

Thousands could be owed up to £12k from DWP in backdated PIP payments. Here's what you need to know
money/ pip backdated payments
Social Justice

Thousands could be owed up to £12k from DWP in backdated PIP payments. Here's what you need to know

'Consign it to history': Sadiq Khan pledges to end rough sleeping in London by 2030
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is calling for more support for renters
Rough Sleeping

'Consign it to history': Sadiq Khan pledges to end rough sleeping in London by 2030

Millions of families on universal credit worse off by £1,400 a year, experts say: 'It needs to change'
universal credit
Universal credit

Millions of families on universal credit worse off by £1,400 a year, experts say: 'It needs to change'

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