Every week in The Big Issue magazine, a Big Issue vendor tells their story in our My Pitch column. This week 45-year old Mary Daly, who normally sells the magazine on Weston-super-Mare High Street, talks about her Jack Russell Cooper keeping her company and the confidence that comes from selling the day’s first copy.
I started with The Big Issue 20 years ago and I sold it for 10 years. I stopped doing it and, what can I say, I’ve started doing it again.
I spent about 15 years on the streets, just travelling around Brighton, Bournemouth, Poole, Cambridge… To be honest I was in a bad way with drink and drugs. I used to work as a carer untilI got sacked because of my problems. But I’ve been clean now for four years.
The Big Issue has helped me to live because I really wasn’t getting anything else. So I started doing it again, because I need an income for one thing, and for another I’m a hermit so I was just deteriorating. It forces me to go out and speak to people. It saved my life.
Yesterday was a really shit day though, I had a person spit at me and tell me to get a job. I don’t need that. But the police came round and they looked after me. They’re sound here. But you get nasty people everywhere, don’t you?
I’m a very anxious person and people say, “How can you sell magazines? You must have confidence.” I don’t. But it’s helping me again and all I can say is I’m doing my best.