All Big Issue vendors will have faced challenges during lockdown but none more so than Robin Price. Robin, based in Weston-super-Mare, was the first vendor The Big Issue spoke to after we took the tough decision to stop selling the magazine on the streets. Back then in March he accurately predicted he’d be off his pitch for three months.
In that time, as well as adjusting to his new normal of being at home all day, he also lost his mother.
“I was in touch with her at the beginning of May, I rang her up and asked if she was alright and if she needed anything,” Robin said. “Knowing full well she’d say no, which she did. Then in June I got a phone call to say that she was dead.”
I don’t understand my own feelings at the moment. I feel very, very contradicted and guilty
Having left his mother aged nine to be brought up in care, Robin’s feelings are now conflicted.
“I didn’t really see her much so I don’t understand my own feelings at the moment. I feel very, very contradicted and guilty,” he said. “I could have gone straight back on the drink but I didn’t, which is pretty cool. I’ve not touched a drop throughout the whole thing.”
So getting back to his old pitch outside The Coffee House in Weston’s high street this week is more important to Robin than ever.