Big Issue staff have paid tribute to popular Plymouth vendor Lucas Tontarski after the “warm and caring” seller died suddenly earlier this month.
Lucas, who used the anglicised spelling of his name Lukasz because he “felt so at home in the UK” according to Big Issue outreach worker Sue Owen, died after collapsing at his home on July 3. A post-mortem examination is underway to investigate Lucas’ death.
The 40-year-old sold The Big Issue magazine for five years at Plymouth’s North Cross Roundabout and was renowned for starting his day early to greet commuters arriving at the city from the nearby train station.
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Lucas had a big impact on his customers in Plymouth and one of his regulars came to his aid when he struggled to sell the magazine while managing joint and muscle pain. Lucas’ customer donated an old mobility scooter to help the Big Issue vendor, according to Owen.
“He frequently joked it would speed up my outreach if I jumped on the back,” she said.