I’ve been selling the magazine in Nottingham for a little while now. It’s been great. I had money troubles, built up a bit of debt, so things hadn’t been looking so good. But selling The Big Issue has helped me out at a tough time, put me back on my feet again. My customers are a friendly bunch – they make the job a real pleasure.
I grew up in Cambridge but moved to London as a young man to try my luck there. Over the years I moved around a lot and did various things. I was a van driver, a window cleaner and a shop worker. I was a vegetable chef for a while in Newcastle. I set up housing for refugees in Coventry. I’ve done loads of things. But I’ve struggled to keep anything going for too long – it’s tough when you’re homeless or living in hostels and you move from place to place.
I came to Nottingham about 15 years ago to visit a friend and I really liked the place. At the moment I’m involved in Streetwise Opera – a choir made up of homeless people and others who might be down on their luck. We meet every Tuesday to rehearse at Emmanuel House and we have a very good time.
Some of my favourites we do are Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel and Giving It All Away by Roger Daltrey. Our most recent March show at Nottingham Trent University was a sell out and lots of fun. I’m an ambassador for getting more people involved – it’s amazing to see the difference music can make.
Becky Sayer, Nottingham Service Broker
“Jim is a regular Nottingham vendor that I’ve been working with for a little while now.