Ana-Maria Dragusin, High Street, Keynsham, Bristol

Ana-Maria has been on her pitch for six years now. She enjoys it and likes the flexibility it brings. Her long-term ambition is to be a midwife

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I’ve been selling the magazine since 2017 which is quite a long time ago now. At the time I didn’t have a job so I thought I would get an income by selling the magazine. It wasn’t easy at first because I didn’t have my proper pitch and I just moved around a lot around Keynsham. The people on my pitch are generally very friendly. Sometimes they give me a coffee and it’s nice talking to them, they give me good advice. A lot of the time it is not really any more support than buying the magazine. One lady tried to get me a job in a care home but I couldn’t do it because I don’t have childcare. 

I enjoy having a chat, we talk about family and my children. They tell me their stuff, I tell them my stuff. I do enjoy selling the magazine overall, I like seeing my friends and talking to them but I also like having time to think. I don’t really have time to do much outside of selling the magazine, looking after my kids, going out with them or taking them to the park. I’ve been in the UK since I was 11 after coming here from Romania. I haven’t spent much time there. 

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I can say that England is more my country than Romania because I have been here for almost 16 years. I think England is a good country and I like my kids going to school here as they have more possibilities and more chances. 

I live in Fishponds and I am finding it very difficult to manage with the rents and everything. It’s really a struggle. My husband works delivering food and I sell the magazine two days a week. Then I have a lady I do cleaning for as well in Keynsham. I’m trying to do more cleaning jobs but it is difficult because I don’t have childcare and I need someone to look after them. There’s only family who want to look after them and in that case I can work, if not I cannot do anything. 

Selling the magazine is really flexible and it really helps me in that way because I can come and sell the magazine when my kids are at school and then I come back and pick them up. It’s very good in that way. 

I’d like to tell my customers to trust in themselves and, more than that, trust in God. We are very blessed and we have to say thanks for everything and the blessings that we have. We have to say thank you to God more than feeling sorry for ourselves perhaps. Just count the blessings that we have. We have good things, it’s not all bad. My faith is very important to me and I go to church twice a week on Thursday and Sunday. 

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I couldn’t do any of this without God, with the kids and everything. I have faith in him and I know that he helps me all the time and I can always talk to him. It’s definitely a big thing for me. I have had times when I was really struggling and I prayed to God and then somehow a miracle happened and the problem was solved. 

In the future when my kids go to school I hope I can try to be a midwife. I know from my own kids that is such a special time when they are a baby and I just think it is a very nice job. Seeing the baby coming into the world and looking after mums is a very important thing.  

Words: Liam Geraghty

High Street, Keynsham, Bristol, UK