Meet Our Vendors

James Davis, 35, The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff"I volunteer at my church, feeding homeless people. I can relate to them"

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I’m from Yeovil, and when I first came to Cardiff in 2004 I was living with my auntie. But we had arguments and eventually our relationship broke down
so she chucked me out on to the street. I started selling the magazine in 2014 for a couple of years. At the time I still had nowhere to live and no money for food – I didn’t know where my next meal would come from. 

Since then I’ve been in quite a few different homeless hostels, and I ended up back on the streets for about three or four months last year and the beginning of this one, but now I’ve got a flat. I live on my own. It’s going really good.

The reason I stopped selling the magazine for a while is because of my anxiety and depression. I also lost a couple of my family members so my head wasn’t straight enough to come out and do this. My confidence went right down. In between I was working for a cleaning company. That was going well but it petered out a bit. So I decided to start selling The Big Issue again, and I came back to it near the end of August.

It’s going all right so far. I’ve got a few regular customers. Some of them have been really supportive and have a chat with me. I have a couple of ladies who won’t buy it off anyone else except me. Things are building up slowly and I’m feeling OK at the moment. The Big Issue are helping me sort myself out, they’re trying to get me a bank account. I’d like to get a card reader in the future too to help with sales.

I like going out with friends and playing football, I used to play five-a-sides for the homeless league. I’m a big Cardiff City supporter, a proper Bluebird. I go along to see them sometimes and I also like to go and see Wales play from time to time. I like rugby too – I was gutted though when Wales lost to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-final.

As well as going to church on a Sunday, I volunteer there on a Saturday night, when I help to feed about 40 homeless people. I can relate to them and obviously talk about my own experiences.

I want to keep selling The Big Issue for a while but then I’d like to find another job doing support work. What I’d especially like to do would be to help adults with learning difficulties. I feel that I can support them and also put something back into the community.

Image: Jake Morley Photography

The Old Library, Singleton Rd, Cardiff CF24 2ET
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