Meet Our Vendors

Michael Hadley, 27, Piccadilly Arcade, Birmingham“People in Birmingham seem to be buzzing for Christmas this year”

Become a vendor

I’ve been selling the magazine here for a few years now. It’s been going great – I love doing it. I have some brilliant customers and I love chatting to people, so it couldn’t be going better. People in Birmingham seem to be buzzing for Christmas this year – there’s a great atmosphere in the
city centre.

I do love Christmas. I was out selling the magazine recently alongside the Keane singer Tom Chaplin while he was busking for The Big Issue. Great guy, great voice – he was singing Christmas songs to put everyone in the festive spirit. I’ve got the gift of the gab, so I’m always happy to have an excuse to chat to people when they’re in a good mood.

I’m always happy to have an excuse to chat to people when they’re in a good mood

In fact, one of the owners of the German Christmas market was so impressed by my sales technique he’s given me a part-time job on his stall near New Street station. I’ve been doing that on the weekends this month and it’s so enjoyable – all the lights and the smell of doughnuts and mulled wine. I did it this time last year for one of the other stalls, so it’s something I’m hoping to build on.

Before I sold The Big Issue, I didn’t really have much of a sense of purpose. I’d fallen out with family and I’d really lost my way completely. But doing this helped turn things around. It brought all my confidence back and made me determined to find somewhere to live. I’m now in shared accommodation and making a good go of it.

DID YOU KNOW…

Vendors buy magazines for £1.25 and sell them for £2.50. They are working and need your custom.

And, more importantly, I got back in touch with family. So I’ll be spending Christmas with my mum, my sister, my nephew and my two brothers round at my mum’s house. She’ll be cooking a big turkey and trimmings, just like she always used to. I’m looking forward to it already.

And on Boxing Day I’ll be back out selling again, because I love doing this and Christmas Day is the only day in the year I take off. Big thanks to my customers – they’ve really made a massive difference to my life.

I love doing this and Christmas Day is the only day in the year I take off

I hope everyone has a brilliant Christmas and a brilliant New Year as well.

My hopes for 2018… I’m hoping to get a full-time sales job next year. I have great experience through The Big Issue and I think I’ve got what it takes.

My favourite team… Liverpool FC. I love the manager Jürgen Klopp and I think he’s going to do big things for the club in 2018.

On my pitch… I’m at Piccadilly Arcade from 9am until 5pm Monday to Sunday.

Photo: Sam McAuliffe

Piccadilly Arcade, Birmingham, United Kingdom
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