Paul Jones, 44, Wine Street, Bristol

"Glastonbury was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. I’m so grateful"

I’m just back from selling The Big Issue at Glastonbury. It was great but very muddy – and then the rain came! Luckily, there was some sunshine as well.

I sold 150 magazines between Thursday evening and Sunday lunchtime, which was really good going. Normally it would take me about a week and a half to sell that many, so it was really worthwhile.

I didn’t meet anyone famous but I did get to see Adele’s set. She’s lovely – a real people person. She was talking to the audience a lot and it looked like she was really enjoying it. There was such a good atmosphere and it was absolutely packed.

I was staying on the campsite but I didn’t sleep much more than about an hour a night because there was so much going on. And because I went out dancing with The Big Issue people! So it was tiring but worth it. Glastonbury was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I’m so grateful that I got the chance to go.

My usual pitch is in Bristol, at Wine Street and Corn Street. It’s a busy area with loads of passers-by because of the market. It’s a farmers’ market on a Wednesday and a flea market on a Friday and Saturday and it brings a lot more people down the street. I’ve been here for about two years and I’ve got a lot of regular customers.

The Big Issue has been good for me because you’re earning your own cash, buying your own food and clothes

I’m from the Midlands originally. I’d been working in a factory there but I was made redundant and had some personal problems, and after that I became homeless. Before I came to Bristol, I also sold the magazine in Brighton for about six months.

I was on the streets for about a year after I came to Bristol but then The Big Issue Foundation helped to get me a driving licence so I had some ID to get into the backpackers’ hostel. They also helped me out with a bank account because I’d lost all my cards. The Big Issue has been good for me because you’re earning your own cash, buying your own food and clothes.

The backpackers’ hostel is okay for now – it’s a roof over my head at least. There are a lot of people coming and going and they’re very nice but at the end of the day it’s still not a house.

My passion… Football. I’m a Leicester supporter so I’m a happy man at the moment. It’s been a fantastic story for us.

If I won the lottery… I’d buy a house. And then I’d go on holiday for a long break. Maybe to America or maybe I could travel the world.

On my pitch… I’m at Wine Street and Corn Street, Monday to Saturday.

Photo: Sean Malyon

Wine Street, Bristol BS1 1LJ, United Kingdom

The Big Issue

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