Sidonia Mezei, Abbey Church, Bath

Sidonia loves selling in Bath, calling it a 'very nice place' – although she's not so keen on the weather

Image: Frankie Stone

I’ve been selling for four years now and this is my first time in the magazine, so I am very excited to be in My Pitch. 

When I was in high school in Romania I was a runner and I was very good at athletics. I wanted to finish my schooling, but I also wanted to marry. I came to England for work to save some money for the future but the plan wasn’t going how I wanted. 

So I chose Big Issue because it is a big passion for me.  I come when I want and when I need and this is important for me at the moment as I have two children, a boy who is three and a girl who is two. The first time I sold the magazine I didn’t know any English but now I have gained more English skills through selling the magazine. 

I like Big Issue because I like to talk to people. They are lovely and help me. Sometimes things are good, sometimes not. But my regular customers buy the magazine from me and sometimes they buy nappies for my children and bring me coffee. They are very generous and kind people. I wish more people all over the world knew about Big Issue. There are lots of stories that people would be interested in internationally but it is English people who are buying it. 

My plan for the future is to go to university. I’m very interested to study business. All my life I have been interested in how businesses work and how they operate. After university I maybe want to open my own business if God helps me. I want to expand my knowledge. I’d like to open a salon for hair and makeup. In Romania I had a caravan set up in the garden and me and my mum did nails and makeup for people. This was my business. I liked it a lot. I loved it but now I have children so I can’t do it. Maybe in the future when the children grow up. I hope I can go to university and they can too. 

All my family is in Romania. I am just here with my husband and his family. The life here is better I think. Everything is amazing, the people are good – actually, I don’t like the weather. But I prefer England. I do miss Romania because there is all my family and all my friends but I love England. Bath is quite antique. It’s a very nice place and I feel relaxed here. It’s nicer than Bristol, which is where I live. 

When I’m not selling Big Issue I take my children to the park and play with them as I don’t have friends in England. Me and my sister-in-law go to the park and we drink juice with the children. I go to a Pentecostal church on Sundays and when I go it gives me the power to survive any situation and any sadness. I really like to sing when I’m with my children and when I’m in the church. I like religious songs and pop songs.  

I want to run again too. I was very good with my speed at 60 or 80 metres and I could raise the distance to 2,000 too. I like the competition, I love to be in front and to be the winner, you know? I don’t give up. If it’s hard then never will I give up. I like to be where I want to be. If I want to open my business in future, I think I can do it because I am a very hardworking person.

Interview: Liam Geraghty