Sonya Marion, Pigeon Park, Birminghan

Sonya enjoys selling the magazine –when she's not doing crosswords or listening to Bros

Image: Exposure Photo Agency

It’s not the first time I’ve had my story in the magazine. I last told it in 2022. I talked about how I did knitting and sewing when I was homeless before and everybody told me that my story was good. 

I’ve been selling the magazine at Pigeon Park in Birmingham for about a month. Sometimes it can be hard selling. 

I’m originally from Birmingham but I’d like to move out of the city. I’d like to go back to the area where I’m from, back to Moseley and King’s Heath because I like those areas and I’d like a two-bedroom flat there.  

I was brought up in Dosthill near Tamworth. It’s nice over there. I remember the neighbours used to say good morning to me every morning. The way I was brought up by my dad, people always should be polite. Where I am at the moment, the neighbours don’t look out for me. They just take no notice. Now I do my crossword on the bus for fun. The easy ones I can do but I have difficulty trying to do the hard ones. It keeps me occupied and out of mischief. I also like to go shopping and then clean up the house when I get back and watch some stuff on YouTube on my phone if there’s nothing else to do, songs like Bros. 

My learning difficulties have had a very bad effect on my life. I’d like to get a support worker to help. I have problems with my mental health as well. My head’s just everywhere.  

I do enjoy selling the magazine, it’s only when I don’t get any buyers that I get peed off. When people are buying them, it makes me happy. When people are not buying them, I’ll get really stressed and upset. 

My customers always say to me, “Cheer up, if you’re going to sell them you’ve got to keep your head up high.” That can be hard because when you’re not selling many magazines it makes my day feel really down. Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to sell it because of that. 

I plan to carry on selling the magazine but I’ve got emphysema and there’s no cure. It could happen this year, it could happen next year. I’m making the most of my life before I die. That’s why I need to find my two sons. I don’t want them to go through what I went through.  

If it hadn’t been for Big Issue I wouldn’t have been able to have gotten what I need. They’ve been golden towards me and they’ve looked after me with food and things like that. It’s been brilliant. 

Interview: Liam Geraghty

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