Steve Taylor, 44, Homerton station, Hackney, London

"The Big Issue has been there for me. I’ve got my own micro-business”

Support Steve

50% of net proceeds from your purchase of a subscription will go direct to Steve

I’ve had my tough times over the years. Sleeping rough for six months at Euston Station after my relationship broke down was horrible. Just me, my dog and a sleeping bag out in the cold. I never want to do that again.

Things have picked up for me since I started selling The Big Issue again back in October, after another tough time, and it’s helped me get back on my feet again.

I’m a builder and engineer by trade but suffer from crippling arthritis and I’ve struggled to get work because of that. The nature of the work is that it’s either feast or famine.

Becoming a dad was my biggest achievement. All I want is to see my kids grow up happy and do well for themselves

But The Big Issue has been there for me when I need it, when I’ve really struggled, and I’ll always be grateful for that. It gives me independence and structure at the same time. I’ve got my own little mini-business. If I can work, run my own micro-business and see my kids happy, I’m delighted.

Becoming a dad was my biggest achievement. I’ve got four kids – two sons and two daughters – and two step-kids. They’re my world. I’d do anything for them. I also became a granddad for the first time three months back, and again six weeks ago. What a joy. All I want is to see my kids grow up happy and do well for themselves.

Photo: David Tett

I always have my dog Skye with me wherever I go – she’s a pure white Staffy, and she’ll be 10 years old this year. She’s very good natured, and all my customers seem to take to her too.

London is the greatest city in the world. I’m proud to be London born and bred. I grew up in Bow and my favourite thing to do was go carp fishing in Victoria Park. You could do that in the lake but not any more, unfortunately.

It’s not something I’ve done for a while but if I did find the time and money I’d love to do some fishing out in the countryside again in one of those lovely spots I used to go to out in Essex, near Waltham Cross or Chelmsford.

But I’ll have to keep working hard, make sure the family’s happy and see what comes my way. You just have to keep plugging away, whatever life throws at you.

If I ran the country… The first thing I’d do is take money we waste elsewhere and do everything I could to end child poverty. The kids shouldn’t have to suffer. That’s not right.

My favourite pastime… Fishing. It’s an expensive hobby but I always loved a spot of fishing anywhere nice in the Essex countryside.

On my pitch… I’m outside Homerton station in Hackney from 11am to 7pm

Homerton, London, London Borough of Hackney, United Kingdom

The Big Issue

Sign up to get your FREE Doctor Who Archive Special

Celebrate the 14th series with your FREE edition of the Dr Who Special Archives