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Ana-Maria Dragusin, 20, Church’s newsagent, Keynsham

“I love children – I want to train as a midwife one day”

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I started selling The Big Issue three years ago because I had a baby and I needed to be working. A friend who already sold the magazine suggested it to me but I didn’t have much schooling so it was hard at first. But it got easier and I liked the flexibility of being able to come and work when I wanted to. With a job you have to be there when they tell you to be there but with this I can choose my hours.

My pitch isn’t always that busy but the people are really nice and I’ve got a lot of friends. My customers buy me a coffee on a cold day or they give me presents for my children at Christmas. I’ve only ever done an eight-week class in English but because I’ve been selling The Big Issue and chatting to my customers I can now speak it really well.

I read the magazine for practice too, and to be able to tell people what’s in it each week. I like My Pitch best – I love reading the other vendors’ stories.

My pitch isn’t always that busy, but the people are really nice. Some buy me a coffee on a cold day

I’d travelled a lot with my family after we left Romania. I’ve been here since I was 11 but before that I’d lived in Italy and Spain, in Madrid.

I liked Spain because we knew some really nice people through the church I used to go to with my mum. Even now, I can still understand Spanish and speak a little. But the people in England have been so kind. We have a lot of friends through our church here, and some even gave us furniture to help with our house. We rent the Pentecostal Church in Bristol for a few hours with other families and get together to read the Bible.

My husband and I live with my husband’s family – his two brothers and his mum and dad. It’s a lot of people but it means we can afford the bills. My husband’s a pizza delivery driver and when we’re both working we need help with our three children, so his family looks after them.

I love children, and I want to train as a midwife one day. My oldest child is in pre-school and the other day I saw him riding a bike. I didn’t even know he could do that! At Christmas I’m planning to work a lot because it’s a busy time but I also want to take my children to visit my mum in London. For me, Christmas is about children and my mum will love to see them.

Fish tale… I still love children’s films and I’d like to take my children to the cinema because they’ve never been. We’d all like to see Finding Dory.

Photo: Rebecca Bernstein

Keynsham, United Kingdom

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