Paul Jones, 45, Temple Meads Station, Bristol
“I used to have a flat, but I couldn’t afford the bills and then I was out on the street”
I’ve been selling the magazine in the station since February after moving from Wine Street in the city. I think it has been a really great move because there are so many more opportunities for me at the station.
The people are friendly, there are a lot more people going past me, and I have no competition as I am the only vendor in the station.
The station manager is quite busy but stops for a chat whenever he can
The morning rush hour can be quite manic because the trains are full, so it can be easier to sell when people are on the way home and they have time to chat. I was on a two-week trial here and that went really well.
Since then, I’ve got to know the staff and they have been very friendly towards me – the station manager is usually quite busy but he stops for a chat whenever he can.
I’m staying in a backpackers’ hostel at the moment and all my proceeds from selling the magazine go into keeping me in there for now.
It’s okay and a lot better than sleeping rough, which is what I had been doing for 18 months in Bristol before that. I used to have a flat in Leicester, where I’m from originally, but I couldn’t afford the bills and then I was out on the street.
It was the summer at the time so I got on the train to Bristol and I’ve been here ever since, selling the magazine for three-and-a-half years. The Big Issue helps me get some money in and get my life in check. Without it there is no way that I would be able to get somewhere to stay.
The Big Issue helps me get some money in and get my life in check
My big passion is football, and I support my hometown team Leicester City. We’ve not had a great start to the season but things have turned around a bit now. While we’re not going to win the title again, we should get a comfortable top 10 finish, and it would be brilliant if we could get a European place.
I haven’t been able to see them too much this season but I watch them as much as I can, and I saw them quite a lot last year.
I spent Christmas with family and friends back in Leicester. I had been really looking forward to that. I haven’t really thought about what I want to do for 2018, but hopefully selling the magazine in the station will continue to do well and I’ll take it from there.
My football team… I love Leicester City and Jamie Vardy is my favourite player. It was amazing when we won the Premier League in 2016 – it is something that will never be done again by such a small team.
My favourite place… The Harbourside in Bristol is brilliant. There are loads of bars next to the river and it looks great. I like spending time there.
On my pitch… I’m on my special pitch in the station from 7.30am until 6pm.
Photo: George Bale
Temple Meads Train Station Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom