'Some days I wake up crying' - Big Issue seller from Weston-super-Mare on what it's like in lockdown

  • Watch Richard Payne's report.

A Big Issue seller from Weston-super-Mare says he feels he has lost his purpose without having the magazine to sell during lockdown. 

All vendors are once again off the streets due to the pandemic, prompting the launch of '100 Days of Action' to get help to those who need it most.

Robin Price has sold the Big Issue on Weston-super-Mare's High Street for nine years but lockdown has shut down his only way of making money and separated him from his loyal customers.

"Some days I wake up crying, if I'm honest, a 45-year-old man. I've got nothing to do," he says.

Aged 13, Robin ran away from care and, while in London, became addicted to drink and drugs before a chance introduction to the Big Issue's work changed his life.

He said: "If it wasn't for the Big Issue I'd be dead a long time ago."

"It gives me something to do through the day. At the moment I'm just bored. The sooner I can get back to it, the better."

Robin's one of 355 vendors in the South West now relying on the support of the Big Issue's 100 Days of Action campaign which includes the chance to buy an online gift subscription for the person in your local area.

UK Editor Paul McNamee says support for the magazine in the south west is amongst the strongest in the UK: "There's clearly housing and financial problems in that part of the country, but I can say if there's a vendor who needs to sell there, people will gather round him."

Robin is being supported to keep a roof over his head and food on the table but he's reluctant to accept something for nothing.

He said: "I did my time begging when I went out on the street."

"I joined The Big Issue so I wouldn't have to beg. I was giving something back.

"I've got regular customers and they're lovely people but sometimes when they give me money I sit there and I can't give them anything back and it doesn't feel right." 

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