Meet our Big Issue vendor

Posted on 26th May 2022 | in Community

                                   Larissa

Some of you might have seen her familiar bright red coat at the top of the high street, but we wanted to give our local Big Issue vendor a more formal introduction.

Larissa is from Newcastle and has lived there for 13 years, moving to England from Ireland when she was just 18 to study business, then ending up working in retail and meeting her husband.

“When I had my second child my life got turned around,” she said, “We were living in a small space with not enough money to pay the bills. It was hard.”

It was then that Larissa went to the Big Issue. “They gave me a place to live, a pitch and free magazines to start with,” she explained, “They even sorted out school for my kids. Over lockdown it was very tough, but they helped by sending vouchers and money from the regulars who subscribed online.”

“Amble is a very nice place. The people are very friendly,” she told us, but said that the high street could often be quiet, with many people visiting the pods and the pier but not making the journey up to the top of Amble.

“Every day is different, and not every day is a good day, but it’s about challenging yourself. Sometimes I only make five or six sales in a day, but I have lots of friendly regulars.”

Her pitch is outside the Co-Op and she is usually there from Tuesday to Saturday, but it can vary. “I have a six month old at home, so it really depends.” Larissa currently has four children, with another one on the way, which she’s hoping will be a boy.

Lily Tibbitts

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