The dedicated approach of Mohammed Iqbal, Crosspool’s vendor for The Big Issue in the North, has been recognised with a special award.
Mohammed sells the magazine outside Spar in the precinct. He was recently presented with the award by the magazine’s Sheffield office.
In the article below Mohammed explains a bit more about his background, why 2012 was a difficult year for him and his experiences of selling in Crosspool. The piece originally appeared in the Big Issue in the North and is reproduced here with permission.
Well done to Mohammed and thanks to Heather for spotting the article and letting us know about the news.
Smiley vendor earns award
One of Sheffield’s vendors, Mohammad Iqbal, has been rewarded for his tireless work over the past year, being given the Sheffield office’s Most Dedicated Vendor of 2012 award as part of its end of year celebrations.
Iqbal, 45, has been selling The Big Issue in the North for nine years in Yorkshire, between Scunthorpe, Barnsley and Sheffield, and is now reaping the rewards with an impressive sales record on his new pitch.
Iqbal said: “I have been selling at Crosspool since June, which has been really good as I now have a lot of regular customers there who have started calling me ‘Smiley’. The manager and staff are very friendly. They let me stand under their shelter and so I return the favour by helping the shop’s customers with their trolleys. I’ve even stopped a thief running away from the shop twice, which they thanked me for.”
Having a good relationship with his customers and the public means a lot to Iqbal. “I enjoy talking to people, and working each day helps keep me in good spirits and motivated to improve my situation. My family live in Pakistan, and being so far away makes it difficult, but selling the magazine helps keep me busy whilst making the money I need.
“2012 was a very difficult year for me, as I lost three very close members of my family; my son Akhtar, my daughter Sophia and my mother. But I have worked very hard every day selling the magazine so that I can support them as much as I can, to pay my own way for things, and to put some money in savings, which will help me in the future.
“My main aim is to try and get my family to move over to England this year, which would make me a very happy man. I’m very thankful to anyone who buys my magazines and helps me do this.”