Smiley Crosspool Big Issue in the North seller earns award

Crosspool Big Issue in the North seller Mohammad Iqbal picks up his award
Crosspool Big Issue in the North seller Mohammad Iqbal picks up his award

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.”

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Rivelin Valley Conservation Group scoops environment award

Rivelin valley : the local conservation group has won an award
Rivelin valley : the local conservation group has won an award

Rivelin Valley Conservation Group collected top prize at the Sheffield Telegraph Environment Awards this week.

The organisation is now twenty years old and continues to encourage the effective management of wildlife habitats and to reverse the decline of the nature trail.

Volunteers from a membership of 500 meet once a month for regular walks, talks from both enthusiasts and experts and also to improve the Rivelin valley environment.

Sheffield Telegraph Environment Awards: meet our winners

Rivelin Valley Conservation Group