Christmas Surprise for Southfields Big Issue Seller

Local residents chip in for a festive fund for Maya

Maya expresses her thanks for the kind gift
Maya expresses her thanks for the kind gift

Kind-hearted Southfields residents have clubbed together to give a local ‘Big Issue’ vendor an unexpected Christmas present.

Mother-of-four Maya has been selling the magazine from her pitch near Southfields tube station on Wimbledon Park Road for two years, and in that time has become a popular figure with many passers-by.

However some of the local ‘Grid Mummies’ group were concerned that with the festive season fast approaching she faced it with little to help her family enjoy it. They decided to set up a page for people to donate towards a ‘festive fund’ for her. They were amazed to find that in less than 24 hours it had raised well over the original estimate of £200.

Originally from Romania, Maya arrived in the UK just before the pandemic hit in early 2020, having spent a decade in Italy being a “statue” entertaining tourists. She commutes to Southfields from Ilford every day because she says she feels safe in Southfields, because people care, and she feels really valued. A mother of 4, she and her husband live here while their children remain back in Romania. Their eldest is 18, and with the help of the grandparents she looks after her younger siblings.

When told of the collection, Maya was overwhelmed. “I cried for 10 minutes” she admitted. “I’ve never seen or had this amount of money in my life. I’m so overwhelmed. I’ll make sure the children have a real Christmas tree this year, their first one ever”.

It’s not the first time Maya’s been rewarded for her kind nature. In October the Grid Mummies also presented her with a birthday cake, sang to her and gave her small gifts. It was the first time in her life she’d ever received a birthday cake.

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December 15, 2021