York & North Yorkshire

Funeral appeal for York Big Issue vendor

Peter Toulson Image copyright YorkMix
Image caption Peter Toulson has been described as "kind and thoughtful"

A crowdfunding appeal is under way to help with the cost of the funeral of a popular Big Issue North vendor.

Peter Toulson, who died on Monday, sold the magazine from a pitch outside Marks & Spencer on Parliament Street, York.

A friend of the vendor - who travelled from Leeds to York to sell the magazine - has started a JustGiving page to raise £3,000 for Mr Toulson's partner Karen, website YorkMix has reported.

The appeal for the "gentle giant" currently stands at about £1,300.

'Friendly banter'

John Mcgall, who set up the JustGiving page, said the money would help provide "a funeral befitting of a proud, dignified, lovely man".

Mr Mcgall said his friend "always had a smile or friendly banter with both his customers and the general public".

Mr Toulson, who was from Leeds, started selling the Big Issue after he nearly lost a leg and spent four months in hospital. He then lost his job and was evicted from his flat, according to YorkMix.

Image copyright YorkMix
Image caption Mr Toulson sold the magazine in York

Steve Crowther, a regular customer, said he was "shocked and saddened" to hear of Mr Toulson's sudden death.

"Like many people, I always stopped by to chat to him at his 'office' outside M&S.

"Standing outside M&S in all weather, travelling to York and back from Leeds, was a massive ask. And yet I rarely heard him complain.

"The thing that would upset him most, he told me, was the people who passed him by without acknowledgement, as if he didn't exist."

Nic Backhouse, of Big Issue North, said: "We are really saddened Peter has passed away.

"Peter had sold Big Issue North in York for a long time and clearly had a good relationship with the people who bought the magazine."

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