FOR the past three years he has been bringing a smile to the faces of Newbury shoppers with his famous one-liners and infectious positive personality.
And last week, Big Issue seller Kevin Collick – fondly known as ‘Kev’ – has proved he has a big heart to match by raising a remarkable £5,114.02 for Children in Need.
Kev raised £2,614 by giving up his wages and collecting money in Northbrook Street, Newbury, and Winchester.
Santander bank then put in £2,500.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News, Kev said: “I was always put down as a kid and didn’t feel loved and that’s part of the reason I started selling The Big Issue, because I could speak to people and it gave me comfort.
“Some of those kids [Children in Need] might not even survive next year.
“I just wanted to give something back because so many people have helped me and supported me.
“I might be down on my luck, I might live in a van, but anything I can do to help I will.”
News of Kev’s fundraising has been ‘liked’ more than 2,000 times and shared more than 600 times on Facebook.
One comment, from Anthony Stroud, said: “Kev, whenever you’re in town you always bring a ray of sunshine to someone’s life and make them smile god bless you.”
Marge Homer added: “Lightens my day whenever I see him in the mornings. Well done you, a man with a big heart and a great personality.”
Julie Stephens said: “How lovely! He is such a funny man always makes you smile! Great guy and huge heart.”
Responding to the comments, Kev said: “I am absolutely chuffed and I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone.”
But Newbury shoppers won’t be seeing Kev for much longer.
His last day in Newbury is on Saturday, December 17, as he starts a new job in January.
He said: “Newbury is a great place with some great people and I’ve made a lot of good friends here.”
Kirsten Thomson, The Big Issue’s team leader for the region, said: “Kevin is a well-known and popular member of the communities in which he sells.
“His sense of humour and enterprising nature have long been admired by staff and customers alike.
“His fundraising on behalf of Children in Need is a phenomenal achievement of which we’re all incredibly proud.”
Kev grew up in Cornwall and spent time on the streets of London before selling The Big Issue.