The NFRN have received lots of amazing applications for the Shop Local, Shop Little Heroes award and we want to highlight some fantastic examples of customer service and community spirit.
Find out how just a couple of our members went above and beyond for their local community during the Coronavirus pandemic:
Mr & Mrs Jagpal
When the COVID-19 outbreak began there was a huge spike in sales. In order to ensure their customers got a fair share of their stock, they had made the decision to place limits on essentials, even before the supermarkets did. Promotions were kept running, ensuring customers would get the best value. Mr and Mrs Jagpal were able to push their Facebook page, giving daily live updates to customers to let them know what would come in deliveries, saving their customers the journey if they did not have what was needed.
They also worked closely with unconventional suppliers including bakers to source hard to find items including flour, eggs and bread.
Mr and Mrs Jagpal shop is nearby the Southampton General Hospital, they often speak with the hard working staff working there. The ambulance service had ran out of hand sanitiser, the couple managed to source 10 litres and donated it to the ambulances. A further 10 litres was made available to customers who would make a donation in exchange for the sanitiser. All of the money from this was donated to the Hampshire Air Ambulance. Face masks were also donated to nurses and more recently one of their customers made a number of elasticated head bands to make the face mask more comfortable, these were offered free of charge to all NHS workers who are wearing masks for many hours per day.
One of their customers said:
“It’s a store I’ve only really visited before to drop off parcels, but that’ll now change. This evening, after a soul destroying walk around the big Tesco down the road with all of its empty shelves I stopped off here on the way home. They had everything except for toilet roll. They were limiting the number of items each customer could purchase, their prices were the same as always, and after a conversation with both the owner and his son, I had so much respect for the way this small business is running their store.”
Rajesh, popularly known as Raj, a member from Lewisham & Woolwich Branch has been a member for last 30 years and along the time has served his Branch well over the years and is still involved with NFRN activities as a branch and district delegate.
Present crisis and the lockdown have brought over the hidden side of Rajesh’s work with his customers and his community.
It all started with his HND service and from onset he decided to use his robust HND service into helping his regular HND customers. He enhanced the service to deliver apart from papers, all groceries, medicines and any other daily requirement needed by customers focusing on old and vulnerable customers. He then rolled this out to his other customers visiting his shop and kept a special lookout anyone needing help with deliveries and home cooked food. To help the community he donated his entire PPE stock to his local Saint Christopher’s Hospice immediately. He received a certificate of Gratitude from the Mayor of Bromley. Apart from this Raj has close links with the community through BAPS Neasden Temple and their network delivers vegetarian food to anyone who needs it and presently are looking after a number of vulnerable families, one particular family is a former branch official who gets Rajesh’s service. Rajesh is a true hero who believes in a helpline, all without a thought of the cost.
Raj (Sunny) Patel
Raj Patel , a legend in Swindon known as Sunny has been a member who has serving the people 24/7 on his mind. He was always a very helpful retailer but since corona virus pandemic his activities has increased fourfold.
Sunny has a network of deliverers who deliver everything to old and vulnerable families, with an Indian upbringing he treats old as his parents. If a family needs home cooked food Sunny will make sure they get it.
He also is very well known among civic authorities and Key workers as he has delivered food to all including local police and hospitals. He frequently gets mentioned in local press.
Sunny has also been mentioned in National and regional TV as he is driving force behind Swindon volunteers, a group dedicated to helping others with cost not an issue. His next project is fund raising for community around Swindon.
Trudy and Ian Davies
Since lockdown they haven’t had a day off, delivering to the community to as far as 15 miles in radius as we are rural community. Putting the local bakery into the newsagents to supply everyone with all the essentials. Even when ians mother passed away they were unable to take a day off as they have made staff stay at home for there own protection and safety. I am incredibly proud of them. Starting a key worker cuppa campaign for customers to donate money for a key worker to have a free coffee and match funding it themselves in woosnams.
“she always goes the extra mile for her community tirelessly thinking of what new innovative things she can do to make life better in the community knowing her customers and supporting her local community”
Mr Rashid is always actively looking at ways to help his customers and community and once again during the current corona virus crisis he has went above and beyond to help.
Mr Rashid is offering any member of the NHS 10% of their shopping bill, since his store is located close to the Queen Elizabeth hospital this offer has been well received.
The elderly customers who use his store also receive a 10% discount on their bill. Also, Mr Rashid carries out deliveries to the elderly members of his community and this is done free of charge. To show their appreciation some customers have given Mr Rashid thank you cards.
Another project Mr Rashid has been working on is to try and remove the 99p customer transaction charge on his Note machine ATM as he feels that during these challenging times this cost can add up over time if used frequently. He has now negotiated with the atm provider who have agreed to remove the charge in return Mr Rashid has agreed to pay a charitable donation of £1000 every month.
Mr Rashid and his store are important parts of the community and he is continually looking at ways to help his customers and local businesses. He has been awarded the MBE for his efforts too ease financial burden on his customers and the good work he carries out.
Mr Shakoor has tried his hardest to provide an essential service to his customers during the Coronavirus lockdown.
His store provides home news delivery, with runs of six times per day.
At the start of the lockdown he picked up around 40 new orders from elderly customers who wished to self isolate.
Mr Shakoor is very grateful for all his delivery boys who have come to do the runs each morning.
The store has now also been providing home delivery and have a small selection of groceries that they extended.
Mr Rocky Jalota has been working alone for the last 10 – 11 weeks, during the lockdown.
He works 7 days a week, serving his local community, delivering newspapers and various other essentials to his local community.
This has been hard for Mr Jalota to juggle whilst working on his own, but his customers are very valuable to his business.
On Fridays and Saturdays, he provides free meals for anyone to collect.