With World Kindness Day falling during November, we thought we’d chat to a business that has been recognised for its acts of kindness and its role in the local community.
We revisited H&S Convenience Store, based in Hadrian Park in Wallsend, to find out how the past year has been since winning the Heart of the Community award.
Sagheer Khan told us all about his business, recovering after a pandemic and how the community really is the heart of their business.
How has the past year been following the onset of the pandemic?
We aren’t just shopkeepers in our local area. H&S Stores is part of the local community and we try to help our local residents as much as possible, as well as providing a well-stocked local store for them to buy their groceries.
Has your business changed since winning the Heart of the Community award?
I think that winning the award has highlighted the work we’ve been doing in the community, to more people so our business has grown and has been able to make an even bigger positive impact.
Winning the award has helped more people to realise that local community, and local shops as a part of that, are vital to everyone.
Describe some of the work you’ve been doing in the past year…
We do our best to support the most vulnerable people in our community. Those who have lost jobs or are struggling to find the money to feed their families. We’ve even made trips to the supermarket to buy the products we don’t stock so that families can eat well and cook healthy meals.
One of our young customers had his bike stolen a few months back and his parents couldn’t afford to replace it, so we donated a bike to him to get him back out playing in the fresh air.
We’ve made donations of pet food to Newcastle cat and dog shelter because they always need food to feed all the animals they’re trying to rehome. And we’ve supported the Wallsend local community group with grocery items when they made a call for more supplies. We’re planning to make that a regular donation so that we can support families even more.
What are your plans for supporting the community in the coming months?
As a family we have plans to help the community by raising funds for various causes. For example, my daughter, Sameena, is swimming in the sea at Tynemouth every day. She started on 1 November and will carry on throughout this month. She’s raising money for Cancer Research.
My son and I would like to paraglide to raise money for a local mental health charity too – that’s still in the planning stage but we’ll let people know how they can donate as soon as we know.
As a business, we’re planning to put together a newborn package to help new Mums with a box of items that will be useful to them in the first few weeks of their babies’ lives.
We’re huge believers that people can do more when they work together so we’re always looking at new ways to help and support the people in our local community. We’re lucky enough to have a supportive family and a great business so we’d like to pass that support on where it’s needed.
Find out more about the work that H&S Stores does in the local community by visiting their Facebook page.