Hundreds of Christmas presents - and curries - going out to community as Jarrow shop keepers determined everyone should have a merry Christmas
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Brothers Nico and Taz Ali run the Premier convenience shop in Edinburgh Road, Jarrow.
Since the covid pandemic took hold they have done all they can to help local people get through it.
On Thursday, December 10 the shop will be giving away 100 curries to help residents keep out the cold. This is being done with the help of the Rice and Spice Indian and Bangladeshi takeaway in South Shields.
They will be doing the same on Thursday, December 17.
Nico, who has run the business for 30 years, is also giving away 250 Christmas presents to children on the Scotch Estate. With help from Santa, around half of them have already been distributed.
This is far from the first time the shop has gone above and beyond for the community. At Halloween they gave out 25 drums worth of sweets as youngsters were unable to go around knocking on doors trick or treating, with help from former Sunderland footballer Pascal Chimbonda.
When lockdown began in March the shop donated thousands of loaves of bread, pints of milk and other essential items to residents.
Nico has also donated hundreds pallets of bottled water to NHS workers at South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals and, after finding out that Hebburn Helps food bank was running low on stock, he turned up there with crates of cereal, custard and tinned fruit.
Nico more than happy to do all this.
He explained: “We’re trying to bring the community spirit back up. They’re all on a bit of a downer at the moment. It’s a nice gift to be able to give them.
“We’re giving it out to customers when they call in at the shop. To anybody really.
“We’ve already given the presents out from the shop. They’re for the kids in the community. I’m doing it in stages because we don’t want people to crowd out the shop when we should be social distancing.
“It’s great to help out and know that people appreciate it. It’s better to give than receive.”