Jarrow shopkeepers recognised on Channel 4's Britain's Unsung Heroes for incredible efforts during the pandemic
and live on Freeview channel 276
Since the Covid-19 pandemic put the country into lockdown in March, brothers Nico and Taz Ali – who run the Premier shop in Jarrow’s Scotch Estate - have become a lifeline for vulnerable residents in the area.
Nico, who has been behind the counter for 30 years, has been out every day delivering around 3,500 free loaves of bread and pints of milk to residents who can’t leave their homes.
Now his efforts have been recognised nationally after the pair appeared on Channel 4’s Britain’s Unsung Heroes on Wednesday, May 27.
The documentary celebrated key workers up and down the UK, who are keeping the country going during the crisis.
It followed Nico as he was out delivering essential food packages to residents in Jarrow.
In the last three months, the shopkeepers have also donated items such as bread, milk, toilet roll and hand sanitiser on a weekly basis, to a raft of local food banks.
Dozens of food packages have been delivered to local hospitals, emergency services and cancer wards – as well as hundreds of bottles of water dropped off for NHS staff in South Tyneside.
Nico has also been surprising residents with birthday gifts and Easter Eggs and teamed up with the Cake Box in Newcastle to provide 100 cakes to the community for VE Day.
“I have never stopped supporting my local community and will continue to support them for as long as I can,” said Nico.
“My heart and soul goes out to the people and their families who have died from COVID-19. It is not just about a big number, this is people’s lives we are talking about and I wanted to show my support to everyone on the frontline.
“Taz has helped me and supported me all the way by running our business. I am doing this because I needed to give back to the community. Every day I have been emotional and what makes me smile seeing the faces of my local community.
“I have learnt it’s not about money, it’s about loving and caring for people.”