Blyth retailer shortlisted for prestigious award
A Blyth retailer has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award in recognition for his outstanding commitment to the community.
Shad Saleem runs two best-one independent stores in the town – Poets Corner on Wordsworth Avenue and Plessey News on Plessey Road.
He is now one of five independent retailers shortlisted for the ‘Independent Community Retailer of the Year’ category at the Retail Industry Awards 2019 – seen as the Oscars of the grocery retail sector.
Shad said: “I am overcome to be shortlisted for these prestigious awards. Never did I think I would be recognised for my work within the community on a national scale like this, and stand up against the large multiples.
“I see myself – and my shops – as a part of the fabric of our community, helping create the best possible environment for Blyth. That includes helping and supporting individuals, groups and organisations as much as we can.”
In the past 20 years Shad has supported local groups including Blyth Cricket Club, Rugby Club, the Empire School of Boxing, Blyth Charity Golf Day, Blyth Carnival, Malvin’s Close Primary Academy, St Claire Vets and the Great North Children’s Hospital.
Shad has personally donated and fundraised significant amounts over the years, last year helping to raise a record £45,000 for the Poppy Appeal.
Shad is a Trustee of Blyth Food Bank and donates products from his shops.
Last Christmas and New Year he worked with the police, Northumberland County Council and Social Services and was on call to hand out food parcels as the Food Bank closed during that time.
Last year, he was awarded the annual Rotarian of the Year Award in recognition of demonstrating ‘Service Above Self’ and significant contributions to community or international service.
Shad added: “I don’t do this alone; my staff across the two shops also get involved in fundraising activities and community projects.
“For us, it’s about helping local people, families and the area as a whole to thrive as much as possible.”
Shad will be attending the Retail Industry Awards 2019 in London on Tuesday, September 17.