Former Grangemouth shopkeepers are now High Street Heroes

A couple have received more recognition for their good work and selfless dedication to their community during this year’s coronavirus lockdown.

After earning British Empire medals in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last month, the Farids – Ghulam and Shagufta – have now been awarded a Highly Commended title in the Scotland Loves Local campaign’s High Street Hero Awards.

The husband and wife team Bowhouse Newsagents, in Bowhouse Square, Grangemouth, for over 20 years and recently retired, handing over the reins of the business they loved.

The Farids’ selfless commitment to the community during this year’s coronavirus crisis when nothing was too much trouble for them – despite a serious health condition which forced Ghulam’s retirement – drew the attention of Scotland Loves Local members.

Former Grangemouth shopkeepers the Farids - Ghulam and Shagufta - have won a highly commended honour in the Scotland Loves Local High Street Hero Awards

A spokesperson said: “The couple were nominated because of the remarkable work they have been involved with to help people in their community through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After reading your story our judges felt it right that you should be highly commended for what you have done. Thank you for your tremendous work – we have truly seen the best community spirit shine during these most difficult times.”

The couple will now receive a certificate from Scotland Loves Local and be highlighted in their roll of honour at www.lovelocal.scot.

As well as helping serve the Grangemouth community through good times and bad for two decades, they have helped a number of charities and organisations over the years.

Mr Farid assisted local churches by transporting large items for events like car boot sales and the Bowhouse Newagents has sponsored local primary schools.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic they have also helped local NHS Staff and care homes by supplying PPE equipment and essential food items. Care packages were also delivered within the community to help the elderly and vulnerable during the most difficult days.

Although he has never let it slow him down until recently, Ghulam has chronic kidney disease and is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. He now receives dialysis three times a week.

When her husband’s condition started to mean he had to start slowing down, Shagufta, who has diabetes, took up the slack and worked tirelessly in the newsagents.