‘Hero’ Shopkeeper goes extra mile for community during snow storms

Delighted locals getting milk at Waz's in Broxburn. Picture: Scott Mooney
Delighted locals getting milk at Waz's in Broxburn. Picture: Scott Mooney
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Shop owner Waz Abbas has been praised as a ‘local hero’ by his community after going the extra mile to help out shoppers during the snow storms created by the ‘Beast from the East.

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One of the milk pick-ups.

One of the milk pick-ups.

As many stores struggled to cater for the demand of their customers as delivery trucks struggled to get out due to the severe conditions, Mr Abbas took matters into his own hands.

The 39-year-old Broxburn shopkeeper braved the treacherous conditions to provide his customers with the essentials.

Mr Abbas, who owns Waz’s Convenience Store on Goschen Place in the West Lothian town, went out twice on Thursday to pick up milk straight from the dairy much to the surprise and delight of locals.

With the help of a friend he made two 50 mile round trips to Pollock & Son’s in Bonnybridge.

Mr Abbas said: “Our shop community is our extended family. We’ve been with them for 19 years. In their hour of need I could not see them stuck, from the vulnerable pensioners for a cup of tea, to the mothers who needed milk for their babies.

“My friend David Ness, with his 4x4, and I decided to do something about it. We did two 50 mile round trips to the farm to collect it. The smiles were well worth it.”

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He added: “Milk, eggs, fruit, veg, bacon and sausages were also secured and a delivery of 170 loaves, 80 dozen rolls. Although we didn’t physically go get them it took a lot begging and persuasion to get them.”

His endeavour was recognised by ecstatic customers.

Jem Finlayson said: “Waz Abbas is a true local hero! If it wasn’t for him half of Broxburn and Uphall wouldn’t have had their tea and toast the last few days!

“This guy sacrifices so much to look after this community. He is a huge sponsor for Broxburn children’s gala day, he ran a foodbank collection point and delivered an incredible amount of food for West Lothian foodbank the week before Christmas 2017 and he is involved in numerous charities here and abroad.

“Waz is an absolute diamond of a man, he always has a smile for you no matter how exhausted he is and makes everybody feel like a friend. I don’t think anyone in this area would disagree.”

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Fellow local LA Barnes added: “He has done everything he can to have his shop open and full of stock just to make sure all the community have everything they need.”

Mr Abbas also made a delivery to a disabled pensioner in Livingston. Although not a customer, she found the store on Facebook. Milk was delivered on Friday and she is getting a delivery of bread on rolls on Saturday.

“We would always go above and beyond the regular customer service for our customers,” he said. “Having lived in the community for five years and working with them for 19 I would never let them down.

“I’m truly humbled and warmed with the kind words of support and appreciation that the community have shown over the last few days.”

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