“We are trying to help the older people out"
Two owners of a Cornershop are giving free face masks, anti-bacterial hand gel and cleaning wipes to the elderly to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Anyone over the age of 65 can pick up the essential kit at Day Today Express in Stenhousemuir, Falkirk, Scotland.
Those who are unable to get to the shop can have them delivered for free.
The owners stocked up on supplies before the virus reached Scotland.
Asiyah Javed, who runs the shop with her husband Jawad, said that it has cost their business approximately £2,000.
Each bag had cost £2 to put together and they had delivered 500 of them.
Ms Javed revealed that they started making donations after meeting an elderly woman in tears. She said:
“On Saturday I was out, and I met an old woman, she was crying because she had been to the supermarket and there was no hand wash.
“We are delivering 30 packages to a care home and we’ve got another couple of hundred in the shop.
“Some people are asking for them to be delivered as they’re old, or disabled, or don’t drive. We are just trying to help people who can’t get out the house.”
Ms Javed could not help but think about the risk the virus would have posed to her late grandparents.
“We spent a lot of time with our grandparents and we feel that if they were alive we wouldn’t want them to be struggling.
“We are trying to help the older people out, if they were young they would have got to the supermarket but some of them can’t because they are old.
“Other people are putting the prices up but we are giving them away for free.”
On hearing about COVID-19, Ms Javed told Metro:
“I started stockpiling hand gel when I heard about the virus from the cash and carry. People thought I was going to sell them, but I had this in my mind.’
“I thought ‘it’s time to give now’, not when coronavirus is here.
“You don’t want to give them out when people have already got the virus. Other shopkeepers are buying them to sell, we are buying them to give away.”
Despite the couple’s generosity, some shoppers have ridiculed them.
“Other shoppers are calling us stupid, and saying ‘Why are you giving them away for free?’
“But money is not everything, there will be the opportunity to make money in future.”
This is not the first time the shop owners have looked after the vulnerable.
In 2018, during the ‘Beast from the East’ storm, Ms Javed and her husband delivered free milk to elderly people who could not get to the shops.
Due to COVID-19, many people in the UK are panic buying. Shoppers are emptying supermarket shelves, buying large quantities of toilet roll and soap.
Online shopping sites like Amazon have seen hand sanitiser prices increase by hundreds of pounds by opportunistic sellers.