Rugby shopkeeper recognised for his tireless efforts in looking after his community

Date: 3 Aug 2020


A Rugby shopkeeper is buzzing after being recognised for his tireless efforts in looking after his community during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Chandrakumar Sivaprakash, known locally as Jay, runs the Woodlands Post Office and Newsagency on Cymbline Way in Rugby - and has spent the past three months delivering weekly care packages to more than 50 vulnerable people across the town.

At the height of the pandemic Jay was doing 17-hour shifts every day for two months, just to make sure his shop was stocked up with the essentials and deliveries were made to the most vulnerable.

One of Jay’s regular customers, Lynsey Smith, nominated him in to the Wasps Community Hero Awards, in association with Wasps Partner, Hannafin Contractors for his dedication to the wider community. 

The awards aim to recognise and reward people that have made a significant difference in their local community.

Jay has been running the Woodlands Newsagency for the past three years, and such is his love for the job, he has not had a day off since last September.

He said: “I don’t view my shopkeeping role as a job - it’s more of a hobby and passion of mine.

“I saw my grandad and dad have the same attitude and now I am following in their footsteps . It’s really important that as a community we look out for each other, especially during times of hardship like we are going through at the minute.

“During March and April I would be up at 5am every morning so I could get to the cash and carry at 6am before they opened their doors at 7.30am - if I was any later I would struggle to get hold of the supplies that I needed to deliver to my vulnerable customers. 

“The shop would need to be stocked up three times a day to meet demand - some of my customers even used to joke that I had better stock that than the big supermarkets! 

“I’ve made some really good friends during lock down and make a point of checking they are ok in themselves.

“I never say no to my customers, and if they ever need to use a service in my shop out of hours, such as the cash point, then I open to help them.”

To recognise Jay for his kindness and dedication, Hannafin Contractors will provide him with hospitality at an upcoming Wasps home match at Ricoh Arena, a signed shirt and personal video message from a first-team Wasps player. 

Adam Benson, Chief Commercial Officer at Wasps, added: “Jay has forged a reputation for himself as a pillar of his local community, and after hearing about his hard work and dedication, we have decided to treat him to a day out at the Ricoh.

“Jay’s story is one of a number of inspirational tales we have heard in recent weeks, and we can’t wait to welcome him and our other community hero winners to an upcoming Wasps match in the near future.”