Award recognises Ali’s service

A MANGOTSFIELD shopkeeper has been given an award to recognise his “outstanding service” to the community.

Imran Ali has run the News Extra store in Burley Grove since 2003, and since that time has not only increased the services the shop provides to local people but has also given a helping hand to those in need, particularly during the pandemic.

Known to all his customers as Ali, the father of three runs the shop, which is open seven days a week from 7am to 9pm, with his wife and two members of staff.

Mangotsfield Residents Association has given Ali an award “in recognition of outstanding service to, and on behalf of, the residents of Staple Hill and Mangotsfield”.

The award was presented by MRA chair Clive Heath and Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward councillor Michael Bell outside Ali’s shop in May.

Clive said: “He’s a humble guy with a good heart, and does a lot of things for people.

“During covid, his shelves were always full and what he didn’t have, he would get for people. He also donated to Mangotsfield’s foodbank, which ran during lockdown.

“We wanted to show Ali that we really respect what he does for people – he richly deserves this award.

“He’s a friend to many people. A lot of people use the shop who haven’t got transport and for them, it’s the heart of the community.”

Ali has lived in the Bristol area since moving from Bangladesh in 1999.

He said: “I like to serve the local community. I have good relations with customers.”

Ali said recently times had become “very difficult”, with customers affected by the cost of living and a rise in shoplifting and violence, including a recent robbery at the shop.

Cllr Bell said: “With a lot of shops closing we want to support the local businesses we have in Staple Hill and Mangotsfield.

“It’s important we have businesses like Mr Ali’s and we want to give them all the support we can.”