Shad Saleem runs two stores and a fish and chip shop in Blyth, where he is also an active member of Blyth Rotary.
He won the ‘Spirit of the Community’ award at the Asian Trader awards.
Club President, Gerald Wallace, said: “I realise I do bang on in District meetings about working inclusively in our communities, but here is a shining example of what I talk about.
“Shad is a great Rotarian who, in a year’s time, will be our first President from the Asian community.”
Speaking after receiving the award, Shad told the Asian Trader: “A lot of people in the community know that I do a lot for the community. [The award] was received very well.”
Shad told the publication how he has a passion for community work. “I am a very open-handed retailer, so few may think I’m crazy, but that’s the way I am,” he said.
“I believe wealth does not decrease by giving to charity. I believe the more you give, the more will come back.”
The success of his two stores, best-one Poets Corner and best-one Plessey News, in Blyth, which is inundated with retail shops, vouches for the practicality of this philosophy.
Blyth Rotary has been active during the pandemic.
It supplied Christmas parcels to 50 families, and the club has been involved with establishing a breakfast club at Malvin’s Close Primary Academy, which enabled 30 children to be given a proper breakfast.
I believe wealth does not decrease by giving to charity. I believe the more you give, the more will come back.”
Shad, 45, is also involved with several organisations in Blyth, and acts as a trustee of Blyth Food Bank, which has seen demand for food parcels increase massively during the pandemic.
He told the publication: “You don’t know what’s around the corner and it could be any of us that one day needs to ask for help.
“This is where the basics of just ensuring people are fed and have a roof over their heads is important to me.
“Have a big heart. Give to community. Give to people who are less fortunate. It does come back. I really believe it does come back.”
Shad, 45, is also involved with several organisations in Blyth, and acts as a trustee of Blyth Food Bank, which has seen demand for food parcels increase massively during the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum is Bob Jackson. Fifty years in Rotary is an amazing achievement, and Bob Jackson from Chard Rotary in Somerset recently achieved that landmark.
Bob joined Rotary when he was 30-years-old. “I was in the company of local businessmen who were making a difference in the community,” reflected Bob.
“Martyn Hocken sponsored me, and he and Lynden Howard had just set up the League of friends at Chard Hospital, a good example of Rotary setting something up and then handing it over.
Fifty years in Rotary is an amazing achievement, and Bob Jackson from Chard Rotary in Somerset recently achieved that landmark.”
“Martyn’s daughter Nora Arnold is the current Chairperson who is helping to keep the legacy going.
“The fellowship and sense of belonging to a bigger family I very much enjoyed and we did many things in the community.”
Martyn has twice served as club President and he describes one of the highlights was being able to attend the Rotary International Convention in Birmingham with 22,000 delegates from all over the world.
He recalled getting involved with a number of humanitarian projects, including the Sri Lankan tsunami disaster in 2004, and the Mount Vesuvius explosion in Italy in 1980 when funds were raised to send two caravans to the disaster zone filled with blankets and supplies to help families in the region.
He added: “There have been so many hurricanes, floods and earthquakes usually happening in the poorest countries and I have been privileged, as treasurer, to send relief to so many.
“There are many more memories of my Rotary life. My highlight is being awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship and then receiving a second one.”
Pictures courtesy of Asian Trader.