A shopkeeper has been recognised as South Oxhey Community Hero 2020 for his commitment to the community.

Deven Vekaria, who runs Londis in Little Oxhey Lane, was one of 11 nominees for the award and topped the voting in a poll on the Facebook group South Oxhey Info.

By voting for Deven, local people acknowledged and expressed their thanks for everything that Deven has done for the community and have described him as a ‘part of the family’.

During lockdown, Deven worked tirelessly to keep everything going. He ensured the store was fully stocked and that customers who are vulnerable are able to receive their shopping.

Watford Observer:

The shopkeeper was also commended for providing funding for the Red Box campaign in schools and supporting local children during half-term by ensuring that no child had to go without a lunchtime meal.

Deven has been part of the family business for the last ten years since the age of 22 and managed it with his late father, who died last year.

As a family, they have always tried to help the South Oxhey community, from sponsoring local football clubs, to helping the elderly and those in need.

During the Covid crisis Deven has helped key workers, vulnerable individuals and those who were shielding by preparing and delivering their shopping to them. He wanted to continue his father's work, supporting the community and seeing them thrive, as they are like a family to him.

Thanking those who voted for him and expressing his appreciation to the staff at Londis for their continued support and hard work, Deven also congratulated all the nominees for the award. He said: "What they have done for the community is remarkable and they are all winners.”

Watford Observer:

The award was presented by South Oxhey-based photographer Rebecca Yusaf, who organised the event for a second year to recognise the commitment local people have made to the South Oxhey community.

She is also hoping the award will encourage not just individuals but also local businesses to support the community, particularly during these difficult times.

Reflecting on the positive comments that had been received about all the nominees, Rebecca said: "It just goes to show that one individual can make a real change to the lives of others."