WITH the UK on lockdown, The Reading Chronicle has become an even more important source of trusted local news and entertainment for the community.

As part of The Reading Chronicle’s Covid-19 campaign, we will be highlighting local newsagent heroes each week showing you the people who are continuing to go into work in order to keep newspapers sold and delivered to thousands.

READ ALSO: Mortimer resident holds charity car wash to raise money for NHS Charities Together.

This week we spoke to the owner of Southcote News, Mr Amin, to see how his shop has been coping during the coronavirus lockdown.

The family run shop has been owned by Mr Amin for the last 10-12 years and is open Monday to Sunday.

Since lockdown, Mr Amin explained posters have been placed on the windows to remind people to socially distance whilst inside the store.

He said mornings have been quieter so the shop has been opening a little later at 6:30am and closing slightly earlier in the evening at 6:30pm during the weekdays.

The shop, on Southcote Parade, sells newspapers as well as groceries and dairy products such as milk.

It also acts as an off license and sells lottery tickets.

Mr Amin said many elderly residents have been popping in to get their newspapers and daily items such as bread.

The shop doesn’t offer a newspaper delivery service.

READ ALSO: Reading-based yoga teacher raises thousands of pounds for NHS Charities Together.

Last week we spoke to Mr Butt, owner of Butts Super News in The Triangle, Tilehurst.

He explained before the pandemic, the store sold greetings cards and gifts and did not sell groceries.

Now, Mr Butt sells groceries such as bread, milk and eggs to make it easier for locals to shop during the pandemic and stop people from needing to queue for larger shops.

Mr Butt says the news is “essential” for people at this time and the Chronicle is a popular choice as it provides people with local information.

Whilst newsagents have remained open, many retailers have closed during lockdown.

However, the government has revealed many retailers will be able to reopen under new guidelines from June 15.

These include charity shops, fashion shops, food retailers, mobile phone stores, tailors, car dealerships and betting shops and arcades.

Ministers were keen to stress the date could change if reductions in coronavirus infections fail to meet expectations.