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Moniaive grocer Graham Watson has urged anyone in the community who needs help during the latest lockdown to reach out.

The 54-year-old former submariner in the Royal Navy was recently awarded the British Empire Medal for his selfless work supporting vulnerable, elderly and shielding residents during the Covid crisis.

And he has been quick to reassure people in the area that he, his family and staff are stocked up to help people who can’t get out to the shops this time around.

As soon as he heard about the new lockdown Graham took to social media to give the heads up to residents in Moniaive and Glencairn so they can avoid a trip to Dumfries for their shopping.

He said: “We are prepared. We have plenty of stock and there is no need to panic buy. We will get through this. We always do.”

Graham, whose shop Watson’s Licenced Grocers holds the title of Scottish Community Retailer of the Year, said he will deliver six days a week to the local area with anyone who needs goods to call the shop between 9am and 11am for delivery that day.

And he aims to make sure no-one in the local community is left isolated or without food or emotional support.

Lockdown also means he has had to postpone a planned fundraising sponsored swim for Support In Mind Scotland which he had been training for.

He said he will now make a “personal donation” to the charity for people affected by mental illness and resurrect his sponsored challenge at some point this year when it is possible to do so.

Graham’s shop also now contains more than 200 photographs of local residents to show community support for all who live there and those who have died from Covid during the past nine months.

And he has a message for villagers to get them through the pandemic: “Look out for, and look after, each other.”

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