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Coronavirus: Shop owner 'choked up' by thank you book

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image copyrightPritpal Dale
image captionPritpal Dale is temporarily living apart from his family to avoid potentially spreading the virus to them

A shop owner who has been self-isolating from his family since the coronavirus lockdown to run his store has been thanked by his customers.

Pritpal Dale, who runs a store in Loughborough, was given a book "full of thank you messages" during the clap for key workers on Thursday.

The 43-year-old said he was "choked up" but insisted he was just doing his job.

He said he was temporarily living apart from his family to avoid potentially spreading the virus to them.

Mr Dale, known as Paul to his customers at Toothill Convenience Store, said he had also been delivering people's shopping and paying their bills during the pandemic.

He said: "I came out to clap as we do and then one of the residents came over and said 'this clap is for you'.

"I was presented with a scrapbook full of thank you messages.

"I was choked up and lost for words. It was very humbling and still overwhelming."

image copyrightPritpal Dale
image captionMr Dale has thanked the customers for "brightening our days"

Mr Dale moved into the flat above the shop on 24 March to isolate himself from his wife Barinder, their children Karam, 10, and Ishar, seven, and his elderly mother who live in Anstey, Leicestershire.

"Not being able to hug or kiss my kids is getting to me, as a parent it's your natural instinct," he said.

"It's horrible. I can't describe it."

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John Dimmick, 59, who designed the book, said: "Paul has been an absolute hero.

"He's the hub of the area while having to isolate himself from his family during lockdown."

One message said the sacrifices the family had made were "remarkable" and called Mr Dale an "unsung hero".

Another note thanked the "true stars" for "giving us all our favourite treats and necessities".

image copyrightPritpal Dale
image captionMessages in the book describe Mr Dale as a "hero" for the sacrifices he has made

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