THEY are the couple that not only run the local convenience shop but they go above and beyond to help their community.

And now Leslie and Tim Francis of Enham Village Shop and Post Office have been honoured with the first-ever Unsung Heroes award, sponsored by Nisa, as part of Talking Retail magazine.

The couple were nominated by their parent company Spar for the accolade and were visited by a reporter from the publication but never expected to take the title.

Leslie said: “Every Saturday I try to do a clear up and as the magazine comes in I put one aside and then go through it to make sure we aren’t missing anything, and there we were! I just went ‘oh my god’.”

As well as stocking much-needed items the couple and their shop also offer a wide range of services to help Enham and beyond.

The store is a collection point for Andover Foodbank, and on Fridays customers descend to enjoy fish and chips cooked by Tim, but it does not stop there as Leslie is chair of the parish council and is a village agent for Age Concern.

She said: “It typifies what we do, we are committed to supporting our community and we do go above and beyond, but to be recognised nationally when there are thousands and thousands of retailers — it is outstanding. We don’t just open the doors — we are a hub that people rely on.”

Nisa sales director Steve Leach said: “The level of involvement is outstanding and they certainly deserve to be recognised in the capacity for such fantastic efforts.”

He continued: “It seems the added services villagers can access in the store are regarded as equally important as the usual services provided by a shop.”