A COUPLE who have been at the heart of a community for nearly 40 years have been presented with an award recognising their efforts.

Paul and Harvinder Guatam ran the West Barns Village Shop for 38 years before calling it a day last year.

West Barns Community Council organised a big surprise for the couple and presented them with the Community Council Cup.

The accolade is presented to people who have given dedicated service to the village.

Mr and Mrs Guatam also received a quaich to keep and a bouquet of flowers was presented to Harvinder.

Andrew Ashton, chairman of the community council, spoke of the incredible contribution that the couple and their family, including children Sunny and Pooja, had made to the village.

Mr Ashton told the Courier: “Even since they retired last year and the shop has been taken over, it is still ‘Paul’s shop’.”

In presenting the cup, longest-serving community councillor and former chairman Jimmy Thorburn commended the couple on their dedicated service 365 days a year with the shop, the hub of the community.