This is the heartwarming moment residents showed solidarity with shopkeepers who had been subjected to violent attacks — by singing ‘Lean on Me’.
A ‘flash-mob’ choir sang the Bill Withers classic to retail staff after a spate of robberies in recent weeks.
Dozens of people surprised staff by gathering outside the Co-op in Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol to join together in a singalong.
Organisers of the impromptu choir said they wanted to show solidarity and support for staff in the Co-op on Stoke Lane, the nearby newsagent and other stores that had suffered violence in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, the Co-op was raided by two hooded men wearing ski masks in an attack that stunned the community.
The two men burst in just five minutes before the store was due to close, and threatened a member of staff with a machete and a knife before stealing cash from all the tills.
Police are still investigating the raid, which happened at 9.50pm on Monday night and left one staff member so shocked that neighbouring shopkeepers said they were “unable to speak”.
“After the violent attacks in the newsagent and Co-op on Stoke Lane we wanted to show our support for all the shop keepers and businesses there and also our community as a whole,” said one of the organisers, Sharmila Bousa.
“We wanted to show people how strong this community is and how much we care about each other. There is so much bad news at the moment, we wanted to create something good,” she added.
Organisers arranged for three lead singers to start singing outside the Co-op in Stoke Lane, and then everyone else who came along to suddenly join in.