Five exceptional retailers have been chosen as finalists for this year's ACS Community Heroes Award, with the winner to be announced at the Association of Convenience Stores' Summit in Birmingham on May 5.

The four businesses were chosen by fellow retailers in an online poll and each has demonstrated within the last year how retailers and their store staff can make a real difference to their community.

Sundher Sandher of Londis Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, combines running his store with his work as a magistrate, and with the police and customers he has helped reduce crime in the area by 60%.

Mike Duffy of Budgens Lightwater, Surrey, actively supports local charities, offering raffle prizes, organising collections behind the till and giving cash donations. He organises events in the village square every three months, inviting local and national suppliers to attend and give away product samples to the local community.

Dee Patel of Budgens Woodbridge in Suffolk has raised over £40,000 for charity across his stores, with a dedicated staff member responsible for local community work.

Charanjit and Geeta Doal, who run a Lifestyle Express in Wheaton Aston, Staffordshire, organise shop and drop services for their customers and support the community with donations of fruit and sports equipment.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "We believe these finalists have all made a tangible difference in their communities and deserve to be shortlisted."

ACS Summit 10 includes industry speakers and video case studies from independent retailers. The host is Angela Rippon. Call Sarah Johnson on 01252 515001 to attend.