A MAN who has been plagued with long covid is "excited for the future" after purchasing a town centre kiosk, and hopes the family business can be a part of the community for "many years to come".

After being hospitalised with coronavirus in January of this year, David Johnson was forced into a difficult decision as although he survived the illness, he developed 'long covid' and struggled breathing, sleeping, and performing any physical tasks.

A plumber by trade, and running his own bathroom fitting company for more than 20 years, this meant he could no longer continue his manual work and had to give the business, Better Bathrooms Merseyside Ltd, up.

St Helens Star: Jacs News is now open on Church StreetJacs News is now open on Church Street

Describing himself as an optimist however, David, 57, decided to go down a completely new career path and open a store that will have "community spirit" in the centre of St Helens.

After the difficulty of living with long covid and giving up his own business, once he saw that the former McColls shop on Church Street was vacated, he decided to take the opportunity and purchase the premises.

After renovation work, Jacs News - named after his wife Jackie - is now open on Church Street.

St Helens Star: Jackie before the kiosk openedJackie before the kiosk opened

David said: "I seen that the old McColls shop was for sale and I just thought I'm having that.

"I have always liked the idea of opening a shop [and] over the years I have looked into this, but not taken it any further.

"I wanted something local, something that had a community spirit [and] something I could be a part of in the community."

After opening the store just over two weeks ago, David said he and the team are slowly doing well - although he is getting grips with the intricacies of the new industry.

Running the business with his wife Jackie, friend Diane, and colleague Linda, David said they will to "provide the shoppers of St Helens a personal approach and bring the kiosk back to life."

Looking forward to the future, the new shop owner confirmed the store will open seven days a week, from 8am-5pm in the week, 8am-4pm on Saturdays and 10am-2pm on Sundays.