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Thousands say thank you to ‘our gem’ key worker Sammy

Popular Newbury street cleaner becomes social media sensation

Everyone loves Sammy Wasuwa. He’s a keyworker, out there in all weathers with his mobile sweeping gear, keeping our town centre clean and his work has never been more vital than now, throughout this coronavirus crisis.

Well-known for his ready smile, before the pandemic he was always happy to stop a while to chat to shoppers.

Finding him in Northbrook Street last week, carrying out his tasks in the pouring rain and kitted up in protective clothing, Newbury Weekly News photographer Phil Cannings took his picture.

Mr Wasuwa, who has been cleaning the streets of Newbury for 10 years and takes great pride in his work, lives with his wife and two daughters, and has a son in Canada who is a doctor looking after Covid-19 patients.

After we posted our thanks to Mr Wasuwa and his colleagues for all they do on the Newburytoday Facebook page, the people of Newbury were quick to add their appreciation and with more than 2,000 likes and 188 comments, within a short space of time Sammy had become a social media sensation.

Word quickly spread across the world and his son Dennis Simiya responded from Canada: “Thank you Dad for all you do to keep Newbury tidy.

“So overwhelming to hear the kind words from your town. We love you!!”

Former Newbury mayor Margo Payne posted: “He is a lovely chap had many a natter with him in the Wharf during my time as mayor. Definitely a key worker hero. Thanks Sammy!”

Current mayor Elizabeth O’Keeffe tweeted: “There is no cleaner like Sam, a great Newbury asset. He always has a cheerful smile and word.”

Others posted:

Paul Lewis: “We are lucky to live in such a pretty town and have Sammy to help keep it clean – your efforts are appreciated.”

Hayley Bond: “Sammy – such a happy, hard-working and friendly soul, taking pride in his work as always! Stay safe Sammy!”

Jen Clifford: “Thank you from us Sammy. You are always so cheerful and have time for everyone. I didn’t know your name but please take care. That goes for all your colleagues, you keep Newbury a place to want to be in.”

Susan Gillespie: “I so hope that Sam gets to read all these wonderful words of appreciation. He does a brilliant job and always has a smile on his face. I love our chats – he really is one of our little gems – thank you Sam – keep safe!”

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