A Christmas community venture in Oxfordshire

A Christmas community venture in Oxfordshire

Many Post Offices across the UK are spreading cheer and community spirit in the run up to Christmas. For example, Ashford Post Office in Kent have been raising awareness and accepting donations for a local food bank in a brilliant example of giving back this festive season.

Postmaster Richard Tilbe, who runs a mobile Post Office in Oxfordshire, demonstrated the important role played by Post Offices in the community, especially at Christmas.

Here he explains how the idea came about to team up with a local school to organise a special Christmas morning for the pupils:

"A chance encounter during the October half term with a teacher from a local school, Kelly Mullins, generated an idea to engage the pupils at Checkendon School. Miss Mullins asked if the school could bring a class of pupils over so that they could post their letters to Santa. I thought this would be a great experience for the children, and it would not only engage them with their literature development but also provide an exciting link with the work of the Post Office in the community."

"I decided to create a decorated Santa’s Post Box that could stand in one corner of the Outreach van. I made the post box from some recycling boxes in a couple of hours for the children to use on the day of their visit."


"On the morning of Friday 30 November the children visited the Post Office van to post their letters to Santa. In the letters the children wrote three things they had been helpful with at school and three things they would like for Christmas. The school had prepared replies from Santa and posted these to themselves, so that they could be read out to the children at a later date."

"As a further embellishment (since I am being a Santa for a primary school after-school club) I have made a short video of ‘Santa' thanking the pre-schoolers for their letters, and reminding them to be good!"

See the video here:

The day was a great success and it sounds like everyone had a wonderful time – a massive thank you to Richard and Kelly from Checkendon School for going the extra mile to make Christmas extra-special for a class of local children and making a positive early connection with Post Office.

If you've got a Christmas story or picture you would like to share, please email one@postoffice.co.uk