A big community celebration has been held to mark the 1st anniversary of Hoddesdon Post Office opening in Hoddesdon Library, which has boosted numbers of both Post Office and library customers.
Co-owners Dina Kraja and Toulla Pantelli, said:
“Bringing the Post Office into the library has created a real buzz in the High Street. With so many services provided under one roof, it makes it far more convenient for people to visit to do their Post Office transactions, do research at the library and borrow books, CDs and DVDs, access Citizens Advice and council services.
The community is really pleased with the arrangement. This is why we really wanted to celebrate the first anniversary.”
Toulla Pantelli, who had been a former personal banker with Barclays for 30 years, began working for Post Office Ltd in 2015. Dina Kraja, who joined Post Office in 2007, had been the manager of Hoddesdon Post Office before the branch relocated and franchised.
"At the heart of the community"
Mayor of Broxbourne Cllr Carol Crump and comedian and entertainer Kev Orkian cut a first anniversary cake at the event on 11 May, to mark the special occasion. The Britain’s Got Talent star, who is a regular customer at Hoddesdon Post Office, entertained the crowd along with the Library’s Bookstart Blue Bear mascot.
The re-location of the branch into the library, with a dedicated area with four Post Office serving positions, has helped make the library into a popular community hub. Visits to the building have increased by a huge 85 per cent, making it the most visited library in Hertfordshire in 2018/19, with an impressive 30 per cent increase in new library members in a year.
The Mayor of Broxbourne Cllr Carol Crump, said: “Combining Hoddesdon Library and Post Office and other local services together has really benefitted the community. It has allowed Hoddesdon Post Office to remain at the heart of the community and use of the library has rocketed. I am therefore delighted to be involved in the first anniversary celebrations.”
Entertainer Kev Orkian, said: “As a regular customer of Hoddesdon Post Office, I am delighted with how well it works having the Post Office and library together. The Post Office staff are very professional, knowledgeable and friendly and we have kept the full-range of Post Office services.”
Hertfordshire County Council’s Assistant Director for Customer Engagement and Library Resources, Taryn Pearson-Rose said: “Our collaboration with the Post Office is proving to be a great success, with both services complementing each other and providing a thriving community hub.
Customers now have a wealth of facilities in one central high street location – the only place in town where you can browse books, photocopy documents, benefit from local services and community activities, and make use of your local Post Office.”
With their company TD Post Shop Ltd, the owners recently created their tdpostshopgifts.com website, where customers can chose gifts online for collection from Hoddesdon Post Office.
Community services also located in the library include the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) drop-in sessions, the ‘Love Hoddesdon’ initiative, which supports local businesses and Broxbourne Borough Council’s One Stop Shop.
The overall impact is that Hoddesdon Library and Post Office is now a busy, bustling and vibrant hub within the community.