A crisis really does bring the community together – we are seeing some great examples of postmasters helping their local people, and local people rallying up to support postmasters.
Markfield Post Office, in the Midlands Region, has reopened with help from a group of volunteers who are supporting Postmaster Mandy Dhadda and her husband Manny Dhadda who runs the branch.
Due to staffing issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic and some customers not complying with social distancing rules, the couple were concerned about their health and the health of customers and took the difficult decision to temporarily close the branch.
Mandy and Joanne Norwood, who is a member of Markfield Good Neighbour Scheme, spoke the day after the closure and they came up with the idea of the community supporting the Postmaster to help get the branch re-open.
The Markfield Good Neighbour Scheme arranged a rota of volunteers to marshal the queues and support the branch and a member of staff, who was self-isolating, has been able to return to work.
Mandy and Manny Dhadda, said: “It has been going absolutely great with the volunteers, so nice of them to do that. We can’t thank the volunteers enough. They ask customers to respect social distancing and to be patient as we are short-staffed, which allows us to focus on serving people as quickly as possible.”
“A truly heart-warming conversation with Joanne Norwood the day after closing, made it apparent that the kindness and willingness that the Markfield community have to offer us is astounding. Jo, along with some other amazing people from the Markfield Good Neighbour Scheme, very kindly offered to volunteer their time to marshal the queue of people waiting to visit the Post Office.
“They are at the front of the shop, allowing a safe number of people in and out of the shop and Post Office. We are also really pleased that a member of staff, who was self-isolating, has been able to return to work, which has certainly eased the re-opening of Markfield Post Office.
“We are so blessed to have all the volunteers. Their dedication and commitment deserves so much praise. We would also like to thank each and every one of our customers for their kind words of support and encouragement throughout this difficult time, their words alone have provided us with so much strength.”
Area Manager Kelli Organ, said: “A Post Office is at the heart of a community and it shows just how important a Post Office is that the community has rallied around to support the Postmaster to serve them”.