It was the turn of the Midlands on Monday evening (13 July), with 97 Postmasters tuning into the sixth We’re Stronger Together virtual event, this time hosted by Regional Manager, Nick Carroll.
The event started with a business update from Group CEO, Nick Read, who focused on Post Office’s priorities post-Covid-19, and the importance of building a better Post Office to help Postmasters to thrive.
The We’re Stronger Together events are all about Postmasters, listening to their concerns and answering their questions. In the Midlands, 60 questions were submitted, including live questions at the event from Sudipe ‘Lek’ Lekhi, who owns four branches in St. Paul’s Road, Walsall, Willenhall and Northfield, and Andrew Stansfield, from Etwall branch.
The Midlands event was also an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievement of Postmasters in the region.
Better for Customers: Lynsey Webster from Great Barford branch – a small, family-run Post Office and shop – was highly commended for keeping the local community going by updating customers on Facebook about the availability of stock and opening hours throughout the pandemic. The Postmaster and her family, who have recently celebrated 14 years at this branch, also offered home deliveries for those isolating or anxious during Covid-19. This is in addition to running a calendar of events throughout the year so there’s always something going on for local customers, including activities to celebrate VE Day and Children in Need – always with a big smile on her face.
Community Engagement: Sunil Ghai and the team at Great Moseley were highly commended for their huge team effort, with over 20 years’ service to their local High Street and forming a loyal bond with their community and their customers. Despite going through a difficult family challenge, they gave all their vulnerable and elderly customers free hand sanitiser to keep them safe during the early stages of the outbreak and remained open on full trading hours throughout the pandemic. They also play a big part advertising and the local Community Centre, supporting numerous local events and running a DVLA licensing operation in the back office that supports dozens of large fleet management companies.
Local Hero: Nisha Vithlani and Harshadbhai Patel from Overseal were highly commended for always thinking of others in the village and being the hub of their community. After the Postmaster’s mum very sadly passed away, the branch was closed for a couple of weeks but like true local heroes, they donated all their shop’s food stock to the local pub to give away to help those in need in the village. They were very quick to re-open and continued to donate products to help the villagers. Nisha and Harshadbhai understand the local community and the needs of the area very well, so, once the pandemic hit, they were fully focused on helping the village, even when dealing with losing a family member.
Regional Manager, Nick Carroll, said: “We do things better in the Midlands and I’d like to congratulate our winners and thank Postmasters in the region for being there for our customers when they needed you the most. I’m also really proud to say that, thanks to your hard work and commitment, we’re now operating at 92% of pre-Covid hours, which is just fantastic.
“I know we didn’t have time to cover all your questions at the event, so please rest assured that we will be posting answers on our regional Facebook group. If you’d like to join me in person to ‘shoot the breeze’ about the issues that matter most to you at one of my regional listening forums, please speak to your Area Manager about being invited.”