Our branches are at the heart of communities up and down the UK providing vital services that people really need and that is certainly the case in Sheriff Hutton in Yorkshire. The coronavirus lockdown and pandemic has brought the village together like never before.
The village post office and store, run by Postmaster Claire Ellis and her husband Barrie, quickly found itself at the heart of the community. With the help of furloughed family members, they began to massively increase deliveries and drops to villages as far afield as Flaxton, Welburn and Bulmer. The store, which stocks a wealth of local produce, also became hugely popular as a grocery pick-up spot for villagers unable to travel far from home.
When they realised that there were elderly people who were isolated and stuck at home, a group of villagers - including Claire, together with a churchwarden and a member of the parish council - got together to form a team of volunteers to collect prescriptions and make deliveries. The team quickly grew to more than 80 ‘Village Volunteers’.
Soon, co-ordinating their activities via social media, they were collecting prescriptions from three different GP surgeries, delivering food and medicines in the area, and they even launched a “pop-up library” in the village bus shelter.
Claire said: “The village has emerged from the pandemic stronger and more caring. There’s no doubt that the pandemic brought the village together in a way not seen before. It has been really, really nice. There is a fantastic feeling in the village”.
Martin Wyer, Area Manager, said: “Claire is what the Post Office is all about, she has made this branch the centre of her community through fantastic service and dedication. She constantly looks to find ways to help her customers and make her Post Office work. Well done Claire and the team, and it is hugely appreciated”.
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Source and images courtesy of www.yorkpress.co.uk