On Wednesday night, the North West and North Wales We're Stronger Together Roadshow took place with over 200 postmaster from the region joining the Group Executive. The evening was hosted by the regional manager, Donna Poulter.
Kicking off the event was Group Chief Executive Nick Read, who gave huge thanks to the work that has been undertaken by all of the postmasters in the region throughout the pandemic and their commitment to customers. Nick stressed that the pandemic has given us the opportunity to look at our role in communities and with that in mind the business is shifting to a new strategy, with Postmasters at the centre.
But the highlight of the night came towards the end of the event. Recognising the effort that everyone has put in across the region and in light of not holding the Retail Awards this year, special commendations were given out in three categories; Better for Customers, Community Engagement and Local Hero. The winners in the North West and North Wales are the finest examples of how postmasters are committed to their communities and the customers they serve.
Janet Hamer of Edgworth branch received a Special commendation in the Better for Customers category. Despite running a small branch, Janet and her team made quick changes to ensure they could help out their customers, a high proportion of who were at risk and shielding. Janet closed her café, extended her retail offer and even delivered hot meals to those who were not able to leave their homes.
Sara Barlow of Rainhill branch took home Community Engagement. Despite having only taken on Rainhill 18 months ago, Sara has become a pillar of the community. She ran the branch on her own at the start of the pandemic and set up the community hub in her branch so locals can donate food parcels and collect prescriptions. Sara is committed to her more vulnerable customers and being dementia trained she knows how important it is to dedicate time to those who need help the most. Therefore she was quick to establish the first hour of trading for elderly or vulnerable customers and through working with the local council has been granted permission to continue supporting elderly customers after lockdown.
Local Hero for the North West and North Wales went to Jane Bostock-Gibson at Hightown branch. Jane was quick to use social media, the local paper and local business groups as well as the local council to identify vulnerable people who need support during the pandemic. She and her team then have made deliveries before and after running their branch - delivering everything from essential food, newspapers, ice cream runs on hot days, local produce from her own farm and jigsaws from their Post Office.
These efforts are amazing and show the dedication and commitment from Postmasters across the North West and North Wales.
Almost 100 questions were submitted during the live Q&A session and we will be sharing responses across the key themes in the coming weeks.
There are five further events still to come this week and next week. Click here to find out more and to register for the events.