Windermere Post Office was a finalist in the Community Engagement category at the Post Office’s ‘We’re Stronger Together’ regional awards for the North of England region.
The awards recognise the efforts made by postmasters across the region to keep branches open during the COVID-19 pandemic and serving their local community.
The great work by Postmaster Nigel Bartlett who runs Windermere Post Office, was highlighted last night by Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read. Postmasters who operate branches in the North of England region had the opportunity to share their experience of running their branch during the pandemic and hear directly about the Post Office’s future growth strategy.
Post Office Area Manager Chris Ball, said: “Windermere Post Office was nominated for the Community Engagement award for their efforts to keep the branch open over the last few months. The team have managed to keep the branch open when others in the area were having to close while they have worked hard to provision hand sanitiser and social distancing in the branch.
“The branch has kept customers informed with developments using social media channels as well, for which customers have shown their appreciation through multiple instances of positive feedback.”
Postmaster Nigel Bartlett, said: “I am amazed, delighted and humbled to even be considered for this recognition. I have a big smile on my face. I absolutely love doing my job. It is an honour and privilege to be the Postmaster for Windermere serving all the lovely people of Windermere and its’ surrounding areas. I wanted to keep my staff safe so they were all furloughed during the pandemic, I just also wanted to say a massive thank you to my partner Rosie for helping me out in the Post Office which has enabled us to pretty much give the level of service that I would expect myself as a customer.”
Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said: “I have heard many inspiring stories of postmasters going the extra mile and I have welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand how postmasters in the North of England have fared during the pandemic including Windermere.
“All retailers have been affected and Post Office was no exception. The next few weeks and months will be a critical period as we try and return to a sense of normality. Post Office branches have a vital role to play in supporting their customers and communities, as well as helping small businesses and independent retailers get back on their feet.”
Postmasters heard more about three areas of their business that could help them recover some of the lost trade as a result of the pandemic – Mails and Parcels, banking – cash withdrawals and deposits, and the return in demand for foreign exchange.
Many people rely on easy access to cash. To spend that cash, businesses need to continue to accept it, and be able to conveniently deposit it into their business bank accounts. That ‘cash cycle’ will play a vital part in our economic recovery from COVID-19.
Post Office branches are often the last counter in town where businesses can deposit a day’s takings. Business deposits are growing between 10 – 20% week on week.
For small businesses, being able to get goods out to customers is key. Post Office’s ‘Drop and Go’ parcel service has seen a 70% increase in use month on month.
Last month, Post Office reactivated its online foreign exchange service and its branch pre-order operation. Customers planning trips abroad can order over 60 currencies online for next day home delivery or collection from all 11,500 Post Office branches. The option to collect in-branch helps increase footfall at our branches and on the UK’s High Streets.