Two Co Armagh Post Offices are celebrating after being singled out for their sterling efforts to go above and beyond for their local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Crossmaglen was named Community Engagement Category winner in the regional ‘We’re Stronger Together’ awards, which cover Northern Ireland and Wales.
Meanwhile, Middletown Post Office was a finalist in the Better For Customers category.
Crossmaglen Postmaster Colm Devlin (pictured inset) said they were “delighted” to receive this recognition from the Post Office.
He added: “Our branch prides itself on providing excellent customer both in the Post Office and in our Centra food market. We constantly go the extra mile for our customers, especially the elderly during this pandemic.
“I have a great team of people working alongside me and I really do appreciate each and every one of them as they make coming to work a pleasure.
“We also got involved with our local GAA football club – Crossmaglen Rangers – who worked closely with us in helping get deliveries out to the elderly and those in need. A big thank you must also go to Crossmaglen Rangers for their help.”
There was also delight at Middletown at having been named a finalist in its category.
Postmaster Trevor Magill, said: “It is during recent times that customers and communities most needed their local services to be there for them.
“Small businesses depend a lot on our mails and banking services.
“With the help of Drop & Go we were able to offer a safe environment for their online businesses to continue. Services provided at a local level have never been more important and appreciated.”
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 awards were presented virtually by Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read.
Postmasters who operate branches in the Northern Ireland and Wales 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 Timmy Grant praised both Crossmaglen and Middletown for all that they did.
He said: “Crossmaglen won this category as they have really gone the extra mile for their community during the pandemic.
“The branch started a free grocery delivery service, to ensure the most vulnerable members of the community could access essential goods while shielding due to Covid-19.
“The branch advertised this on all their social media outlets, and had it printed on the bottom of every receipt given to customers. When they gave the receipts they asked customers to spread the word, so that no one who needed help missed out.
“Middletown Post Office branch was nominated for our Better for Customers award because of their commitment to servicing their customers throughout the coronavirus crisis.
“They have maintained their usual opening hours, so customers can access essential services, and Postmaster Trevor works late into the evening, every evening, to process Drop & Go mail, to ensure that local businesses don’t suffer as a result of the pandemic.
“Trevor at Middletown Post Office has truly been there for his customers, and at the heart of the community as a whole!”
Chief Executive Nick Read said both were worthy of recognition.
He added: “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 Northern Ireland and Wales have fared during the pandemic, including Crossmaglen and Middletown.
“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.”