Congratulations to Postmaster Debbie Townsend at Laide Post Office in our Scotland regions who has received the British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours, an accolade that she accepts on behalf of her whole team.
Debbie is delighted for the branch to receive the recognition as they have all worked hard throughout the pandemic with various initiatives to allow customers to retain their independence, but to remain safe.
In the very early days of the pandemic Debbie’s husband installed hand sanitisers at both entrances for customers and trades. They regularly sanitise the counters.
The Post Office and shop are proud to have kept a dedicated hour per day for those who are shielding and those customers working in the nearby care home.
Customers can email or phone their orders through, pay remotely, and pick up their groceries from a dedicated pick up point, so they don’t have to enter the store. All staff have their own telephone headset, which can intercept calls, so they do not have to share a phone.
Even the petrol pumps were up-graded this summer, to give the pay at pump option, which means fewer people in the shop and it allows the fuel forecourt to be open seven days a week. There is a new night-time serving hatch to reduce the total number of people inside the store.
Thoughts from the Post Office and Postmaster…
Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said: “Laide Post Office is at the heart of the community. Debbie and her team have done a great deal to safely serve the community with so many new initiatives. This has meant that elderly and vulnerable customers don’t just have to stay indoors, but they can remain independent and self-sufficient as they feel confident with the many measures put in place to protect them. Congratulations on the New Years’ Honour.”
Postmaster Debbie said: “We wanted to help customers to be self-sufficient as people don’t want to be indoors all the time, they want to be independent and we introduced many ways to help people throughout the pandemic. The team has worked really hard, so it is great for us to get the recognition.”
Debbie and Andy both served in the West Midlands police and moved to Scotland when Andy completed 30 years’ service. They took on Laide Post Office, shop and fuel forecourt nine years ago.
They have used social media to keep customers informed and connected. Their Facebook page gives details about all the staff from those who work part-time to full-time as Debbie says that all staff are important. Funny social media posts have also helped to lift the spirits of customers.