Way back in March when the Coronavirus Nightmare began An Post gave every household in the country free postcards to write personal messages and send them free-of-charge, to family and friends across the country.
An Post has always been an integral part of the local community and from the very start of the Coronavirus pandemic they have really stepped up to the plate. In sporting parlance you could say they are playing a blinder.
Quite apart from delivering our letters and parcels, and bills of course, they have also developed a range of post office and postal delivery supports for customers and communities, particularly for older and vulnerable people living alone.
Yesterday they announced several new services designed to help us all stay connected now and into the future.
Recognising the increasing restrictions, and to bring a little joy, An Post will ensure free delivery of all card and letter mail posted to and from residents of Nursing and Care homes in the State. By writing FREEPOST where the stamp normally goes, An Post will carry cards and letters without a postage stamp.
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An Post delivery staff will continue to check in regularly with ‘seniors’ along their routes. Family members of older or vulnerable customers can register for the free check-in service by completing the postal address and eircode of the customer at anpost.com/CommunityFocus. These details will be relayed directly through An Post’s digital network to the customer’s local postperson who will call to the address at the earliest opportunity.
Should any customer have a specific need for groceries, prescription etc, the postperson will link them up with ALONE, the national charity ensuring personal support to older and vulnerable people, lined to the wider Local Authority Community Response Forum.
If older or vulnerable customers are unable to get out to buy stamps for cards or letters, their postman or postwoman will pick up their mail from their home and An Post will cover the postage for them.
An Post will provide same-day delivery of newspapers for older and vulnerable customers Monday to Friday. Customers can find out more at anpost.com/CommunityFocus or newsdelivery.ie
Customers can nominate a Temporary Agent to collect their social welfare payments (eg Pension) at the Post Office.
Forms are available at all post offices and anpost.com/Communityfocus. In addition to clear signage and social distancing measures, Post Offices have also designated 9am – 11am on Fridays as the dedicated period for seniors or vulnerable customers to collect social welfare payments and do other business.
Debbie Byrne, MD of An Post Retail said: “An Post is in every community in Ireland connecting people through the post and at our 950 post offices. A friendly smile on the doorstep or welcoming greeting in the post office makes all the difference to everyone’s day and most particularly, to older or more vulnerable citizens.
“As the winter draws in we’re delighted to extend our range of services and ensure greater awareness of their availability through a new press & radio campaign. It’s so important that our communities are supported through these unprecedented times and that while we continue to remain apart, we all stay connected and don’t feel isolated. It’s never been easier to send a little note or card to those who need a little cheer at this time”, she added.
Physical distancing and safety protocols will be maintained at all times by An Post delivery staff and in Post Offices.
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