Meet the mobile post office team keeping rural communities connected
- Credit: Archant
A café and store has decided reconnect communities without a post office using a four-wheeled mobile branch.
Guist General Store, just outside Dereham, has been catering to communities in Walsingham, Hindringham, Wood Norton, Stibbard Fulmodeston and Hindolveston since April 2019.
The van, which visits the areas each week, ensures that people who are not able to drive to the post office in Guist or Fakenham can still send parcels, pay their bills and receive pensions.
Izzi Rainey, one of the people behind the mobile post office scheme, said: "I think it is a huge benefit to the community especially as we are in a very rural location and most of the villages we visit don't have shops or pubs.
"A lot of our customers are of the elderly generation so do not drive anymore, this is the only opportunity for them to get their pension."
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The van will stay at each location for roughly one hour before moving on the next village.
Miss Rainey said: "Even if it is just between 10am and 12pm that we are somewhere, they know and it is simple for them to get to, they don't have to walk very far and they would have otherwise been cut off.
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"We want to be able to expand what we can offer but that will come with time."
Once the team have finished travelling to the local villages, they head back to the main store in Guist to sort out the parcels.
The store boasts a shop and café that sells local produce, meals, sandwiches and essentials to the community.
Duncan Pearson, from Guist, said: "We know village post offices don't really survive on their own, they're all attached to local businesses of some sort. Our café helps the post office and shop and it works the other way around too.
"We sell locally sourced produce where possible. We believe this is crucial when running a local store as it is important that everyone supports each other as much as possible.
"We currently stock local produce from Krusty Loaf, Perfick Pork, Adnams and many more."
For more information visit www.guistgeneralstore.co.uk or call 01362 683340.