Black History Month

Throughout Black History Month, we celebrated our amazing black colleagues, bringing you their stories, highlighting their achievements, and shining a light on just what it is that makes them so special.

Black History Month

Throughout Black History Month, we celebrated our amazing black colleagues, bringing you their stories, highlighting their achievements, and shining a light on just what it is that makes them so special.
Black History Month video
5 October 2020

Your nominations. Our people

‘My advice to anyone first starting in the business is get to know your work, try to enjoy every moment of your time and don’t despair if things don’t go to plan. Love humanity and love one another.’

Position: Postman

Place of work: Jubilee Mail Centre

In 2017, Matthew was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer, which kept him out of work for nine months, undergoing treatment. He’s now feeling ‘healthier and stronger than ever.’ In the words of his line manager, Matthew is ‘an inspiration for the whole team.’

For Matthew's story, click here.

‘My advice to anyone who, like myself, had a late start in their career, is that it’s never too late to make a difference – you’re the only one who can stop you!’

Position: 185 Farringdon

Place of work: Senior programme and project officer

Ola currently supports the Midlands Hub project as a governance and assurance officer. Last year,  she had the opportunity to be part of the sixth cohort cross-organisation mentoring programme sponsored by Royal Mail working with Business in the Community (BITC).

For Ola's story, click here.

‘I highly recommend Springboard, Spring Forward and the BAME mentoring programme for those who are ambitious and seeking to go far within the business. Just go ahead and take that first step of faith. That’s what I did and look where I am now.’

Position: Work area manager

Place of work: Romford Mail Centre

In 2009, Yvonne was looking through her Courier when she saw an advert for Springboard, the women’s development course. She applied and that was the beginning of her progression journey within the business.

For Yvonne’s story, click here.

‘My advice to anyone thinking of progressing within the business is to just go for it! The opportunities are out there and if you don’t go for them, then someone else will… I genuinely believe that anyone can succeed within Royal Mail.’

Position: Delivery office manager

Place of work: Potters Bar Delivery Office

Tyrell says that everyone’s journey will take different paths and varying lengths of time, however if you put the required level of work in, everything will pay off.

For Tyrell’s story, click here.

‘We have people from all walks of life and backgrounds at Royal Mail, who come together to ultimately, achieve a single goal. One team. One goal! That’s the mantra.’

Position: Delivery office manager

Place of work: Wimbledon Delivery Office

Angelica says that every unit presents its own challenges, 'but the feeling you get when you manage to overcome these as a team is immense’. She pays special credit to the management team and frontline colleagues in Wimbledon, who throughout this pandemic, have 'pulled together, fulfilled the customer promise, and given their best shot.'

For Angelica’s story, click here.

‘For any new starters, I would say grasp the opportunity to be brilliant, network across the business, be brave and don’t be afraid to shine.’

Position: Senior marketing manager at Royal Mail MarketReach

Place of work: 185 Farringdon

In her spare time, Sonia volunteers as a specialist marketing mentor for The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, helping thousands of young entrepreneurs to start and thrive in business. She is also a member of our BAME mentoring programme and has helped to nurture and inspire four amazing mentees to progress in their careers.

For Sonia's story, click here.

‘Determination and enthusiasm are what has helped me to succeed during my time at Royal Mail. Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. There are lots of very experienced people in the company, who are always willing to help. This makes the business a very attractive place to work.’

Position: SHE business partner (Medway),

Place of work: Dartford Delivery Office

Angela loves her role as she gets to improve the mental health and wellbeing of colleagues. She also supports managers to ensure health and safety policies and guidance are adhered to, providing them with training to ensure their units remain safe and compliant.

For Angela's story, click here.

‘I work in a great team with supportive colleagues, who are always happy to help. I also work in the sales diversity & inclusion group, as one of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) leads, which again, has a lovely team, who all take a great interest in BAME activities.’

Position: Field account manager

Place of work: 185 Farringdon

Since 2011, Nathan has been looking after public sector customers covering Wales, the West Midlands and the North West. His advice to new starters would be to take the opportunities the business offers, whether they be formal qualifications or on-the-job training.

For Nathan’s story, click here.

‘In 2014, I did the Springboard women’s development course. This made me realise that the only barrier to progress in life is yourself, both at work and at home.’

Position: Delivery line manager

Place of work: Bexleyheath Delivery Office

As an ambassador for the Kent Women’s network, La-Toya wants to be someone who women can talk to and obtain advice from on how they can move their career forwards. When she joined the BAME mentoring group, she realised that she wasn’t ‘the only person who is struggling to be heard and seen, not just for my race, but also as a woman.’

For La-Toya’s story, click here.

Black and gold

To celebrate Black History Month, we have unveiled four special edition postboxes in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast, to honour black Britons, both past and present.

The social media-activated postboxes are painted black with a striking gold trim, and each feature a figure of significance to the British black community, each of whom have also appeared on a Special Stamp.

Find out more

In pictures

A full list of black Britons who have appeared on our Special Stamps over the years can be found by scanning a QR code on our Black History Month postboxes.

The code links through to a dedicated online gallery featuring famous black Britons, such as Yinka Shonibare CBE (pictured left), a British-Nigerian artist whose stamp artwork, ‘Queuing at the RA’ was specially commissioned by Royal Mail to celebrate the Royal Academy’s 250th anniversary in 2018.

Find out more

Sam King was one of many former colleagues from the Windrush generation

Sam King MBE is celebrated for his many achievements and contributions to British society: the first black Mayor of Southwark; his distinguished military career; his work as co-founder of the first Caribbean-style carnival; and his tireless activism for and within the African-Caribbean community.

In addition, Sam worked in the Post Office for over 30 years, first as a postman in Waterloo, London, in 1955, before ending his career as Postal Executive for the South Eastern district.

For Sam's story, click here.

'Mother Secole'

Our Cardiff Black History Month postbox shows a portrait of pioneering nurse, Mary Secole, who featured on a set of stamps released in 2006 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the National Portrait Gallery.

Pictured is the only known portrait of Seacole. The artwork dates from around 1869 and was painted by London artist Albert Challen. It shows an older Seacole wearing the three medals she was awarded for her service during the Crimean War. In February 2004, Secole was voted by the public as the greatest black Briton of all time.

For Mary's story, click here.

Walter Tull

Our Glasgow Black History Month postbox features an image of Walter Tull, the first black player to be signed by the city’s Rangers football team, and the first mixed-race Army officer to command troops in a regular unit.

Tull was killed in action on 25 March 1918. He was featured in a set of stamps we released in 2018, to mark the end of the Great War. The six Special Stamps were the final set in a five-part commemorative programme marking the centenary of each year of the First World War.

For Walter's story, click here.

Sir Lenny Henry CBE

Our Belfast Black History Month postbox features an image of Sir Lenny Henry CBE. A stand-up comedian, actor, singer, writer and television presenter, Henry is known for co-founding the charity Comic Relief. He appeared in our Comedy Greats Special Stamp set, released in 2015.

Via well-observed creations ranging from Brixton wide-boy Delbert Wilkins and newsreader Trevor McDoughnut to would-be lothario Theophilus P. Wildebeeste and West Indian sage Grandpa Deakus, Henry has been instrumental in helping a multi-cultural society embrace multi-cultural comedy.

For Lenny's story, click here.