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A costume a day keeps the blues away for Jon Matson’s customers

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South Tyneside postman Jon Matson has been delivering his rounds in fancy dress, having decided that a costume a day keeps his customers’ blues away.

When our social distancing guidelines meant he was no longer able to work alongside his co-worker, Jon was told he could do his rounds in fancy dress, providing he wore his ID and uniform shoes.

Since then, Jon has been dressing up in fancy dress outfits every day to cheer his customers up in West Boldon during the ongoing lockdown.

So far, Jon, who has worked for Royal Mail for four years, has dressed as Little Bo Peep, complete with a blue, frilled dress, a cheerleader, and a Greek soldier, which saw him don a golden helmet and sleeves, and even add a ‘horse’ to his trolley bag.

‘The reaction on day one was amazing,’ Jon told the BBC. ‘A few people didn't notice at first, but the word started to spread on Facebook and people were looking out for me.

‘It was really nice seeing people smiling after what had been a tough first few days…It has lifted the spirits of the entire community and it's got a lot of people connected and talking, which I think is a vital lifeline while we're stuck inside.’

Having taken part in the South Shields Cancer Connections Boxing Day Dip every year, Jon has a drawer full of fancy dress outfits at the ready. He’s now promised there will be more outfits appearing every day on his rounds and he wanted people to ‘keep guessing what will come to the door each day.’

Explaining why he decided to wear fancy dress Jon told the Sunderland Echo: ‘Everyone is uncertain at the moment and you are the only person outside of the family that they see, so why not give them something to smile about?’

One customer, who lives on Jon’s route, was full of praise for how much he has made his customers smile. ‘Jon is sending such a positive message to the residents that this virus is not all doom and gloom and even our key workers who are still out there doing their jobs to keep the nation running and saving lives can do it in good spirit and with a sense of pride and humour.

‘I'm proud that Jon is my postman and I can’t wait to see his next costume.’

Another customer said: ‘Being on lockdown is hard for all residents, not being able to go see family and friends is an emotional experience. Most people now only have the postman and his outfits to put a little cheer in their day.

‘He's doing an amazing job keeping community spirits high and bringing a smile to the people of Boldon.’

Jon’s antics have gained extensive coverage across national and regional media, including the BBC’s Breakfast programme.

Photo by Sunderland Echo.