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Ray of sunshine

Customers in Exeter show their appreciation for postman Mike

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Customers of Gras Lawn, in central Exeter, gathered at a safe distance on the communal lawn to give a big ‘thumbs-up’ to their postman Mike Vinnicombe.

The tribute was to thank Mike for his ongoing dedication in delivering their post during the coronavirus lockdown with his customary sense of humour. His customers also kindly donated some spare hand sanitiser following an appeal on Facebook by Mike’s partner Julie Conibere asking people to help protect postal workers during their deliveries.

A postman for 31 years, Mike delivers to around 600 homes in the Wyvern Barracks area of Exeter. Ever since the current crisis began, he has been putting smiles on his customers’ faces, who for the first time in his career, are all at home due to the lockdown.

One of Mike’s customers, who has lived in Gras Lawn for 17 years, told the Exeter Express & Echo: ‘Mike is always so cheery and it’s a joy to see him out and about on his rounds. He’s a ray of sunshine in these strange times; always happy to take time to stop and chat, which is particularly lovely for those on self-isolation who otherwise may not see another soul from day to day.

‘The crazy thing is that when I was working full-time I wasn’t at home for the postal delivery so had no idea what my postman looked like, let alone his name, and now Mike’s like a new best friend who I look forward to seeing each day!’

Speaking of his customers’ tribute, Mike told Devon Live: ‘It was such a surprise and a lovely thing to do. It has given me a real boost to keep going through these difficult times.

‘I was very grateful when a customer gave me some hand sanitiser after seeing Julie’s appeal. A customer has also given me a face mask.’

Mike said the current lockdown situation felt surreal and the empty streets were unlike anything he had ever seen before.

‘The other strange thing is everybody is home,’ he said. ‘Yesterday I must have had about 70 parcels and everyone was in. I thought things wold maybe quieten down a bit, but it has gone the opposite way.’

Photo by Devon Live.