Postwoman Sammy Stimpson (pictured) from Downham Market Delivery Office has been raising money for the Mental Health Foundation, by delivering her rounds dressed as a panda.
Sammy was inspired to don the inflatable bear costume when she noticed that many of her customers seemed a little ‘down in the dumps’ due to the current lockdown restrictions.
‘I figured if I could do something a little silly, like dress up and give people a little laugh in the day, it would be worth it,’ she said. ‘I think at a time like this, anyone who does suffer from mental health issues will be struggling that little bit extra, as being shut up indoors isn’t exactly the healthiest thing for your mind.’
Sammy said fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation was important to her as she had struggled with anxiety herself and felt mental health would be a key issue during the current crisis. She set up a Facebook fundraising page for the charity, which has raised more than £600.
‘I’ve had a really positive response from family and friends,’ she added. ‘They’ve all been calling me telling me how funny it is and how good it is to be raising money for charity. The overwhelmingly positive response I’ve had from everyone has really given me a buzz and I hope all those I meet feel even just a fraction of that.
‘I went out on delivery wearing the suit last week, and the reaction I got was amazing. Lots of people stopped me throughout the day to take a photo and I also had several beeps from passing cars. So, on that one day, I achieved what I set out to achieve, which is lots of laughter and smiles.
‘I plan to continue dressing up until there’s some semblance of normality back in the world, where people can reunite with friends, family and loved ones. Thank you to everyone for donating.’
Meanwhile in Chippenham, one customer was so impressed with the £800 costume-clad colleagues from Chippenham Delivery Office, have so far raised for the Wiltshire Health and Care Charity Fund, that he wrote to interim CEO Stuart Simpson to voice his praise.
‘I have no doubt how busy you are at this moment,’ he said. ‘But may I share and ask of you to acknowledge the sterling efforts of Chippenham Royal Mail staff. Like all key workers, they need applauding for their efforts.’
In return, Stuart wrote: ‘I hugely applaud all of the team at Chippenham Delivery Office for raising funds for their local health Trust - well done to everyone! This is a huge achievement and will make a real difference in these very difficult times.’