Who We Are – Evette

Great Western Railway (GWR) train name fame for fundraising superstar Evette Chapman

Taunton postwoman, Evette Chapman is to have a train named after her following her nomination by BBC Radio Somerset listeners for the ‘Make a Difference Superstar’ campaign.

Evette was selected by judges for her charity work following a link-up between the BBC and train operator Great Western Railway (GWR) to celebrate community heroes who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

Our Who We Are campaign celebrates our key workers - connecting communities, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic – and beyond as well. We’re recognising people at the heart of our business, across the pipeline, as they describe who they are in their own words.

We want to receive nominations from around the Group for deserving colleagues to be recognised in this way. Send yours to communications@royalmail.com.

In just four weeks during the height of the Covid-19 first wave, Evette and a team of 12 fancy-dress-wearing colleagues from Taunton Delivery Office, raised £5,000 for the ‘Covid-19 Response Fund’ to support nurses and patients at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

Evette also arranged for a convoy of Royal Mail vans to deliver a gift to a 12-year-old Creech Heathfield resident, who was awaiting major heart surgery. During September, she spearheaded a ‘Sporty September’ fundraising month to support the homeless.

BBC Radio Somerset was one of nine local radio stations to team up with GWR and the names of 18 Make a Difference Superstars, including Evette’s, will adorn each of their high-speed Intercity Express trains.

‘I was completely overwhelmed to hear that I was going to have my name on a train,’ said Evette. ‘I'm really looking forward to going to the naming ceremony soon to actually see the train in person.’

Over the past few years, Evette has also helped raise thousands of pounds for Elliot’s Touch, a charity in Watchet, helping to fund research and find cures for Mitochondrial Disease in children.

‘Elliot’s Touch is a charity very close to my heart,’ she said. ‘It was set up after my best friend Donna and her husband Paul’s 13-month-old son, Elliot, who died following a heart operation. They vowed to form a charity in Elliot’s name with the aim of fundraising to research and raise awareness of Cardiomyopathy and Mitochondrial Disease in children.

‘I’m on the committee and since it was set up five years ago, we’ve raised over £150,000 and Donna and Paul have won several awards including the “British Heart Foundation Award” and the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Somerset Chamber of Commerce. They were also one of the charities chosen to go to the Royal wedding in 2018.

‘I absolutely love raising money for charity - there’s no better feeling knowing how much you’re helping others by doing it.

‘We’ll be dressing up as elves throughout December to raise money for the homeless, so that we can pay for their Christmas dinners.’

Following a 29-year career in the caring profession, including eight years working with the elderly, and 21 years working with adults with learning disabilities, Evette joined Royal Mail three years ago.

‘I love my job,’ she said. ‘I have a very good relationship with a lot of my customers, even more so recently, due to Covid. My manager Dan and all the team at Taunton have been so supportive of me organising things to raise money for others. When you have the support of everyone at work, plus your customers and your partner, why not do some good during the pandemic? It’s great to help out and put a smile on people’s faces. We’re the key workers and we all need to work together to get through this difficult time.’

27 Nov 2020