A friend in need
Vicky Evans (pictured), a collections driver from Edinburgh Mail Centre, is living proof that spontaneous acts of kindness can make a big difference to the people around us.
‘I was on Facebook through the lockdown last year,’ Vicky tells Zoe Walker. ‘I posted some pics and became friendly with Louise Wade - a colleague from Stourport-on-Severn Delivery Office. We got on really well and have been in touch ever since.’
On chatting and finding out that Louise was suffering from Bile Acid Malabsorption (BAM), a condition that affects the bowel and can cause severe pain from cramping, Vicky resolved to help her new friend to raise the deposit to pay for an operation to treat the condition.
‘Louise is on maternity leave at the moment,’ says Vicky. ‘She has an 11-year-old that she has never been able to take swimming and she is in discomfort a lot of the time.
‘An operation would really improve her quality of life.’
Despite their obvious connection and supportive relationship, like so many people who connected virtually during the pandemic, Vicky and Louise chatted online for many months before being able to meet up in person.
To date, Vicky and her colleagues at Edinburgh Centre have raised more than £2,000 towards a deposit for Louise’s operation, which will cost £11,600 in total – by holding a raffle and a nightshift cake sale organised by Tracey McCormack, who Vicky says is ‘well known throughout the mail centre for her wonderful baking.’
Louise Wade said: ‘Vicky has really touched me through all of this. I’m just beyond overwhelmed.
‘Me and Vicky actually connected through Facebook.
‘I’d got in my car after a really hot and sweaty day delivering in the pandemic. As you can imagine, the heat was unbearable for most, but I was pregnant at the time (not complaining I may add!)’
That social media post was the start of Louise’s journey – keeping her Royal Mail colleagues up to date with her pregnancy as she delivered during lockdown. While all the while awaiting her own special delivery.
‘This job kept me sane, fit and healthy throughout pregnancy,' she says.
‘Vicky always made sure she went and found the post to comment to see how I was doing and check in. We instantly hit it off and have been on an incredible friendship journey this past year.
‘I now not only keep in touch with Vicky, but several other colleagues all over the country. I frequently post pictures of Ralf, who was born on my birthday, and get some wonderful comments - even grown burly men telling me how beautiful he is.
‘The love I have found working for Royal Mail will stay with me forever - but mine and Vicky’s journey will go beyond that. And I’m truly grateful she came into my life!’
Michael South, collection hub manager at Edinburgh Mail Centre, added: ‘It has been so refreshing to see Vicky and her colleagues coming together to raise funds for Louise. The effort that has gone into this has been amazing and the staff have been very kind with their help and donations.’
If you would like to donate to the fund for Louise’s operation, click here to visit Vicky’s Go Fund Me page.