With extra Post Office mobile vans being introduced across the country and more scheduled to be rolled out later this year, we take a look at one of our long serving Post Office mobile operations.
Twice a week, for the last eight years, the team at Pembroke Post Office in West Wales have got in their mobile Post Office van and made the seven-mile journey to the village of St Florence.
For the 750-or-so inhabitants of the village, it is a journey that is hugely significant because it means they have access to Post Office services on their doorstep.
People can use the van for international parcels, Special Delivery, cash withdrawals, holiday money, insurance, savings, and even a Passport Check and Send service.
“One of the great things about the mobile service is that we’re able to offer the same product range as we do at our ‘mains’ branch in Pembroke,” said Mark Wilson, postmaster at Pembroke Post Office. “It’s a real team effort, and we all enjoy taking the mobile out to the different communities. One of the rewarding things is that you really get a great sense of how much the locals appreciate your efforts.”
Alicia Watkins, who joined the Pembroke team last October, agrees. “You can tell that customers look forward to the mobile arriving,” she said, “and the locals and holidaymakers alike always provide a warm welcome. They are pleasantly surprised at the number of services we are able to offer on the van.”
Mrs Muckleston, who has lived in St Florence for three years, is one of those who uses it regularly. “I think it’s brilliant,” she said. “I use it every week to withdraw cash and send parcels to my son who is serving in the armed forces. I don’t know what I would do without it.”
It is no longer just St Florence that is benefiting from the service. Over time, it has expanded to neighbouring areas and now Mark’s team takes the mobile service to seven communities across Pembrokeshire.
The Pembroke operation is part of an expanding national fleet of Post Office mobile vans, with 42 mobiles in operation across the network. With an extra 14 newly built mobile vans planned this year, soon other communities like St Florence will benefit from this vital outreach service.