Only a few more days to Christmas and in preparation for the special day, postal staff and their colleagues at Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) have been working hard to ensure that the holiday spirit reaches everyone on the Island.
It is currently the busiest time of year for IOMPO's mails division; with the growth in the volumes of items being sent to and from the UK and internationally, due to the festive season, as well as overcoming the after-effects of the bad weather on road, sea and air transport.
Geoff Rickard, Isle of Man Post Office General Manager of Mails said, "Despite the challenges that we have faced this festive season, either due to the increased volume of mails and parcels, or the delays caused by the bad weather we had recently, we are committed to putting our customers first and continue to deliver the highest quality of service to them."
Geoff added, "Total mail volume in December has increased approximately 75% compared to the August volume. To meet with the increased workload, Post Office employees from other sections of the business have provided a total of approximately 800 hours of additional support to the Mails, Parcels and Customer Services division. Additionally, our operational staff and managers faced the elements and battled into work on the heaviest snow day, and all colleagues around the Island have literally worked together to catch up on any backlog that was caused by the bad weather."
Spreading the Christmas joy
To further spread the magic of Christmas, the postal staff have been busy delivering over 2000 Christmas cards from Santa to children all over the Island. Last week, Postman Steve Cooke visited Hopes and Dreams Nursery to personally deliver the children the replies to their letters to Santa. These children had previously visited the Douglas Delivery Office when they each received IOMPO's 'Twelve Days of Christmas' cards, to post to Santa.
In the true spirit of giving this Christmas, employees at the IOMPO also took part in activities to raise funds for Save the Children and Hospice Isle of Man.
Niall Carey, Chairman of the IOMPO's Sponsorship Committee said, "Christmas is a wonderful time of peace and happiness, and also a time to remember others who are less fortunate than us. We are pleased to continue our tradition of supporting these worthy causes; Save the Children Festival of Trees, National Christmas Jumper Day and Hospice Isle of Man Christmas Tree Collection; to help generate vital funds to support these worthy causes."
The Save the Children Festival of Trees that is currently being held at Ronaldsway Airport, is an annual event where various businesses and organisations on the Island take part by putting up a display, to help generate awareness and raise funds to support vulnerable children in the UK and around the world.
This year, IOMPO produced an installation entitled 'Twelve Days of Christmas', one of the most well known and loved Christmas carols. The display is creatively made up of storage boxes that are stacked to resemble a Christmas tree, and adorned with various Christmas decorations as well as IOMPO's festive stamp collection which visually interprets the Twelve Days of Christmas. Passengers travelling through the airport between now and early January are encouraged to vote for their favourite decorated tree, as well as give a donation towards Save the Children.
On Friday the 15th of December, in celebration of National Christmas Jumper Day, IOMPO's employees donned their daftest and most wonderful woollies, and successfully collected £200 for Save the Children.
When homes have been filled with Christmas joy and the festive season is over, everyone will be clearing up their seasonal decorations in preparation of the year ahead. This is another opportunity to donate to another worthy cause, under the Hospice IOM Christmas Tree Collection scheme, which is supported by IOMPO.
Under this scheme, for a donation of £10, IOMPO's volunteers will collect Christmas trees from participating homes, which will be made into compost for Hospice IOM's gardens. To take part in this scheme, Island residents can complete the online form http://www.hospice.org.im/xmas-tree. All trees must be in front of the property by 7am on Saturday the 6th of January.
The IOMPO Sponsorship Committee aims to support a variety of local initiatives throughout the year and is always keen to hear from individuals and organisations looking for support, which it may be able to help with. Requests for sponsorship can be made in writing to the Sponsorship Committee at the IOMPO Headquarters.