Royal Mail helps tackle loneliness in Whitby

Royal Mail’s postmen and postwomen are ideally placed to deliver the trial because of the unique role they play in their communities. Credit: PA

Trusted postmen and women from Royal Mail are supporting a trial of anew community service to help tackle loneliness.

The free, voluntary trial, led and funded by the Home Office, will support around 100 people aged 65 and over in Whitby.

Royal Mail's postmen and women are ideally placed to conduct the regular wellbeing checks due to the unique role they play in local communities, and the high levels of trust customers have in them.

Through its Universal Service network, Royal Mail connects customerscompanies and communities across the UK. It is the only deliveryCompany that can visit over 30 million addresses across the UK, six-days-a-week.

They will visit pre-selected volunteers while they are out delivering themail. They will ask participants five questions on the doorstep to check on the individual’s safety and well-being. This information will be passed on to the North Yorkshire County Council to organise further assistance if required.

The service aims to help individuals access assistance at the earliest opportunity if necessary. This might include offering support to helpthem make simple changes to stay healthy or putting them in touch with anactivity or group in their area.

The trial is now underway and will run for around six months. The postmen and women have been given training and support to offer this service. They do not expect there to be any impact on mail deliveries in Whitby during the trial.

The UK’s population is ageing. In 2016, around 18 per cent of people were65 or over. Recent projections show that in 50 years’ time, there are likelyto be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over in the UK – apopulation roughly the size of London.

The same study states that “Older people are more likely to havedifficulties accessing services such as General Practitioners (GPs) andhospitals, particularly if they are reliant on public transport.”

Sue Whalley, CEO, Royal Mail Post and Parcels UK, said:

Stuart Vickers, Royal Mail Whitby Delivery Office Manager said:

Timothy Husbands, Royal Mail Workplace Coach, added