IT’S all hands on deck at Sunderland Royal Mail delivery office.
Today is the recommended last day to send first-class mail, and the office, which delivers to about 77,000 doors on Wearside, is working to its full capacity – with all of its 280-strong workforce in.
“Sunderland delivery office is very busy dealing with a huge amount of Christmas mail,” said delivery office manager Jacki Whittle.
“Our postmen and women are working very hard to deliver a first-class Christmas for our customers.
“Royal Mail has extra deliveries and collections right up to and including Christmas Eve, and most of our delivery offices have extended hours to help customers pick up parcels.”
The growth of internet shopping has sparked an increase in the amount of parcels which pass through the office in the run up to Christmas – with the trend more noticeable this year than ever before.
“This is our busiest time of the year and we are also seeing many more parcels as people shop online.
“Ten years ago we had concerns regarding the internet and how it would affect us. However, the volume of mail it’s producing can only be a good thing for business.”
Despite the increased workload and extra pressures during December, the centre’s staff remain in fine festive spirit.
Bronwen Gleghorn, 52, from Silkworth, said: “The extra work is expected at this time of year.
“Everybody just wants to make sure that everything gets delivered and all the little kiddies get their Christmas boxes through on time.
“It’s lovely when you walk out of here on Christmas Eve and the office is clear – it’s a fabulous feeling.”
Martin Youern, 47, from Hylton Castle, added: “We come in early to make sure everything gets done on time, and we’re all up to date at the minute.”
Due to the need for specialism, and for security reasons, the office employs no additional seasonal staff to cope with demand.
The final recommended posting day for Special Delivery items is Saturday December 22.