Stamp of approval as another award is delivered to post office

A post office which puts itself at the heart of the community has won another national title.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 11:33 am
Katie and Sean Hudson of West Boldon Post Office, show off their Newsagent of the Year award at the Federation of Independent Retailers ceremony in London; with BBC journalist and host Naga Munchetty, and Shaun Jones of sponsors the Daily Mail. Picture from NFRN.

The West Boldon Post Office on Addison Road, which is also a newsagent and store, was named Newsagent of the Year at the 2020 National Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) awards in London.

The awards recognise retailers “who have made their business a success through innovation, determination, grit and foresight.”

The business is run by husband and wife Katie and Sean Hudson, who accepted the award at a ceremony hosted by BBC journalist Naga Munchetty.

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Owners Katie and Sean Hudson outside the West Boldon Post Office, which has been named Newsagent of the Year at a national awards ceremony. Picture by Stu Norton.

In 2019 it was named as Post Office Retailer of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards. The couple only took over the business in April 2017, but wasted no time in putting it at the centre of the West Boldon community.

They introduced a “ring-and-bring” service for less mobile customers who might not use computers.

There is a dry cleaning service and bespoke fresh fruit and veg. Boxes are prepared fresh from the market and delivered to the post office for collection each Saturday. Tea and coffee are available too, as is newspaper delivery.

But the post office’s main asset are the chats and the personal touch it gives that can’t be matched by bigger businesses

The post office was nominated for its latest award by the NFRN area manager – and an anonymous customer.

Sean said: “We didn’t know until our name was announced that we had won.

“We’re members of the NFRN and we were there representing the North-East. We were finalists last year too. Truly, it feels really good. It’s great for the community too.

“I have to give a special mention to our paper lads. They range in age from a 70 year-old down to teenagers. They’re a really really good crowd. They’re out there rain, hail or shine. They’ll go far.”

The post office is regularly the hub for community events. On March 9 the post office will hand over a cheque for £800 to the Royal British Legion, after raising the money from their poppy display in November last year.