Laura White
Laura White

Joanna Giles the former apprentice at Ashburton’s Post Office has been set a challenge by Post Master Stuart Rogers called ‘Challenge JOPO’.

Joanna, who has just turned twenty one, will set off from Ashburton Post Office on the 18th of April to travel to the most southern, western, northern and eastern post offices and parts of the United Kingdom, finishing off at the Houses of Parliament, and all without paying for any travel.

Joanna is aiming to raise £5,000 for Cancer Research and Ashburton Arts. The southernmost post office is in St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly, accessed either by ship or plane. Her travel route is then to Haverfordwest in Wales via Cardiff by train, then a ferry to Rosslare in Ireland, then buses and trains to Belleek in Ulster – the western most post office, on to Belfast and a flight to Aberdeen and the overnight ferry to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles, bus to Baltasound – the northernmost post office, back to Lerwick by bus and then a flight to Norwich and bus or train to Lowestoft and the most easterly post office.

Lastly, a train to London and the finish at the Houses of Parliament. Joanna is hoping that if all goes to plan she thinks the whole trip will take eight days. Any donations would be gratefully received.

Joanna will be stopping to photograph famous landmarks and post offices on her challenge which she will be posting on Facebook: challenge jopo and Instagram: @challengejopo

Postmaster gathers MP support

The day after taking up his new position of South West representative of the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP), Ashburton Postmaster Stuart Rogers met with several MPs who have been major campaigners on post office issues including his own local MP Mel Stride and Gloucester MP Richard Graham. Mr Rogers also met with Shadow Post Office Minister Gill Furniss MP.

Stuart explained:
“It is a privilege to represent sub postmasters across the South West and I will be lobbying as hard as I can on some of the issues that matter most to us. My visit to Parliament focused on the plight of rural post offices – something I have worked on closely with our local MP, Mel Stride, here in Central Devon. If rural branches are to remain sustainable we need a three-pronged approach with support from local chambers of trade, support from banks and support from the local communities they serve.”

Local Life