Suffolk newsagent Jim Mitchell has campaigned to promote the vital work of home news deliverers in the Eastern Counties district.

Mitchell began working with the Eastern Daily Press and publisher Archant to publish “a thank- you to the delivery girls and boys on the frontline of the coronavirus lockdown”, and asked for betterRetailing’s support in uncovering local news sellers going above and beyond.

Asked about the efforts of his deliverers, Ian Moncur, of Moncur Newsagent in Norwich, told betterRetailing: “My boys and girls have been brilliant – all of them have stepped up to meet the extra demand we’ve received.

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“On Thursday, in our WhatAapp group, I tell them that I’m clapping for them as well because they are key workers.

“We saw a lot of new customers needing papers delivered – they were all self-isolating and couldn’t go to a shop. It’s clear just how much it means to our customers. The Easter eggs, cards and tips we’ve received during this crisis have been overwhelming.”

Despite being classified as vulnerable, Owen and Liz Church, of Hemsby Post Office in Great Yarmouth, added as many new home delivery customers as they can. Owen said: “We know how important these services are. Nearly all of our paper delivery customers are self-isolating, and we’re grateful for the thanks we’ve received.”

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Michael Rivers, of Dersingham News in Norfolk, said he had taken more than 20 new orders from self-isolating customers. “We’re also looking out for vulnerable customers that need more support with our local mutual aid society. We’ve referred around half a dozen people who have been given access to grocery deliveries and other services,” he said.

Archant circulation director Darron McLoughlin praised the news sellers, stating: “We’re astounded by the support from small shops and we’re always looking to highlight the work they do for their communities.”

He added that Archant’s ‘home delivery hotline’ had generated 800 new orders without delivery discounts. “It’s about quality, not quantity – giving our news sellers repeat custom,” he explained.

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