Ridgewood PO couple give up running village outreach services

Jon and Sue Gothard who run Ridgewood Post Office have decided they are no longer able to take outreach services into other villages.

The couple used to make regular visits to Nutley, Chelwood Gate, and Danehill, but stopped temporarily because of the Coronavirus and have now decided they must give up altogether.

Sue and Jon Gothard of Ridgewood Post Office and Stores, who have given up running Post Office outreach services in villages.

Sue said they were sad to have made the decision but the pressure of work at Ridgewood meant they couldn’t continue the other services.

Sue said: “We were determined to keep the main shop open during the pandemic and it was obvious to us we couldn’t keep the outreach services going at the same time so we stopped our visits temporarily.

Conclusion

“But things haven’t got any easier. Also we are getting older and the equipment we carry is heavy, so eventually we came to the conclusion we must stop the outreach services.

“We are very sad about this because we were doing the work to help the community. But still, seven years on, we feel we have done our bit and it is time to step back.”

The couple also used to run outreach services at The Laughing Fish, Isfield, and at High Hurstwood Village Hall. They were pleased when Five Ash Down Post Office took over at High Hurstwood, and carried on at Isfield, for a year after giving notice to stop, in the hope the Post Office would find somebody to take over there but it didn’t happen.

MP

Wealden MP Nus Ghani said Post Office Limited had given assurances that it was working to find a solution to ensure that communities in West and East Sussex can still access Post Office services locally.

She urged affected Wealden residents to share any concerns and views via the following Consultation Hub link: Consultation Hub – Ridgewood Outreach Service.

She said any questions regarding the closures could be directed to the National Consultation Team at comments@postoffice.co.uk.

Threat

The MP added: “Previously, three other Post Office services were under threat of closure in Hailsham, Groombridge and Mayfield, and we have successfully fought for them to remain open.

“Following its temporary closure, I am delighted that the Forest Row Post Office branch has now reopened, and I hope that the suspended outreach services provided by Ridgewood will soon resume.”

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