A PAIR of dedicated Post Office teams have been recognised for their commitment to supporting their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Highwoods Post Office, run by Postmaster Daryl Coote, made the final shortlist in the Local Hero category at the Post Office's We're Stronger Together Awards for the East of England.

The awards recognise the efforts made by postmasters across the region to keep branches open and serve customers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Staff at the Highwoods Square branch were nominated for going the extra mile and putting together grocery parcels for delivery during the pandemic.

The branch also acted as a collection point for residents' medicines.

Bharat and Nisha Patel, who opened Colne Engaine Post Office in February, also made the final shortlist in the Community Engagement category.

Staff at the branch also made up parcels for the vulnerable during the pandemic and have been praised by residents and Braintree Council for their hard-work.

Postmasters had the opportunity to share their experience of running their branch during the pandemic with Post Office bosses and hear directly about its future growth strategy.

Nick Read, Chief Executive of the Post Office, said: “I have heard many inspiring stories of postmasters going the extra mile and I have welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand how postmasters in the East of England have fared during the pandemic including Highwoods and Colne Engaine.

"All retailers have been affected and Post Office was no exception. The next few weeks and months will be a critical period as we try and return to a sense of normality.

"Post Office branches have a vital role to play in supporting their customers and communities, as well as helping small businesses and independent retailers get back on their feet.”