No two days are ever the same for Postmasters.

The Post Offices they run sit at the heart of their communities and are more than just a place to buy stamps or send parcels to friends and loved ones.

Whether it’s to publicise a local event, help to find a lost dog, or support with form-filling, a friendly Postmaster is always willing to assist.

To many who walk into their local branch, a Post Office is a community hub and fosters a sense of belonging, serving as an anchor for high streets and villages.

The latest Post Office research found half of UK consumers believe they are vital for our culture, particularly for the elderly or those living in rural areas.

According to a recent Association of Convenience Stores annual Community Barometer, Post Office branches were also ranked equal first with convenience stores as the most valued community service overall.

Postmasters thrive because they are cherished by their customers and in return they have adapted their businesses to suit the changing consumer landscape.

Everyday staples from bread, milk and kitchen cupboard fillers are offered alongside cash and banking services, bill payments and payouts and a mails service tailored for online consumers.

Today’s Postmasters are also successful small business owners who have a loyal and active customer base on their doorstep able to provide unwavering support.

Here, three Postmasters from across the country reveal why they love what they do and why their roles matter.

Miriam Al-Bazz: A Post Office Retail Superstar of the future

The ability to thrive under pressure and succeed has landed one of Britain’s youngest Postmistresses with a coveted retail superstar of the future award.

Miriam Al-Bazz faced a year of challenges running the Stannington Road Post Office in Sheffield but met them all head on.

The 23-year-old handled severe disruption from newspaper and magazine wholesalers by overseeing home deliveries and actioning problems as soon as they arose. Miriam also invested in an electric scooter which allowed her to deliver newspapers herself.

Her efforts led to Miriam, who is believed to be one of the youngest Postmistresses in the UK, being crowned a Better Retailing 30 Under Thirty winner for 2023.

Miriam’s post office was originally bought and run by her father, Yousif Al-bazz, who is still the official postmaster in charge but who has now taken a back seat allowing Miriam to take the reins as the postmistress-in-training. She said: “I can see the difference my Post Office and the level of service provided makes to the community. Customers will often come in and say: ‘thank goodness you are here to help me’ and they have also said that to them I am at the ‘heart of the community’ which is so lovely to hear.

“It was my parents who opened this Post Office and I have now taken the reins. Over the years we have adapted our services and retail offering, which includes stocking items from local producers, and I am proud this branch is thriving and successful. People will always need their Post Office.”

Amit Patel: The Post Office that has remained with the same family for 50 years and three generations

East Anglian Daily Times: Amit Patel pictured earlier this year outside his Hove Post Office with his parents, Narotam & RamaAmit Patel pictured earlier this year outside his Hove Post Office with his parents, Narotam & Rama (Image: Post Office)

Amit Patel took over the family business in 2012, with his wife Nadya. He said: "The legacy of Portland Road Post Office in Hove is one of commitment to our community. For three generations, our family has been privileged to serve our neighbours and businesses, adapting to changing times while maintaining our core values of integrity and service.

“The Post Office is part of my DNA, I grew up in the branch and have seen the business has evolved from the products we stock to the services we provide, it has all been adapted to reflect the needs of the customers we serve and the branch has remained successful throughout.

“I watched my family take pride in supporting the local community through all the ups and downs that happen and I wanted to continue the legacy my parents started.”

Clare and Megan Hardcastle: The mother and daughter duo who have seen their Post Office thrive

East Anglian Daily Times: Megan & Clare Hardcastle pictured outside their Slaidburn Post Office. Megan & Clare Hardcastle pictured outside their Slaidburn Post Office. (Image: Post Office)

Working side-by-side hasn’t just strengthened the mother and daughter bond between Clare and Megan Hardcastle, it has also been good for business too.

Their Post Office has a prime position at the heart of the close-knit village in the Hodder Valley, Lancashire.

Megan said: “I had just graduated from university when my mum decided to buy Slaidburn Post Office and asked me if I would join her in running it. I jumped at the chance, as I had always wanted to live in the countryside and enjoy the lifestyle our location offers us.

“My mum and I have always had a good relationship but it’s different now and running this business together means we can be really honest with each other and there is a strength in that.

“The bond that you have with your mother, you can never have with anyone else, and it has been instrumental to the success of the business. We’re a family business and that’s important in a village like Slaidburn; the residents like that we’re a mother-and-daughter team and the Post Office has a homely feel to it.”

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