Port Clarence Post Office branch sits in the shadow of the Transporter Bridge, which crosses the River Tees to link the area with nearby Middlesbrough. Alongside it is a health centre, a crèche, cafe and a training room grandly called an IT suite. Just down the road, past a row of boarded up houses, there is a small row of shops: newsagent, chippy and off licence. There isn't much else.
Our blogs - #InsideOut
I'm writing this sitting on a train. The man next to me is watching a film on his iPad. Opposite a woman is reading a book on a Kindle and next to her another guy is listening to a podcast.
The digital world is almost everywhere - but it hasn't yet reached every home and while going online may be second nature to most people, there are still millions who lack confidence and skills in this area.
The lecture theatre at the offices of the Royal Society of the Arts, just off the Strand in central London, has an impressive series of paintings dating back centuries. The building itself became the RSA’s home in 1774, making it just a little bit younger than the Post Office.
It is a time of great change for the Post Office, with new services, longer opening hours and a fresh look across thousands of our branches in communities across the UK. Only last week we announced the extension of Post Office current accounts to more areas, for instance.
We want to secure the future of the Post Office, so as part of our new approach we are modernising our retail offer. We are rapidly adapting to the challenges of the digital age and offer more services on-line and via apps, while at the same time focusing even more acutely on the needs of our customers.
I started today shouting at the radio. It was early, and as the presenter speculated on the prospects for Royal Mail he talked repeatedly and mistakenly about the Post Office and privatisation. It’s a common mistake – muddling us up with the Royal Mail. And one we as a communications team need to eradicate from the airwaves and newspaper columns.
Today we have a great chance to do that – because today is a really big day for the Post Office.
Up and down the UK, Post Office branches are changing. Over the course of the last 18 months, more than 1000 of our branches have adapted to new models as part of a £1.34billion programme, with longer opening hours and more modern environments.
We are launching a new campaign to help more people in the North East of England access the benefits of the digital revolution. The idea may seem a little incongruous: a key differentiator of the Post Office is, after all, its physical network and the face to face relationships it has with its customers. Now separate from Royal Mail and in a new business in that sense, we can however trace our history back to the 17th century.
Recent blog posts
- Building for the future
- Changing times
- The search for solutions
- A moving story
- We are family
- At what cost to our customers
- I care about my customers. After all, it’s my community too.
- #InsideOut - Women, We Need to Harness our Collective Energies
- #InsideOut - Post Office is Key to Unlocking Benefits of a Digital World
- #InsideOut - The Inside View on Environmental Change