A POST office in rural Herefordshire has been praised for the way it continued to serve its community through the coronavirus pandemic.

Pontrilas Post Office delivered meals to local residents, as well as groceries and prescriptions to those living near the branch on the Welsh border who were vulnerable and shielding.

The Pontrilas branch won the local hero category at the Post Office’s ‘We’re Stronger Together’ regional awards for Northern Ireland and Wales, with the aim of the awards to recognise postmasters' effort.

The award was presented virtually to postmaster Sonya Cary on Wednesday evening (July 15) by Post Office chief executive Nick Read.

RELATED NEWS: Rural shops make sure 'everyone is looked after'

Post Office area manager Joe Francis, said: “Sonya at Pontrilas Post Office won in this category owing to her dedication to the community above all else.

"She has delivered groceries and prescriptions to vulnerable, shielding members of the community, as well as hot meals on Sundays all throughout lockdown.

"She has also set up a telephone wellness service, allowing lonely, shielding members of the community to have someone to talk to.

"Pontrilas Post Office runs a weekly quiz for the community, to keep spirits high and to ensure there is still a jovial feeling in the community.

“Everything Sonya does is to help her customers and wider community.”

Chief executive Nick Read added: “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 Northern Ireland and Wales have fared during the pandemic including Pontrilas.

"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.”