STAFF at the post office in Purewell are to lose their jobs as the mailroom prepares for its last day of service today.

Having been initially told that McColls were planning to close both the shop and the post office in Somerford Road in July, post office staff have confirmed that the service in Purewell is to close today.

However, the McColls store, which housed the post office station, will remain in operation until Friday September 25 where it is also due to close.

Post Office manager Fiona Carpenter said: “It has just come at a bad time. The locals have all been very sweet and have said to us how sad they are that we are going.

“Today will be a very sad day, a lot of people have said the service that we provide will be sorely missed.

“We are all being made redundant, so we are all on the lookout for other jobs at the moment.”

With the post office due to close, the nearest services will be the Christchurch store on Saxon Square and Bure Lane near Friars Cliff, both a mile away from Purewell, and on Lymington Road in Highcliffe, two and a half miles in the other direction.

There is one lady who has been working here for 30 years, I myself have been here for 29 years

The new WiseGuys store in Somerford has planned to open a postal service within their computer repair coffee lounge however, due to the ongoing pandemic, this hasn’t been made possible.

Fiona added: "We look after a big area, there are people that come to us from Somerford, Purewell and Stanpit, as well as a big community on the Somerford estate.

"The nearest Post Office from here will be the one in Christchurch but a lot of people will struggle to get there because many people don’t have cars or can’t drive and it is a long way to walk for elderly people and those with mobility issues.

"The new Wise Guys store had applied to get us to move into there and that looked set to happen but, due to the Covid-19, it hasn’t happened. They said they may be able to appeal for it again next year at around April time."

Since announcing they were to close, many Christchurch residents have taken to social media to express their unhappiness of the post offices closure and commended the service of longstanding members of staff at the store.

“Together we do have a lot of experience working here and been serving customers and locals for years,” said Fiona.

“There is one lady who has been working here for 30 years, I myself have been here for 29 years.”

“I want to thank all of our customers from over the years. We have seen a lot of people come and go and I think everyone has been quite grateful for our service.”