A VILLAGE post office has closed its doors in what has been described as a “very sad loss for the community”.

St Ives post office welcomed its final customers on Friday morning, a week after owners Ambi and Manj Aujla announced its closure.

The couple have owned the post office for the last six years and had built strong friendships with many residents of St Ives and Ashley Heath.

Like many business owners, Ambi and Manj had felt the impact of rising costs and reduced trade, and were forced to close. Ambi said: “It’s a very sad loss for the community, but times are changing.

“I don’t think people realise just how much background there is to a post office, and what’s involved with it.

“It’s the shop that makes the money. We were more than happy to put in the time and effort, but we haven’t got the support for the shop side.”

Bournemouth Echo: St Ives post office closed its doors on Friday August 5St Ives post office closed its doors on Friday August 5

“Sadly community services like this are going to disappear, and they’re going to disappear all over.

"The public needs to wake up.

"If you know a post office local to you, please use it, because they are desperate for trade."

Ambi and Manj Aujla have spent time thanking their customers for the ongoing support and friendship over the years.

Ambi said: “We want to thank people as we’ve had massive support as well.

"I do worry for them now, and where they’re going to go."

In a Facebook post shared ahead of the closure, the couple said: “ A very heartfelt goodbye. Our doors, very sadly, will be closing Friday 5th August for the last time. Something, after being open for 6 years you can’t imagine writing.

"Thank you to our friends and customers for your loyalty over the past years. Our doors might be closed but our friendships will never end.

"I hope everyone can understand just how difficult trade has been and with the rising costs, we no longer have a reserve left.

"Thank you for your custom, all we ask is that you please keep a watchful eye on your elderly neighbours as so many are alone."