The 'Alternative Postal Services Toolkit'
In a response to the closure of 2500 post offices across the UK in 2008 Community First developed the 'Post Point' concept and a toolkit designed to enable communities and retailers to set-up an alternative postal services (Post Point) solution providing many of the services offered by former village Post Offices. The Post Point concept was first piloted by a community in Gloucestershire and from there has grown amongst the Community Shop movement.
Post Point in its most basic form is a place where the community can weigh and post parcels, but the opportunities for bolt on services such as assisted computer access information sharing, etc, are endless.
The ‘how to’ toolkit developed with support from Wiltshire Council leads communities and retailers through several development stages from finding out what the community needs and wants right through to launching the enterprise.
The Post Point concept is not intended to replace Post Offices where such facilities remain, and consideration will need to be made by communities to ensure that installing a Post Point does not adversely affect a neighbouring Post Office.