A village stalwart who has run the local post office for 40 years is this month’s winner of our Community Hero Award.
Beryl Smith was recently presented with a Long Service Award by the Post Office having reached the milestone of four decades as postmistress of Berwick Post Office.
Her career choice is in the blood, as the post office was operated by Mrs Smith’s family for 20 years before she took up the role.
When Mrs Smith started as postmaster in 1975 she returned the post office to its original 1914 location and today it remains at the heart of the community, providing essential services to residents.
Despite working full time and having four grown up children and eight grandchildren, Mrs Smith, 72, makes time to be a parish councillor and is an active supporter of a host of local groups.
Her contribution to village life is significant with volunteer posts including being chairman of the Cuckmere Community Bus Service, a Women’s Institute treasurer, chairman of Berwick Produce Show, treasurer of St Michael and All Angels Church in Berwick, and treasurer and scorer for Selmeston and Alciston Cricket Club.
She also organises the annual reunion lunch for Selmeston School which closed in 1969 and now includes anyone who attended local youth clubs at that time, or grew up locally.
Mrs Smith said: “I’ve always lived in Berwick and have never wanted to move.
“Meeting people and talking to them is the best thing about my job.”
The Community Hero Award is sponsored by Welbeing, the specialist provider of independent living services, and honours unsung local heroes who make their community a better place to live.
Charlene Saunders, marketing manager at Welbeing, said: “It’s clear that Beryl greatly enhances the social fabric of the community in her Post Office role as well as the wealth of charity work she does in Berwick.
“It is a pleasure to present her with our Community Hero Award.”
To nominate someone for the Community Hero Award, email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of who you are nominating and why they deserve it.
Winners get dinner for two at a local restaurant and an award certificate as a record.
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