A post woman who cheered up her community by dressing as a rainbow throughout lockdown has been named the best-loved postie in Wales.
Lucy Garlick, 42, from Tonteg, never failed to raise a smile when Wales was first locked down earlier this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As well as putting her all into her role as a key worker throughout the year, she also ensured those self-isolating in Tonteg could have something to smile about each day by bringing a bit of colour and joy to people’s lives.
Lucy has recently been named as one of the UK’s most-loved posties by curated online marketplace notonthehighstreet.
She was crowned one of six winners following almost 20,000 nominations from the public, and is the only postie in Wales to be recognised for her efforts this year.
The ‘Thank You, Postie’ campaign was launched in November to celebrate the local posties who have gone above and beyond while delivering parcels and post to the nation this year.
It comes after research revealed more than a quarter of Brits (26%) said their postie has brought them joy since lockdown hit, and a further 12% said they rely on them as a familiar face to see every day.
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After seeing a post on social media from Chase the Rainbow, Lucy had the idea to also put a smile on the faces of those locked-down at home by updating her usual tradition of wearing festive socks and jumpers on her Christmas rounds by donning colourful high-knee socks.
She soon captured the imagination of her community, with families beginning to leave socks in their letterboxes for Lucy to pick up on her round and waiting in anticipation to see what she would be wearing next.
Sally Ann Thomas, who nominated her, said: “During lockdown Lucy did so much for our community – she offered to get shopping for those who are shielding, left her number so they could be contacted if we needed anything, dressed up in different outfits to brighten our day, bought Easter eggs for the children and posted little notes for them through them door.
“These are just a few of the reasons why we love our postie!”
As for Lucy, she said March now feels like so long ago that she actually struggled to remember how it all happened.
Lucy said: “I just wanted to try and put a smile on people’s faces, and I have loved seeing everyone waving to me through their windows.
“It’s amazing what a smile and a ‘hello’ can do for someone’s day.
“I decided if everyone wants to see a rainbow I may as well get some colourful socks.
“It started out as one pair and I ended up getting 10 to 12 pairs. It got bigger and bigger really.
“I would be on my walk and I would see a pair of socks hanging out of the letterbox, with a note saying ‘please wear them if you want to’.
“Then people would be stopping to see what I was wearing.
“It was a bit of light-hearted fun, and if I could raise a smile to one person it was worth doing.
“The children would be looking out to see what I’d be wearing.”
But, even though Lucy loved cheering people up, she had no idea she would one day be recognised for her generosity.
She just wanted to try and bring a bit of colour, and happiness, to someone’s day.
When she was told she had been recognised as one of the six winners in the UK Lucy said she was “in shock”, but her colleagues at Royal Mail couldn’t have been more proud.
“My manager asked me to come into the office and you never think that’s going to be good, do you?” she added.
“I walked into the canteen and there were colleagues and managers there.
“Suddenly I had three bouquets of flowers in my arms.
“I was in shock for definitely a whole day.”
Lucy said it’s been a very busy year at Royal Mail, and since her time working in the role, she has never known it be as busy as this year has been.
But, with so many more people shopping online and people ordering gifts to be delivered on the run up to Christmas, there is no sign of things slowing down just yet.
When asked if it was nice to get some recognition for the hard work she does day-to-day, Lucy said: “Yes – but it’s not just for me.
“It’s for all the postmen, especially at the Pontypridd depot.
“Everyone works so incredibly hard.
“The shop workers and the bin men – we have all kept going so it’s quite nice to have some recognition.
“The biggest thing is to just shout out to all the team at my depot.
“Everyone is working so hard and if people can just bare with us, we will get their parcels and their mail.
“We are working as hard as we possibly can.”