A Bermondsey charity says it is losing thousands of pounds in donations due to problems with Royal Mail deliveries this Christmas season.
Barbara Black, the founder of Tooley Street-based animal charity London Persian Rescue, said the recent mail problems were making her go postal.
She said important letters, including donations that were essential in keeping her cat rescue charity running, were being delivered late or not at all.
The St John’s Estate resident told the News: “It’s rubbish – and that’s being polite! Our postman said there is a huge backlog of parcels waiting to be delivered at Mandela Way and that a lot won’t even be delivered in time for Christmas.
“I’m waiting on a lot of deliveries to come in, a lot of donations. It’s also affecting the packages I’m sending out, like calendars, which raise more money for the charity.”
Barbara’s charity, which she has run for over 30 years, cares for sick or abandoned cats which are found on the streets of Southwark and the surrounding area – often fourteen or fifteen at a time.
She said: “Some of them are in a very poor condition, with really bad fleas or they’re just skin and bones. I care for them because they can’t speak for themselves.”
Due to the vulnerable nature of the animals, running costs can be very high. Donations are essential in keeping the charity going, especially at Christmas when a lot of cats are abandoned. Barbara said: “I need to pay for equipment, food and vet bills, which are probably the biggest outgoings. It’s not cheap. “Royal Mail should know by now that they need to hire extra staff at Christmas so that everything can get delivered. This is the most important time of the year for a lot of people.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said that the recent problems were due to roadworks and staff sickness, but insisted that the problem had now been solved and post was being delivered as usual. She said: “We apologise to customers in Southwark who may not have recently received the service they expect and deserve from Royal Mail. We can reassure customers that mail is going out for delivery on all rounds in Southwark every day.
“Recently, major roadworks in the area and a temporary higher level of short-term sick absence in the office may mean that some deliveries may be slightly later than usual. We have put contingency measures in place, including drafting in extra resources, to improve services to customers in the run-up to Christmas.”
Barbara dismissed the Royal Mail’s response and told the News that the day it was issued her post was “still late.”
She said: “It was still late yesterday and okay today. In the past when I’ve complained, it improves for a day or two and then goes back to normal. Compensation might be something to think about but I don’t think I’d get anything off the Royal Mail.”
Find out more about Barbara’s charity or donate by visiting london-persian-rescue.co.uk