Postal worker delivers in panda suit around Downham Market to support mental health charity
A panda is a rare sight in a place like Downham, but residents of the town might be able to spot one over the next few weeks when postal worker Sammy Stimpson completes her rounds.
That’s because Sammy is fundraising for a mental health charity by dressing up in an inflatable panda suit while delivering post to people in the town.
Since setting up a fundraising page earlier this week, she has already raised more than £350 for the Mental Health Foundation.
Sammy said she came up with the idea to fundraise and lift people’s spirits after noticing that some of those she delivers post to have been affected by the coronavirus lockdown.
She said: “I was inspired to do this as I know from my deliveries for Royal Mail that there are people I would normally see and chat with are feeling a little bit more down in the dumps due to coronavirus and the lockdown restrictions and I figured if I could do something a little silly like dress up and it give people just that little laugh in the day then it would be worth it.
“And I think at a time like this anyone who does suffer from mental health issues will be struggling that little extra as being shut up indoors isn’t the healthiest thing for your mind.”
Since she set her Facebook fundraiser up on Tuesday for the Mental Health Foundation, Sammy has raised more than £350 for the cause – surpassing her original £150 target.
“I’ve had a really positive response from family and friends, they’ve all been calling me telling me how funny it is and how good it is to be raising money for charity,” she said.
Sammy was set to go out on her first delivery wearing the panda suit yesterday, but she said there was a “warm reception” from her colleagues when she went to the office on Wednesday.
“Seeing how happy it made them I’m sure it will have the same effect on my deliveries,” she added.
Sammy has invited anyone who sees her on her rounds to say hello – but from a safe distance of at least two metres.
She will be wearing the inflatable panda suit while delivering post for the foreseeable future, but only as much as the job allows, as she won’t be able to wear the costume when doing van rounds.
“I plan to continue dressing up until there is a semblance of normality back in the world where people can reunite with friends, family and loved ones,” Sammy added.
She has also emphasised the importance of looking out for one another.
On her Facebook fundraising page, Sammy said: “Always check up on your buddies! Be kind! And any donations are very much appreciated!”
To donate, visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/1495050700676891.