St Albans postbox toppers are back for their third Christmas trail
- Credit: Archant
The third time’s the charm! St Albans’ much-loved postboxes toppers are back for another Christmas, pandemic be damned!
After months of planning and organisation, 50 decorated postboxes are now ready for the festive season.
This is only possible thanks to the fantastic efforts of the talented, creative and dedicated yarnbombing team led by Candy Stuart.
All the toppers have been made by knitting volunteers, but there are also various other people who have donated their time and expertise behind the scenes, including web designers, map artists, bloggers and photographers.
This year’s postboxes support two local charities: homeless support organisation Open Door and St Albans and District Foodbank.
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In addition to hosting and building the website, creating the logo and doing the technical magic to make everything appear on the EYES on St Albans app, DigitalJen have sponsored the Scan and Win Trail. Prices include a 4.5kg Toblerone, a chocolate hamper, a Lego campervan, and a £250 St Albans Gift Card. Every time you find one of the postbox toppers, you can scan the trail code (one scan per postbox per 24 hours) to get one entry into the draw.
Sponsors this year come from many areas of the community - a church, community groups, a running group, market stalls, pubs, accountants, a tree surgeon and many more!
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Organiser Clare Suttie said: “The response from the community has been so positive, there was a real buzz before launch with excitement building! We lost count of all the people who told us how much they had been looking forward to the toppers going up, and how much they enjoy finding them all every year. This is a safe activity and fun for all the family - and we certainly need that at the end of this year.”
Foodbank manager Emma Dalton said: “We love the postbox toppers at Christmas and we are really excited to see them. They bring such joy and delight to everyone. We have just experienced the busiest period in our six years of operating with some really unique challenges. I am proud of our volunteers and the community for rising to the challenge. Any support you can give us will go straight back to the poorest in our community to help those who cannot afford the basic essentials to live their lives with dignity and without hunger.”
Some of this year’s sponsors have been explaining why they are supporting the initiative.
Mariella Stewart from Positive Gains said: “The wonderful innovative project of yarnbombing the local post boxes is extremely uplifting and celebrates all that is good about our community. It helps charities with much needed donations and improves our mental health through its creative positivity.”
Sophie Hudson from Sherrards Solicitors said: ““We are so pleased to be involved with the Christmas postbox topper project again this year. It has certainly become something to look forward to in the calendar and really is such a great initiative created solely to bring joy and support to the city of St Albans. We are very proud to be involved and look forward to seeing the yarnbombers’ masterpieces this year!”
Gouri Kubair, managing director of Holy Lama Naturals, explained: “Clare has been amazing, always doing things to raise funds for local charities. Both causes she is fundraising for this year are fabulous, but I especially love the post box toppers; they’re such a fun and innovative way to make the city’s post boxes look festive and colourful. I’m delighted for Holy Lama Naturals to be supporting them. ”
Isabel Lydall from Curiosity & Clarity said: “As a market researcher for food brands, I learn a lot about how important good food and Christmas are to people, both physically and mentally, and I know just how tough this Christmas will be for many.
“So I’m incredibly proud to be able to support an initiative that’s helping keep vulnerable people fed and cared for at Christmas. Plus, it’s a wonderfully creative idea! When I started my business last Christmas I set myself a goal to have my very own postbox this year, so it’s awesome to be able to take part.”
Grace Lillywhite from Centred Mums said: “I got involved in the project because I really want my business to be involved in local charity projects. It’s really important to me to give back to the local community but with two young kids I find it hard to have the time to do as much as I’d like to. From a selfish perspective my kids love me being involved so we can go and see the postbox together!”
Blogger Kirsty Hornblow from the Mummysphere said: “St Albans Postboxes is a community project that is stitched and hooked together by passionate volunteers who give their time and expertise to bring joy and smiles across the district whilst raising lots of money for local charities. It’s an honour to sponsor a postbox and I hope that 2020 is another record year for fundraising.”
Tena Wallace, payroll and HR director at Visionary Accountants added: “By supporting St Albans Postboxes, not only do we benefit from the cheery post box topper designs that decorate and brighten the area, we also and more importantly get to support their chosen charities Sadly, their essential services are needed more than ever in 2020.”
So far over £5,200 has been raised by this year’s toppers.
You can donate at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/stalbanspostboxes and find the map, checklist, and more information at www.stalbanspostboxes.org.uk