‘Boris’ set to help with Heywood deliveries next weekPostal January 14 2021
Thursday 14th January 2021
“They said be careful, you might get hi-jacked!” Lancashire postman Steven Kay joked to CWU.org, as he donned a flowing blond wig and posed for a preview photo of his latest ‘fancy dress challenge’.
Steve has raised an amazing £25,000 over the past year for Heywood Food Bank, through football scratch cards, interviews on local TV and radio – and grabbing the attention of residents by wearing all manner of unusual costumes while on delivery.
“I’ve dressed up as a chicken, a kangaroo, and I’ve been Santa too,” he says, adding: “People give me the costumes and I never turn down a challenge.
“But being ‘Boris’ is going to be my trickiest one yet – I just hope people will see the funny side and don’t throw things at me!”
In a town which was already facing tough challenges and higher than average levels of poverty, the local food bank has been of immense help to those struggling to make ends meet – particularly during this extreme period of crisis.
“In the time since I’ve been helping the food bank, the numbers of people needing their help have gone up from around 35 to over 200 per week,” continues Steven, highlighting the serious side of the fund-raising fun.
It was his own personal tragedies that made his mind up to start volunteering – the year before last, he needed to take some time off work with depression after the passing of his mother and three other close members of his family.
“It was an absolutely terrible time for us as a family and I took it very badly – but when I found out about the food bank and what they did for Heywood’s vulnerable and needy people, I wanted to help as well,” he explains.
“Each time I’ve dressed up, it’s raised on average about £150 a time, and small businesses in the area have also got on board with sponsorship too. We’ve had one week when we managed to raise £1,200 in just that week.”
The football scratchcard ‘club’ is supported by colleagues at Heywood Delivery Office, as well as Steven’s wider friends and acquaintances, and it generates £200 for the food bank each time – equalling the £200 winners’ prize.
And donations of food from customers, businesses and other well-wishers have been delivered to the centre courtesy of Royal Mail – the company allowing its van to be used for the ‘special items’.
Despite receiving a ‘Community Superstar’ award form the BBC, being interviewed on Radio Manchester and meeting with the local mayor, Steven insists that “the people of Heywood, my Royal Mail colleagues and everyone who works at the food bank are community superstars too.
“People have been amazing,” he says, adding: “I’m just glad that everyone now knows about the food bank, about how important it is, and I hope the cash that’s been raised has helped.
“A year ago, a lot of people in the town didn’t even know we had a food bank and I want to make a difference for people who are struggling.”
CWU branch secretary Saf Khan is full of praise for Steven’s efforts, telling CWU.org that “it’s a marvellous achievement from Steven who has given up a lot of his time to raise the funds and he’s a good friend and an ex-CWU representative for the office.
“Myself as branch secretary and all our members of North West No.1 Branch are proud and honoured to have him as a member.
“Steven Kay is a credit to our branch, to the CWU and to Royal Mail,” added Saf.
“But Steve mate, dressing up as ‘Boris’? All I can say is good luck with that!”