Sheffield Mail Centre goes into overdrive for festive period

Paul Glossop sorting letters for Santa at Sheffield Mail Centre
Paul Glossop sorting letters for Santa at Sheffield Mail Centre
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Sheffield Mail Centre staff are working overtime to ensure every letter and parcel gets to its destination this Christmas.

Extra Royal Mail staff and resources have been called into the centre on Brightside Lane to meet the festive demand.

The organisation is employing 300 additional workers for the Christmas period. Fifty additional vans, 100 small vehicles and 100 articulated lorries will transport the huge influx in mail.

Yesterday was the busiest day of the year for the centre. More than three million items were expected to come through the sites at Sheffield, Darnall and Doncaster.

The extra pressure comes in the month between November 25 and Christmas Day, but planning for it began back in May.

“It really is all year round planning,” mail centre manager Mark Owen said.

Sheffield Mail Centre worker Nelson Azumah, early shift manager Graham Hammond and manager Mark Owen sort parcels at Brightside Lane

Sheffield Mail Centre worker Nelson Azumah, early shift manager Graham Hammond and manager Mark Owen sort parcels at Brightside Lane

Sorters like Paul Glossop are working around the clock.

Mr Glossop, of Thornebridge Drive, Frecheville, has been sorting mail for 30 years.

The flat sorting machine operator said pride in the job was the foremost emotion, especially at Christmas.

“We like to put on a good service,” he said.

“And make sure everybody is happy on the big day.”

He said it was a great place to work.

“They've treated me pretty well,” Mr Glossop said.

Mr Owen agreed that pride was a big part of the operation at Brightside Lane.

“People really enjoy making sure people get their parcels,” he said.

Mr Glossop and the other staff are operating some impressive machinery which makes the letters get to the right places.

The operation has two intelligent mail sorting machines capable of handling 45,000 letters every hour.

That equates to half a million letters per shift.

The machine reads the address backwards, starting with the postcode, to determine where the letter needs to go.

Sheffield's centre also handles letters for Doncaster, Lincoln and Hull.

Your child still has time to write that letter to Santa this year.

“Whilst the date has passed, we will do everything in our power to get it delivered,” Mr Owen said.

Santa will write back to all letters. His address is Santa's Grotto, Reindeer Land, XM4 5HQ.