Royal Mail 'so sorry' after 30 packages containing donations for Sheffield girls’ football team go missing

Royal Mail has apologised after more than 30 packages containing donations for a girls’ football team in Sheffield went missing.

By Robert Cumber
Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 8:29 am

Gary Beaumont had asked other clubs, players and celebrities to donate signed photos, shirts and other goods to be auctioned off to raise much-needed money for Steel City Wanderers LFC Under-13s, who are based at St George’s Park in High Green.

He was delighted by the generous response, with many well-wishers answering the call to help the side bounce back after its finances were hit by the Covid pandemic.

But when numerous items failed to appear, despite assurances from the donors that they had been posted, he contacted Royal Mail to ask what had happened.

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The items were donated to raise much-needed funds for Steel City Wanderers LFC U13s

He says at least 31 packages were never delivered, which is nearly as many items as did arrive.

Yet despite submitting three official complaints to Royal Mail this year, he only ever received an automated response apologising for a delay in delivering items, which it said was down to ‘coronavirus-related absences’.

That was until he contacted The Star and we took up his case with the Royal Mail, which subsequently apologised for ‘failing to uphold our delivery promises’ and offered the club a £200 ‘gesture of goodwill’.

This signed photo of Peter Shilton was one of the items which went missing in the post before a replacement was sent

Mr Beaumont believes the missing items would have been worth at least two or three times that sum and is angry at Royal Mail for failing to investigate or properly respond to his complaints sooner.

He said: “I’m absolutely disgusted. I haven’t lost out personally; it’s the girls who are going to miss out on this money, which could have paid for them to take part in a football tournament or get the new away kit they need.

“It’s so disappointing after all the generous offers we had that so many of the donations which were sent never arrived. It’s not just about the money either. This could have damaged our relations with those clubs which kindly responded to our appeal.

This signed shirt from England rugby star Emily Scarratt, who kicked the winning points in the Women's Six Nations, was one of the items which did arrive

“If they’d looked into this properly when I initially complained back in February, having first became aware of items going missing, perhaps they could have prevented so many packages failing to arrive.”

The missing items include donations from Leicester City Women, Southampton Women’s star Lauren Cheshire and former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who later sent a replacement signed photo which did arrive.

An email from the Royal Mail’s Chief Executive Office, sent last week, states: “I am so sorry we have let you and those associated with the team down by failing to uphold our delivery promises.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail regrets that the customer did not receive the first class service they expected and deserved from Royal Mail on this occasion.

“We have contacted the customer and are arranging for a cheque to be sent as a gesture of goodwill, for the loss of mail and distress caused.

“We recommend that customers sending cash, very important and vital documents or other valuables by post use our Special Delivery Guaranteed service as it is a secure service and is tracked all the way through our network and the item can be pinpointed at any time.

“It also includes compensation cover for sending jewellery, cash or other valuables.”