York's Lib Dem councillors are calling on the Royal Mail to allow people to send cards and parcels to loved ones in care homes for free for the rest of the year.
The move comes after An Post—Ireland's postal service—announced it will carry letters, large envelopes, packets and parcels up to 2Kg addressed to residents in nursing homes, residential accommodation in the mental health or disability sectors and convalescent homes for free until 31st January 2021.
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, has written to Royal Mail asking that they follow An Post's gesture to support families and loved ones living in care homes, who have been so terribly impacted by the Covid19 pandemic.
Cllr Carol Runciman, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, commented:
“Times have never been tougher and this Christmas will be one of the toughest times yet. The Coronavirus outbreak has left many people who live in care homes cut off from contact with their loved ones.
"We’ve seen our communities come together like never before, reaching out and looking after the most vulnerable and isolated members of our community. Unfortunately, this winter period will be challenging for many of us and any extra help that can be provided to those in need is invaluable.
"Introducing free postage for care homes into the New Year would be a big help for many people - and help keep family and friends in contact during what could be such a lonely time for so many.
"That's why I've written to Royal Mail and asked them to follow An Post's lead and offer free postage to and from care homes in the UK to make sure no one goes without some extra love and care this Christmas."
In Ireland, An Post announced that by writing FREEPOST where the stamp would normally be affixed, they will carry cards, letters large envelopes and packets weighing up to 2KG without a postage stamp. Customers can send these items through the Post Office network and post boxes across Ireland. Items will be checked to ensure that the recipient address is addressed to a nursing home or Residential Facility. Customers will need to include a sending and return address on all items. All existing postage rates apply.