A TEST Valley post office was a finalist in a category of the Post Office’s ‘We’re Stronger Together’ south east regional awards, it has been revealed.

Broughton Post Office, High Street, was nearly crowned the winner of the Local Hero category, which was announced on July 14.

The awards recognise the efforts made by postmasters across the region to keep branches open during the coronavirus pandemic and serving their local community.

This comes after the post office opened in December 2019 after the Broughton Community Shop Committee came together to fundraise, build and stock a village shop, post office and coffee shop.

The committee is headed by Julia Jenkins and Jane Tabor.

Post Office area manager, Mitchell Taylor, praised the team at Broughton Post Office for being able to "step up to help the local community".

He said: "As a new community-run branch, opening last December, the team have worked hard to become the community hub of the village.

"They have had to repurpose the site and adapt to their new environment in a short space of time.

"They have kept the branch open and have created an online and phone ordering system which a fleet of volunteers help run.”

Chief Executive at the Post Office, Nick Read, added: “I have heard many inspiring stories of postmasters going the extra mile and I have welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand how postmasters in the South East have fared during the pandemic including Broughton.

"All retailers have been affected and Post Office was no exception.

"The next few weeks and months will be a critical period as we try and return to a sense of normality.

"Post Office branches have a vital role to play in supporting their customers and communities, as well as helping small businesses and independent retailers get back on their feet.”