Posties have real ‘pulling power’

BALLYMONEY postmen are used to trekking around the streets of the town, but recently they took part in a more challenging walk - the charity van pull.

Over 30 staff employed at the sorting office in the town contributed to raising funds for Cancer Research NI under the watchful eye of manager, Sammy Graham, a man whose van pulling exploits are legendary.

In the past four years, the Ballymoney office has raised a staggering £15,000 for the charity.

The pull began at High Street and then on to Main Street, along to the roundabout at the Roddens, up Queen Street past the ‘Tech’, back down High Street, Church Street, Victoria Street, Linenhall Street and before finishing at base.

Speaking to the Times, Sammy explained: “This is the fifth year that the Ballymoney postmen have held fundraising events to aid Cancer Research NI.

“The boys organised everything from big breakfasts to charity golf rounds. However the main events were a table quiz held last month plus a street collection along with the van pull on last Saturday afternoon.

“From what we’ve counted so far, we have around £4,000 and we’re still waiting for a couple of collection buckets and sponsor sheets to be returned, so were confident we’ll be near the £5,000.”

Sammy continued: “About 30 of our local postmen were involved in some form or another whether it was in the organising stage or taking a sponsorship form, or actually collecting on the day - with or without fancy dress.

“It’s a great way to build the team spirit. We knew we would have great fun on the day as well as know any money collected was going to a good cause.”

Sammy explained that Royal Mail match funded to the maximum of £200 so for the first £200 the raised towards Cancer Research NI, they will receive £200.

He added: “Once again the general public have been very generous, and local shops have been very kind allowing us to place collection boxes in some of their premises.

“When we were counting we were surprised by the amount of notes in the buckets, the pound coins and the two pound coins, the local people aren’t afraid to support a charity and thing about Cancer Research NI is that the money all stays in Northern Ireland.

“And of course not forgetting at Ballymoney Times for all their support in giving us space leading up to the event and the coverage on the actual day of the van pull.

“We will publish a final figure once all fundraising has been completed.