A regional publisher have thanked delivery staff after winning a special prize at last week’s Regional Press Awards.
The award, designed to recognise the work of the sector during the coronavirus pandemic, was given to the Aberdeen Journals Home Delivery Team, part of DC Thomson.
Throughout 2020, the company’s 750 paper boys and girls worked to deliver copies of the Press & Journal and Evening Express across some of the remotest parts of Britain.
In so doing they provided a service to thousands of households across the Highland & Islands and the North East of Scotland, including those living alone or isolating during lockdown.
Head of newspaper sales and marketing at DC Thomson, Neil Mackland said: “The coronavirus pandemic challenged us all in 2020. But for the 750 girls and boys who make up our home delivery network, it brought out the very best of them.
“Our delivery footprint covers an area which takes in some of the most challenging geographies in the UK, from the fishing ports of the north-east to the very north of the Scottish Highlands.
“We were faced with challenges at the start of lockdown, however we received strong support from parents and customers as they could see we were doing absolutely everything we could to ensure safe working conditions with no impact on our delivery service.
“We started receiving letters and calls of thanks from our readers, passing on their appreciation for the amazing work by our very own home delivery heroes. We also witnessed many examples of our newsboys and girls offering to collect shopping, take out bins and run errands for our most vulnerable customers.”
Press and Journal editor-in-chief, Frank O’Donnell, said: “We rightly saluted our frontline workers who kept the country going during lockdown. But perhaps one group that went unheralded were the paper boys and girls, who brought trusted local news on the pandemic directly to people’s doors.
“A daily newspaper written by professional journalists was so important to people across the north and north-east, especially in those early stages of Covid-19, when misinformation and rumour were common.
“Not only did these youngsters keep delivering, they offered to help those who couldn’t leave their homes by bringing vital supplies and running errands.
“This says so much about the strength of our communities, the future of our region and the big heart of our young people. I am proud to know them.”