Age Concern is launching a report today (Wednesday) warning the Government that thousands of pensioners risk being cut off from their community if rural post offices are closed. The move is part of the charity’s "Stamped Out?" campaign.
The charity is calling for the Government to "renew the subsidy of rural post offices as part of a more joined-up, imaginative approach to delivering essential local services".
Earlier this year, the charity launched a consultation looking into the future of rural post offices to identify the concerns of older people, the heaviest users of post offices.
The findings show that 99% of older people in rural areas consider their local post office to be "a lifeline", with 56% of over-60s in the countryside saying they fear closures would leave them more isolated.
The report reveals that rural post offices provide much more than just a postal service to older people. Many pensioners use their post office as a "one-stop shop" to access their pension and benefits, pay their bills, get advice and information, and meet and socialise with others.
Age Concern says closures could leave many older people more financially and socially excluded.