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Royal Mail’s 1st Class People Awards 2007

27 Mar 2007, 12:12

A Grimsby postman who helped save a man injured in a car crash has been named Royal Mail’s "Postman of the Year" by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly at the company’s 1st Class People Awards.

Norman Walker collected his accolade from Lorraine Kelly and Royal Mail Chief Executive Adam Crozier at a ceremony in London where awards were presented to 30 regional winners from all over the UK, and where the national winners were announced.

Royal Mail was contacted by thousands of customers who nominated their postman or woman as an ‘unsung hero’.

Over 4,500 people at Royal Mail are trained first aiders and amongst the nominations were twenty-eight examples of people being saved by postmen and women. Emergency services have said that nineteen of those people would not be alive today without someone from Royal Mail going to their aid.

Most rescues have been from house fires, and several from car crashes, but people have also been saved from drowning, suicide attempts and given first aid or resuscitated in the street.

Elderly people have lain injured in their own homes until found by their postman, including one pensioner who lay collapsed in his bath for two days and would have died of hypothermia if his postman hadn’t noticed he wasn’t around and gone to investigate.

Lorraine Kelly said: "Listening to the bravery stories makes Royal Mail sound like the fourth emergency service but postmen and women make it more than that. Our postmen and women are a group of very remarkable people who contribute so much, with acts of kindness, a huge amount of fundraising, and a commitment to volunteering which makes such a difference to the local communities where they live and work."

Brave Norman Walker’s actions helped save the man’s life, with no thought to his own safety.

Norman and his family were setting off on holiday when a car hit the central reservation, trapping the driver who suffered multiple injuries to his face, arms and legs.

The car was leaking fuel and smoking, but Norman smashed his way into the car to help and stayed there for one and a half hours, holding the man’s jaw together, administering oxygen and tilting his head to stop him choking on blood while the emergency teams worked around them, trying to cut the man free.

As the fire brigade cut away the roof Norman placed his body over the injured man to prevent breaking glass from the car windows falling into the wounds.

The driver, whose injuries included a fractured pelvis, broken elbow, lacerations to the face, missing teeth and a broken jaw and broken left leg, had his right leg amputated below the knee following the accident but despite all this is making a remarkable recovery.

Royal Mail’s people have given in excess of £27.5 million to charity through payroll giving over the past 15 years, and are also enthusiastic fundraisers, donating thousands of hours of their spare time and millions of pounds to good causes and community projects.

Paul Evans from Lampeter in Wales was named Royal Mail’s "Fundraiser of the Year". Eight years ago he rallied villagers to support his vision to turn a derelict primary school into a youth club and community centre, raising over £61,000 for the renovation work. The youth club is nearly complete and has 150 members. Paul spends five nights a week running the gym and is now fundraising to complete the community centre.

There were joint winners for Royal Mail’s National Community Award. Clive Loveday from Swindon has been educating youngsters and highlighting the dangers of excessive drinking following a family tragedy in 2005, when his only son died after binge drinking at a New Year’s Eve party.

Aware that children are binge drinking from a very young age without understanding the dangers Clive visits schools and colleges where his experiences have a hard-hitting effect. He has also given numerous television interviews and helped with a television documentary ‘Britain’s Youngest Boozers’ for ITV.

For 38 years as head coach of the Times Amateur Boxing Club. Dave Ryan from Islington has been working with inner city youngsters, giving them a sense of purpose, self discipline and achievement. He spends three nights a week on training and at the weekends takes youngsters to boxing matches. The club has 300 members and is central to the community, running football teams and even dance classes for older people.

Dave Ryan was one of three finalists for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ‘Unsung Hero’ category in 2006.

Steve Gilbert, a driver for Parcelforce Worldwide in Liverpool, won the "Driver of the Year" award, for his unblemished driving record and outstanding performance in the driving assessments.

Royal Mail Chief Executive Adam Crozier said: "All of these winners are fantastic examples of bravery, selflessness and helping others in often extraordinary circumstances. They truly deserve to be recognised, and I am delighted that they all work for Royal Mail."

Royal Mail’s 1st Class People Awards recognise and reward the often unseen work and efforts many postmen and women make during their working day and within their community. Royal Mail has some 100,000 postmen and women that deliver to the nation’s 27 million addresses.

The 1st Class People Awards are made in four categories:

• Community - for our people who make a contribution in the communities where they work and live.
• Fundraising - postmen and women donated £2.4 million last year through payroll-giving, and a further £500,000 through fundraising.
• Bravery - out on their rounds our people often come across and deal with emergencies; 4,500 Royal Mail people are trained first aiders or first responders equipped with defibrillators
• Driver - for our people who ensure that the mail bag is delivered safely, efficiently and on time throughout the country

The 30 regional winners of the bravery, community, fundraising and driving awards each received £500 and a framed certificate. The national winners received £1000 each and a glass trophy. Norman Walker "Postman of the Year" also won £3000 for a holiday.

Case Study

Date 26 March 2007


A postman who saved a man’s life after he was involved in a terrifying car crash has been named Royal Mail’s ‘Postman of the Year’ by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly at its annual 1st Class People Awards.

Brave Norman Walker’s actions helped save the man’s life, with no thought to his own safety.

Last April Norman and his family were going on holiday, heading for the ferry in Hull when they witnessed a horrific crash on the A63 as a BMW ploughed through the central reservation.

Norman ran across the road to help as pieces of debris were still raining down. Fuel was leaking, the car was smoking and the driver had suffered devastating injuries and was trapped by his legs and lying back with his head in the rear footwell.

Smashing his way into the crushed car, Norman was able to lift and tilt the man’s head to prevent him choking on blood, and keeping him conscious.

Norman’s daughter Kelly came to assist. Norman managed to turn off the ignition and Kelly kept by-standers using their mobile phones away from the car.

When the fire service and ambulance crews arrived Norman stayed in the car to administer oxygen. By this time his hands and arms were numb from supporting the man’s head for 25 minutes.

Knowing that he couldn’t leave the man’s head unsupported, the fire crew removed the petrol tank and fuel line with Norman still in the car.

With only a blanket for protection, Norman tried to shield the man’s body with his own as the car roof was finally cut away but glass fragments showered over them both and into the open wounds.

Finally, after nearly one and a half hours in the car, Norman was able to hand over care of Karl Lomozik to emergency services who rushed him to hospital.

Remarkably Mr Lomozik survived his ordeal and a catalogue of injuries which included amputation of his right leg and broken left leg, a fractured pelvis, smashed elbow, broken arm and wrist, lacerations to the face and broken jaw, six broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Royal Mail Chief Executive Adam Crozier said: "Norman Walker’s is an incredible example of bravery and selflessness as he helped another person in frightening and dangerous circumstances. We recognise his supreme act of courage with our Royal Mail 1st Class People Award. Norman is our postman of the year."

Congrats to all the winners.

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