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Coronavirus West Berkshire: Thatcham postman donating overtime wage to NHS

"The NHS has done a lot for my family and it would be good to help them now"

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Coronavirus West Berkshire: Thatcham postman donating wages to NHS

A THATCHAM postman is donating his overtime earnings as a way of giving something back to the NHS for helping his family. 

Giovanni Chareun has also been sponsored by work colleagues and people on his route around The Moors area of Thatcham. 

Mr Chareun, 58, said he was fundraising because “as a family we quite rely on the NHS. I have been in and out of hospital and visiting for the last 15 years.

“The NHS has done a lot for my family and it would be good to help them now. I thought it would be a good idea to give something back.

Mr Chareun has arthritis and has had three knee operations, the last one replacing his knee. His son Gianluca, 21, has Alexander Disease, a rare neurological disease that impairs the nervous system. 

“If I’m able to work and be a postman now, it’s thanks to them really,” Mr Chareun said.

“My son is disabled - he has quite a rare disease. If he is having a decent life now it’s because of what the NHS has done for us. They have been looking after him since he was six... it’s a long time. It took three years to find out what it was and the NHS went halfway round the world for us”.

Mr Chareun, originally from Turin, Italy, asked Royal Mail if they could donate his overtime salary to the NHS. With help from colleague Rosie Sargent, a fundraising page was set up, on which colleagues friends and residents have donated. 

The appeal started with a target of £500, which was exceeded in six days. Mr Chareun said the total would rise to around £1,000 once he put his wage in.

“That’s not bad,” he said. “A lot are people I used to deliver to or deliver to now. It’s been well respected”.

Mr Chareun has lived in Thatcham for 27 years. 

On being a postie during the coronavirus pandemic he said: “It’s busier than normal because a lot of people are shopping at home and the amount of parcels is higher than it would usually be this time of year. It’s fairly hectic at the moment - and has been the last three weeks - but we do what we can.”

Donna Shepherd, who is on Mr Chareun’s route, said: “Gio was our postman at our old house and thanks to a change of postal routes, we are blessed to have him as our postie again. He is the loveliest man, always smiling, never complains and forever goes above the call of duty. 

“He is also very humble and I'm not surprised at all that he would do something so thoughtful. He is very thankful for all the help the NHS has given his family over the years, and just wants to give something back to help the fight against Covid-19”.

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Article comments

  • Diamos

    24/04/2020 - 09:09

    This is a really lovely idea, however Giovanni please keep your overtime. You've earned it and it's yours to enjoy. It doesn't matter how many times you've used the NHS that's the beauty of it. It's great that we're all donating and clapping and drawing pictures, as the service really is a credit to all of us. But what we need to do is really value the NHS. Especially in West Berkshire we need to stop voting selfishly. Stop voting for people who promise to sell off the NHS and make us richer. Because as the crisis has shown, one day you won't be rich enough to be considered one of their friends. And if you don't believe me look at small business owners, they voted for a party who promised to make them more money and now they're asking for handouts (not all of them, I know). Vote for an NHS that doesn't discriminate, and if you're selfish and that doesn't appeal to you, then remember it could be you who falls on hard times.