Post early for Xmas, urges Simmonds

The Royal Mail has enlisted the help of Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds in urging people to post early for Christmas.

The last recommended date for sending first-class letters is December 20, but the postal group said it wanted to spread the workload during its busiest time of the year.

Swimmer Simmonds said: "I will be posting my Christmas cards to family and friends early so that they can enjoy them for as long as possible."

Mike Newnham, Royal Mail's chief customer officer, said: "As we do every year, we encourage people to post early and order presents early to help us spread the workload in the run-up to Christmas."

Last posting date for second-class letters is December 18, while for special deliveries it is December 22.

Air mail to Asia, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand should be posted by December 5 to arrive by Christmas.