Prime Minister's honour for Dunmow duo

Great Dunmow Essex: Composite image showing Kathleen Shannon, Jackie Monk and two examples of their work

Kathleen Shannon and Jackie Monk - their creative toppers for post boxes have delighted Great Dunmow - Credit: supplied

Two women who have brought community delight through colourful postbox toppers have received a Points of Light award.

Kathleen Shannon and Jackie Monk have created scenes for Royal Mail post boxes that have included poppies for Remembrance Day, swimmer Tom Daley for the Olympic Games, and even HM The Queen and a corgi for the Platinum Jubilee.

Great Dunmow, Essex: Kathleen Shannon and Jackie Monk

Kathleen Shannon and Jackie Monk whose creative toppers for post boxes have delighted Great Dunmow - Credit: John Shannon

Great Dunmow, Essex: Crochet figures of HM The Queen, a corgi dog and a crown for the Platinum Jubilee

The Platinum Jubilee knitted post box topper created by Kathleen Shannon and Jackie Monk for Great Dunmow - Credit: Kathleen Shannon

Kathleen said she thought the initial contact was a "hoax" at first but they are delighted at the honour. They will receive a certificate.

Kathleen said they have both been 'yarnbombing' for years, and had done specials like the poppies in 2018, but set about making the postbox toppers regularly during lockdown.

"I do not think we realised how much people love them. We just enjoy doing them. Sometimes it can be a bit stressful but we manage to get it done."

The pair met through a knitting group in town, and enjoy coming up with new ideas.

They have enlisted the help of Charlotte Martin now to help them.

Points of Light highlight outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community. 

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The scheme was originally established in America and launched in the UK in April 2014.

Kemi Badenoch MP said: “I am delighted that Kathleen and Jackie have been honoured with a Points of Light Award.

"The beautiful crochet postbox toppers we have seen in Great Dunmow really brighten up the town and never fail to raise a smile.

"The toppers knitted for last year’s Remembrance Sunday, honouring the sacrifice of those who have died in service of this country, were particularly impressive.”

A Royal Mail spokeperson said: “We congratulate these customers on winning this Points of Light Award.

"Knitted toppers on postboxes are works of great creativity, and are much enjoyed by communities across the UK, including in Great Dunmow.”


Great Dunmow, Essex: Knitted postbox topper showing RBL 100 in gold letters, poppies, a man in uniform

The knitted postbox topper marking 100 years of the Royal British Legion, Great Dunmow - Credit: KaysKnits

Great Dunmow, Essex: Knitted figure of a swimmer, a pool, Olympic Games medal and Olympic rings

The Olympic Games postbox topper, complete with swimmer Tom Daley - Credit: KaysKnits