Yorkshire villagers raise over £1,500 to reimburse much-loved subpostmistress who made up Horizon shortfalls from her own money

A Yorkshire community has raised over £1,500 for their much-loved subpostmistress – who was forced to make up shortfalls on the Post Office’s notorious Horizon system with her own money.

Earlier this month Waheeda Hussain and her husband Asaf confirmed they would be leaving the post office and shop in Calverley, between Leeds and Bradford, that they have run since 2006.

In a poignant Facebook post, they told customers how they had felt like they about to be visited by the mafia when they did their weekly accounts on the faulty IT software at the centre of the Horizon scandal dramatised in the ITV series Mr Bates vs the Post Office.

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Mrs Hussain was never investigated or prosecuted by the Post Office because she borrowed money from her own family to plug ‘shortfalls’ that amounted to hundreds of pounds each week before the supposedly missing profits were noticed. She took out loans and remortgaged their house.

Calverley villageCalverley village
Calverley village

The business has been sold as a general store, but the new owners are not taking on the post office service.

The revelation of the stress and anxiety the couple, who have three sons, had endured during the Horizon years has prompted local resident Katie Coates to set up a Gofundme page to reimburse them for their losses. It has already exceeded its target of £1,000.

Ms Coates said: “After the recent events that have come to light regarding the post office, I feel it is right we help Waheeda, Asaf and the boys.

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“Waheeda and her family always bring a huge smile regardless of what's going on behind closed doors. The upset this has caused our community is just horrific.”

To donate to the appeal, click here.

This week it was also confirmed that Addingham, near Ilkley, is to lose its Post Office branch after the resignation of subpostmaster Mark Preston, whose family have been shopkeepers in the Dales village since the 1800s. His father ran the newsagents and post office in the 1980s and 90s before Mr Preston bought it back in 2009. The Post Office are advertising to fill the branch vacancy.