A NEWSPAPER delivery man is retracing the steps of his youth as he drops off copies of the Oxford Mail in the same streets he did as a teenager.

Matt Grant, 47, started a paper round delivering the Oxford Mail last year after his wife Angie, 49, fell ill.

He said: “Just over a year ago, I became a full time carer for my wife.

“I started doing the rounds back in April, and then took on a second one in September. For my own wellbeing I took on the paper rounds so I could get a bit of fresh air and have my own headspace.

“My wife has schizophrenia and has been poorly for many years. I had to pack in my job at UYS in Cowley after 29 years where I was a senior sales engineer.”

Mr Grant worked as a paperboy in his youth and has enjoyed returning to the same streets, many years on.

He said: “I did it when I was 13 up until I was 16, delivering the national papers.

“I then used to help one of my sons with his round when he was growing up.

“I’m delivering papers in the same couple of roads I used to as a teenager.”

Mr Grant said he has found doing the round ‘beneficial’ and that he enjoys getting out in the morning.

He has recently been joined by his sister-in-law’s partner, Lewis Hensley.

Mr Hensley, 44, started delivering the Oxford Mail in Kidlington at the beginning of the year.

He said: “I’m off sick at the moment as I’m waiting on having kidney stones to be removed – though that’s unfortunately been put on hold due to operations being cancelled.

“However, I wanted something to do to keep me fit.”

Mr Hensley had been carrying out care work for the elderly at Lincroft Meadow care home in Kidlington.

He said: “I’ve been doing care work for 20 years, working with adults with learning disabilities too."

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Oxford Mail:

He said many of the customers on his newspaper rounds were elderly or disabled and that some of them come out to greet him, adding: "I might be the only face they see that day, so the rounds are taking a bit longer than usual as people want to have a bit more of a conversation.

“It’s really important they get to see a smiling face in the morning as family members can’t see them right now. I always tell people if there’s anything they need I’m there for them.

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“I’ve noticed that everyone in the local community is being more friendly towards each other and its’s really bringing the community together, even though they are maintaining the two-metre social distancing guidelines, and staying away from each other.”

Mr Hensley also used to deliver a newspaper when he was a teenager.

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He said: “It does make you feel young again.”

The pair are doing four rounds between them across Kidlington. Mr Grant said: "We are keeping people in touch with what’s going on with coronavirus."

The Oxford Mail has urged the public to continue buying newspapers, or subscribing to deliveries, to allow it to continue providing local news for readers.