Staff at Royal Mail's Birmingham sorting centre have raised £1,000 to help a Sri Lankan postman after his home was devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami.

The postal workers from the St Stevens Street mail centre in Aston heard of the postman's plight through Hilary Paul, a marketing director.

Ms Paul had been in the Maldives four days before the tsunami struck and heard stories from friends in the area about people who lost their homes.

Since then, she has travelled to Sri Lanka to help organise fund-raising to build more than 20 new homes.

At an opening ceremony for one of the homes, she met a local government minister who told her about the postman, which led to her contacting Royal Mail.

The Royal Mail staff then got to work raising cash for the 65-year-old postman, his wife and daughter, as well as collecting a further £2,400 for the Disasters Emergency Committee Tsunami Earthquake Appeal.

Ms Paul said the £1,000 donation was a wonderful gift towards the cost of his £3,000 house.

She said: "The area was completely reduced to rubble and the people there were so grateful we were able to help.

"It felt very satisfying being able to help people with the support from companies like Royal Mail. You could see the relief on the Sri Lankan postman's face that someone was helping him."

Royal Mail late shift manager Jas Johal said: "It is wonderful to see the money staff collected being put to such good use and making a difference to people's lives."

In the aftermath of the disaster, the Royal Mail Group plc pledged £50,000 to the DEC appeal.

Chief executive Adam Crozier said: "The world was shocked and saddened by the events in Asia and we wanted to support the relief fund through a financial donation as well as practical support."