Due to the COVID-19 situation and the restrictions required, it has been decided that this year’s operation of the Ipswich Scout Christmas Post is cancelled.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but we look forward to serving you again in 2021.
Thanks in advance for your support for this valuable fund-raising activity.
The Scout Christmas Post service is run by ten scout groups in the Ipswich, Kesgrave and Felixstowe areas with varying amounts of the volume of cards within the system being handled by each. The smallest handling cards for the villages to the north of Ipswich like Henley, Westerfield and Tuddenham to the largest delivering to Chantry and Belstead estates in Ipswich.
Our system has evolved over the last 33 years so that each group collects cards from their established collection points which now number close to 150 across the town. These cards then have to be sorted and shared with the other groups in the system depending on their destination. Various methods are used but all of them involve a number of people from different households being involved. The space and considerable time that this process takes does not easily allow for social distancing let alone the contact point of the cards themselves having the potential, although small, to transfer the virus. This can, of course, be minimised by the use of PPE or even quarantining of collections but it is ultimately the amount of people required to successfully sort and process the volume of cards that we usually handle that has brought us to conclude that we would be breaking government guidelines while completing this process.
The service also includes a small payment for the use of the system and our consideration at the onset has been to provide the reliable delivery of the public’s Christmas greetings. It was thought that with the ever changing status of the Covid 19 restrictions implemented we could not guarantee being free enough from restrictions to allow the collection, sorting or delivery processes to be fully completed. We do not want to put ourselves in the position where we had taken cards and payment from our loyal customers to then not be able to complete the process and fulfil our commitment of delivery before Christmas.
This service has become an extremely important part of the scouting calender for the ten groups that are involved. For some groups this is the backbone to there financial stability providing the income required to heat and maintain the scout premises in which they operate. While Scouting activities have been drastically reduced due to the virus that has not stopped the bills and overheads of a building from coming in. The loss of income this year will not signal the demise of the groups but the future funding and prosperity of them will very much depend on the system being protected from failure this year so that next year we can confidently return to providing the reliable and well supported service that the public have become used to having.
We are also aware that this may bring some hardship and difficult decisions to our customers. I know from many that I have spoken to that they will be looking to further reduce the amount of Christmas cards that they send. Due to the cost of 1st or 2nd class post they were able to send their local cards for less than half price which allowed people to keep sending that Christmas greeting while supporting us, as a charity, and of course the various charity organisations that independently sell Christmas cards or benefit from the collective sale of Christmas cards through Cards for Good Causes which has now moved to Tower House, Tower Street, Ipswich, IP1 3BE.
The trend in sending Christmas cards is certainly on the decline with the majority of our customers being from the older generations with the under 30’s prefering to send a text and pledge to give the funds to a charity instead. We very much hope that we will return next year to running the service as we have in the past. This will enable the public to purchase cards from the charities and have them delivered by a charity too making the whole gesture of sending that card 100% beneficial to local charities.
We apologise for the inconvenience the closure of this service may bring but we must protect our volunteers so that they too will return next year to continue the service that has delivered millions of Christmas cards for the public of Ipswich and surrounding areas.
If you have any questions in the Scout Christmas Post please Contact Us