Volunteers get ready for Scout Post rounds

Some of the  2013 Scout Post team when they were starting last year's rounds
Some of the 2013 Scout Post team when they were starting last year's rounds

For over 30 years the 8th/26th Calder Valley Scouts, based at Central Methodist Church, Todmorden, have been running a Christmas Card delivery service to Todmorden addresses.

They started when the government relaxed the Post Office monopoly for the month before Christmas, to allow charities to deliver Christmas cards - the rules are that only Christmas Cards are delivered, and that all the proceeds go to charity.

Scout leader David Payne said: “In the first year we charged 5p per card, since then there have been a couple of price rises, and the present charge is 25p.

“The money has provided the funds which has helped us to support our Group minibus, providing transport over the years for our various camps and activities.

“The system that has developed for processing the cards is relatively simple.

“We sell our own stamps in various outlets throughout the town, there are also ‘Post Boxes’ at these outlets where customers can post their cards.

“These post boxes are emptied on a regular basis and the cards sorted into rounds. Each round has a ‘Postman’ who delivers the cards in their free time. The volunteers consist of leaders, parents, supporters, and some of the older boys.

“We will deliver to any Todmorden address, and undertake to deliver all cards by Christmas, however we do not offer a next day service, as some of our helpers can only deliver cards at weekends.

“It must be emphasised that our stamps are not valid for the Royal Mail, and any cards posted in Royal Mail post-boxes may well result in the recipient being charged by the Post Office.”

David said the service results in a lot of hard work in the weeks before Christmas by a willing group of volunteers, but they felt feel that the rewards, i.e. the opportunity for the group to have its own transport - made it more than worthwhile.

He also thanked businesses who provide post box space in their shops for their help.

“None of the shops where we have postboxes make any money out of helping us, and we are extremely grateful for the time and effort which they put in,” said David.