The organisers of Wirral’s much-loved Scout and Guide Christmas Post have announced that the charity postal service will no longer operate as of this year.
In a statement, Richard Twemlow MBE, Founder and Chairman of the Wirral Scout & Guide Charity Post said, “With the heaviest of hearts, I have to inform you that the Organising Committee has decided,
with extreme reluctance, to finish the Christmas Post.”
The decision was reached after very careful consideration of the current and likely future situation, the
main factors being:-
- Of the 5 Areas in the Scheme, 1 (Neston) had reluctantly decided to completely withdraw.
- Of the remaining 4 Areas, 1 (Bebington) reported all Groups ready to participate in 2022 whilst the other 3 Areas (West Wirral, Birkenhead, and Wallasey) all reported that at least one Group (and, in some cases more) had either folded during the pandemic or were unable to commit.
- The resultant holes in coverage were too many and too large to be able to redistribute these areas to neighbouring Groups. Several other ways of filling these gaps were considered but to no avail.
- It was noted that whilst the vast majority of Groups had indicated support for a 2022 Scheme, some recognised that their recovery was still in progress and their support was more in hope than a firm commitment at this stage.
- Selling stamps was foreseen to be more difficult in a society that had become less dependent on cash and more on the use of Cards. Some of the Shop outlets had not survived the pandemic and even the supermarkets were believed to be unlikely to sell stamps this year.
- The number of cards delivered was already declining each year pre-pandemic and there were Groups voicing concern that the heavy resource demands of the Post were starting to become unreasonable for the declining income.
- The unanimous view of the Wirral DCs to recommend closure was noted.
Mr Twemlow continued, “Given all these factors, the potential for a PR disaster if we were to try running a Scheme in 2022 and then failing to fulfil our commitments was considered very real. The committee therefore reluctantly but unanimously decided to finish the Christmas Post.”
Acknowledging the disappointment that users of the service and indeed the groups participating in delivery would feel, Mr Twemlow said that “We should be proud of our achievements with around £3.5 million raised of which over £850,000 was donated to over 200 different Wirral Charities,” since being established in 1982.
In conclusion, Mr Twemlow said, “It remains for me to sincerely thank all those who have supported the Scheme and worked so hard over the last 40 years whether selling stamps, sorting (at Group and/or Area level) or delivering. It has been our privilege to serve the Wirral Community for all these years.”