Wirral Scout & Guide Christmas Post
February 24th 2022
With the heaviest of hearts, I have to inform you that the Organising Committee has decided, with extreme reluctance, to finish the Christmas Post. I can assure you that 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 our coverage were too many and too large for us 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 our Shop outlets had not survived the pandemic and even the supermarkets were believed to be unlikely to let us sell 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.
• 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.
I know this decision will be a major disappointment to participating Groups and to the Wirral Communities and Charities that we have served since 1982. 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. Given that our stamps were always roughly 50% of the GPO (Post Office), we could also claim to have saved the Wirral Public about £3.5 million! A recurring theme throughout the Committee’s discussion was that it would be preferable to finish with pride intact and a positive message than to descend into chaos and a potential PR disaster.
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.
Richard Twemlow MBE
Founder and Chairman
Wirral Scout & Guide Charity Post