Jesse’s Hereford Times column: Celebrating the Scout Post this Christmas

One of the innumerable joys of Herefordshire lies in all the amazing community organisations and groups that knit the county together.

One of the innumerable joys of Herefordshire lies in all the amazing community organisations and groups that knit the county together.

One such is the Scout Post, which I have long used to send my Christmas cards out in Hereford.  It is, quite simply, a remarkable institution.

There are six Scout groups across the city that operate collection bases within their area.  Each group will collect from their designated zone. 

Over eight hundred children across Hereford are involved in this exercise, ranging from six to fourteen years of age. 

The youngest recruits stamp the cards whilst their older colleagues sort them into area codes and collect the money from customers.  Then the tens of thousands of cards are delivered to front doors across the city.

This has been going on in Hereford for over thirty-five years.  And for thirty of those years the brilliant David Owen, scout leader extraordinaire, has been involved.

The children go to extreme lengths to make sure that no card gets left behind.

David proudly tells the story of how one card cryptically addressed only to ‘Allan’ somehow made its way to the right address thanks to some expert decoding of handwriting!

Indeed, out of the 40,000 cards collected last year only one failed to be delivered… and that was due to a change of address.

It costs thirty pence to send each card, which is 25p cheaper than second class post, and all funds go to the scout group kitty.  This year the scouts hope to raise a whopping £12,000 from their endeavours.

There are enormous benefits for all the children involved.  They get to meet other kids with different backgrounds, interact with people of all ages and brush up their maths skills by handling cash.

And most important of all, everyone involved has a huge amount of fun.

The Scout Post is only one part of the varied activities of the Hereford City Scouts.  This year, for example, they will be sending a group of scouts to the Swiss Alps to take part in an international summer camp.

If you and your children would like to get involved with the scouts, then you can get in contact with them by emailing southmarches@hwscouts.org.uk

As this column marks my last entry to these pages for 2016, let me finish by wishing all Hereford Times readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!