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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 11:29 GMT
Scouts' festive post service blow
Christmas card
Last year the scouts delivered 500,000 Christmas cards
Scout troops in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot will be hit in the pocket because the annual Scout Christmas Post has had to be abandoned.

For the last 16 years scouts have run their own delivery service in the area during December as a way of raising funds.

Charging 14p for cards and messages, last year they collected, sorted and delivered 500,000 items of mail.

But a lack of volunteers has meant this year the West Glamorgan Scout Association could not guarantee to cover all the communities in its area.

Everybody is saying they miss the Scout Post this year as it was a service for the whole community
Area commissioner Ann Harries

The service was worth more than 1,000 to each of the 42 troops in the region.

Area commissioner Ann Harries said the decision to scrap the scheme had been taken reluctantly but said scout leaders were left with no choice.

Alternative ideas

"We cover the whole of the area from Margam to Gower," she said.

"What has happened is this year unfortunately we do not have sufficient volunteers.

"For example we had no cover in the Carmarthen Road and Fforestfach area of Swansea.

"If we could not offer a service for the whole of the area we could not really do it."

She said each troop would now have to come up with alternative fundraising ideas.

"The loss of revenue will be tremendous," added Mrs Harries.

"Each scout group losing out on 1,000 is an awful lot of money especially as membership fees are due in January."

Collection boxes

She hopes the service will be restored and will be calling a meeting early in the new year.

Meanwhile, collection boxes in shops, community centres and scout huts will be missing this year.

"The public and businesses in the area have been wonderful to us over the years," added Mrs Harries.

"Everybody is saying they miss the Scout Post this year as it was a service for the whole community.

"If it is missed enough perhaps we will get more volunteers next year."

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