Scouts from the 18th Ipswich Group are celebrating ten years as Christmas postmen in Sailmakers Shopping Centre.
In that time they have delivered over 120,000 letters as part of an amazing effort by scouts groups across Ipswich which sees them deliver over 100,000 cards around the town every Christmas.
The young delivery boys and girls have installed a post box at the Centre once more and will soon be popping cards through letterboxes at 25p a time, with the deadline day for posting on December 11 with deliveries starting the next day right up to Christmas Eve.
The tradition by Ipswich’s Scouts to raise funds by running their own Christmas postal service has been going for 32 years now, according to the 18th’s Group Scout Leader Denise Bloomfield.
She said: “The nine scout groups from all over Ipswich have been running this service for over 30 years and it provides a great service and at the same time it helps raise vital funds so we can keep our Scout HQ in the town in good repair and help fund the activities provided by the group leaders.
“We are very grateful to the people who support it and they just need to put their addressed envelopes into the box in a bag along with the postage money then the scouts will deliver them.
“It’s a large wooden lockable box so their cards should be very safe and so should the money which is very important to us.”
This year the usual position of the post box has been moved to the Iceland store in the mall and Sailmakers Shopping Centre Manager Mike Sorhaindo said: “Iceland have generously stepped in to provide a position for the post box and we’re delighted it has been here for ten years now.
“It’s a brilliant idea and a great way for people to raise funds for a worthy cause while at the same time getting their local Christmas cards delivered.”
The scheme involves all nine of Ipswich’s Scout groups with each given a designated area, the larger the group the greater the area.
It is run by 11 Scout groups and the deliveries involve the Leaders and parents of the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers within each group as well as a band of dedicated helpers.
The scheme sees Scouts from Ipswich, Claydon, Kesgrave, Martlesham and Grundisburgh deliver cards in and around Ipswich and Felixstowe have officially joined with the Ipswich scheme to provide a link between the towns.
Information on where the postboxes are and where the Scouts deliver to is on their website at www.scoutspostipswich.org.uk/
The letters from the post boxes across the town are sorted into areas and sent for delivery to the Scout troop responsible and Denise added: “We have 15 boxes across our area but Sailmakers is very important because so many people pass through the centre.
“Last year the Scouts delivered over 100,000 cards so you can see how important it is to us as a fund-raiser and as a service for the people of Ipswich.”