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Forres Scout Post cancelled for second year running

By Garry McCartney

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1st Forres Scouts postal volunteers in 2018.
1st Forres Scouts postal volunteers in 2018.

A MUCH-loved voluntary service offered during the festive period has been cancelled.

Secretary of 1st Forres Scout Group, Louise Berry, has confirmed the Scout Christmas Post will not be going ahead for the second year in-a-row due to uncertainty around coronavirus.

She said: "We are devastated to cancel again but we feel it is the right thing to do and can’t wait to be back in 2022.

"We had to make a decision as soon as possible, especially as cases in Moray increase. Some of our adult members are in the over-55 age group and others are vulnerable so we must do as much as we can to protect them and ourselves."

The Scouts usually deliver around 8000 cards and greetings for 30p each after sorting their own mailboxes at their Bank Lane headquarters. All of the sections - Beavers (aged 6-8), Cubs (8-10), Scouts (10-14) and Explorers (14-18) - help out, plus leaders and committee members.

Parents and grandparents join them too, as well as other members of the community who have helped out for years.

Sorting the post at the Scout hut.
Sorting the post at the Scout hut.

Louise said: "There are around 150 people involved in total but not all at the same time. We do four sorts, usually on the Wednesdays and Sundays closest to the end of term. Postboxes are placed around town and emptied by volunteers.

"We split the town into areas and each has a co-ordinator with helpers for delivery. At the sort we put the cards into areas and streets. Bags of cards are then delivered to the co-ordinators who sort them into street/number order ready for delivery.

"We try to give folk their local areas for delivery but as the town grows this is not always possible. Most deliveries are done on foot, sometimes with 'posties' driving to their areas, parking in a central location."

Scout Post is a tradition which has become part of the festive season in Forres, providing a vital link to the wider community.

"Many recipients are delighted to see our youngsters and share their own stories of Scouting," said Louise. "This fosters an appreciation of Scouting, the lasting memories and experiences it provides.

"We enjoy providing the service which, judging from comments last year, is sorely missed."

Scout sections will celebrate Christmas individually at their meetings. Many are also attending the annual Christingle service at Elgin City Football Club then the pantomime at Eden Court in January.

"We would like to thank everyone for their continuing support in these uncertain times," finished Louise, "and we extend our warmest wishes for the festive season and the New Year."

The Christmas post is 1st Forres Scouts' major fundraiser of their annual income so any donations to www.donate.1stforresscouts.co.uk will be gratefully received.

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