A postal service launched by Ely’s Mayor and local Scout troupes was such a success that it looks set to become an annual fixture.
The Christmas Post for Scouts scheme is run in cities and towns across the UK each year and came to East Cambridgeshire for the first time this festive season.
Instead of buying Royal Mail stamps, residents were able to purchase cheaper Scouts stamps for 25p, and ask the local Scouts to deliver their Christmas cards instead of Royal Mail.
Of the 25p raised from the purchase of each stamp, 20p went to the Scouts and 5p went to the mayor’s charities.
The scheme not only raised much-needed funds but saw more than 2,000 letters and cards being delivered within the city centre and surrounding villages, including Witchford, Stretham, Littleport, Witcham, Haddenham, Little Downham, Wilburton and Little Thetford.
The mail was sorted and stored in the holding cells at Ely’s former magistrates court, in Lynn Road, in the run up to the delivery dates.
The Scouts themselves enjoyed the experience of both becoming postmen and women, and visiting the cells during their weekly meetings.
Scouts and their leaders then went out to deliver the mail on the two weekends leading up to Christmas.
Scout Leader Louise Smith said: “We’re really pleased with the success of the scheme.
“The Scouts have enjoyed the experience and we’re looking forward to making it even more successful next Christmas.”
Chris Beale, another local Scout leader, said: “On behalf of Ely Scouts, we’d like to thank everybody who entrusted their Christmas cards to us.
“It’s raised valuable funds for us as a charity and has given the Scouts themselves a different challenge to take part in.”
Ely’s Mayor, Elaine Griffin-Singh, said she was “delighted” that the scheme was a success and that it is set to become an annual service in the district.
For more information about Scouting in your area, visit www.scouts.org.uk/get-involved.