LETTERS: Charity post scheme by Wakefield and Ossett rotary helps charities

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Peter Clarke, secretary of Rotary Club of Wakefield

I write in response to the letter from Carol Pinnell (Express, January 6).

In 1981 the government announced that charities could deliver Christmas cards between November 25 and January 1 for a small charge. Since then several schemes have operated quite successfully in England and thousands of cards have been delivered, raising substantial sums for charity.

At the same time it helps the public to keep costs at a reasonable level in the run up to Christmas. It is a well-accepted legal enterprise.

The Wakefield scheme has been operating for only five years and last month delivered more than 4,000 cards. This is nowhere near as large as many other schemes. For example, Exeter Scouts delivered more than 25,000.

However, the Rotary Clubs of Wakefield and Ossett still managed to raise approaching £1,500, which will be used to help many local charities.

Some of our charitable funds last year were used to purchase a special chair for a disabled child, helped local hospices, dogs for the disabled and many others. We even provided defibrillators for public use, one of which has been used twice to save lives.

There may be a very minor impact on Royal Mail employment and services but this is extremely unlikely when one considers that Royal Mail deal with more than 700 million cards every year.

It is also nothing like the impact caused by the use of Ecards or the cost of normal stamps.

Charity post schemes have been operating for more than 30 years and its use is strictly governed by the Postal Services Act. Last Christmas we ran the scheme from November 25 to December 13. We delivered 4,000 cards representing just over 200 cards per day. We only deliver locally within a strict boundary and operating for only 19 days a year cannot possibly be the cause of the decline of Royal Mail, nor the closure of Post Offices.

Whether our clubs continue to operate the scheme is something we need to decide upon. We are acutely aware of the help it gives to many sections of the public, but we are always on the look-out for more people to give up three or four hours of their time to help with deliveries.

Your correspondent fails to recognise that our Charity Christmas post only operates within a very short time frame.

It operates within a quite confined area and has no impact whatsoever on the use of mail services for the remaining 346 days.

The lack of use of the postal service (‘use it or lose it’) is obviously of some concern; however, I couldn’t help but notice that Carol Pinnell’s letter was sent by email.