SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: Volunteers for this year’s post outside Contact gift shop in Fetcham
Shops in the area are selling unique stamps and displaying posting boxes through which anyone can send a card to any address in the three villages for 25p, with profits going to charity.
The annual Christmas Charity Post scheme is operated in aid of Practical Action, which raises money to tackle poverty in the developing world.
Scheme co-founder Dr Martin Desvaux told the Advertiser: “My neighbour and I started it off in 1994 and made £476. Things have really taken off since then and we regularly make £4,000 a year, reaching about 3,000 houses a year, delivering 14,000 cards.
“Originally we just did Fetcham but as it grew we gradually encompassed Bookham and Effingham too and we now deliver to every single road in the three villages.
“We have a team of tremendous volunteers, without whom we couldn’t do what we do so we are very grateful for their hard work”
The appeal has delivered more than 433,000 cards and raised more than £80,000 for Practical Action.
The charity helps bring new technology to countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia, including wind pumps, water sanitation systems and floating allotments.
Dr Desvaux added: “This charity helps people in the Third World attain self-sufficiency by providing seeds, tools, materials, and the knowledge and skills to achieve it. The stamps cost only 25p, so it is a rare example of how supporting a charity can actually save you money.
“Please do let your neighbours know about the Christmas Charity Post if they are new to the area. It really is quite unique.”
Each year the initiative is run by a team of about 180 volunteers, who split their time between raising awareness, selling stamps and sorting and delivering cards.
The 14 shops taking part act as “posting points”, where people can leave their cards for pick-up, with the last collection taking place at 4pm on December 18.
Shops in Bookham supporting the appeal are: Brackenbury’s, Bungalow Stores; Wishing Well; Weales Stores; The Grange at Number Five; Grove pharmacy; Wavelengths; and Park Corner Store. In Fetcham, you can get your stamps at Contact; Open All Hours; Nikki’s News; and Cannon Court pharmacy. Parker and Son and Sibley’s Newsagents are supporting the appeal in Effingham.
To find out more about the scheme, or to volunteer, call chairman Michael Agius on 01372 456545 or visit www.charity post.org