REGENT Street, Commercial Road, Newport Street, Groundwell Road... Scouts dart around the hall like so many industrious ants, hugging stacks of post to their chests, only pausing briefly to drop a letter by the matching street sign on the floor.

The maze of closes, avenues and groves is neatly laid out like a miniature paper trail coursing through the ground floor of their headquarters, the Methodist Church on Bath Road (which, incidentally is also part of their delivery route).

Over the next two hours they will sort, heap and bag up between 2,000 and 3,000 Christmas cards as dutiful “seasonal employees” of the Scouts Christmas Post service.

And that’s just to start. The mail finally organised, the 70 boys and girls will take to the streets of Old Town and hand-deliver each and every letter.

Along with their fellow Cubs and Beavers across Swindon and the surrounding villages – 1,500 in total – they are poised to shift 125,000 cards before December 23.

“It’s quite a mammoth undertaking,” said Richard Bennett, assistant Scout leader for the 12th Swindon Air Scouts Group in Old Town.

“It’s a hugely manual job and it takes a huge amount of effort from the Scouts, parents and volunteers.

“And it’s a logistical nightmare. There is a limited time to do it but we have a system.

"I think the Scouts know Swindon better than taxi drivers by the end because they go out and deliver it.”

12th Group executive Natalie Stumps said: “We’ve been doing it for 30 years in Swindon. It used to be just two people doing the sorting. Now it’s all hands on deck and we get everybody out to come out and sort the mail.”

The Christmas Post is the Scouts' biggest annual fundraiser. Last year alone it secured £30,000 for the Scouts across the district and went towards activities, outings, cooking and camping equipment.

It also helped to partly subside a trip to the Scouts Jamboree. The 12th Swindon Air Scouts Group in Old Town received about £2,000.

“It’s a huge fundraiser for us,” said Richard. “But it’s about helping the community too. That’s part of what we’re here for. It’s always a great way to get our name out there and show there are actually a lot of Scouts in Swindon.”

The service launched in November. Locals were invited to beat the mad pre-Christmas postal rush by buying special Scouts stamps and dropping off their Christmas cards into one of the group's dedicated mailboxes across town.

At the start of December the letters were sorted by area. On December 16, sacks were distributed to each Scouts section.

Any item mislabelled letter, or card slipped into the wrong area sack along the way will be returned to head office and swiftly sent back to its rightful destination before Christmas Eve.

Undoubtedly a logistical feat only matched by Santa’s cross-continent toy round, the campaign continues to keep veteran delivery Scouts on their toes even two or three years down the line.

“Sorting everything is quite complicated,” said 13-year-old Lana James.

“I’ve gone out and delivered for three years. The first year I did Clifton Street and I had loads. It was wet and cold and I was there for ages.

"But every letter you post gets us something like 30p so it adds up and we get something for Scouts.”

Fellow 12th Swindon Scout Meg Sheppard, 13, agrees: “The trickiest part for me is sorting. There is a lot of pressure. If you put a letter in the wrong street that person might not get their Christmas card.”

For many strategists, the Christmas Post is about jumping in early and getting first pick of the “best streets”, i.e. small concentrated residential roads. Pickings are slim for those who leave it a little too late.

“This year I have Bath Road and Kent Road,” said Lana. “They were the only ones left but at least they are close to home.”

She will be joined on her round by Meg. “It’s quite fun to do because you know you’ve got a responsibility to get it right,”said Meg. “It’s like we’re Santa. And you get to know Old Town very well. You’re helping the community. We’re in Scouts to help, that’s part of the promise.”