“We are a very successful scout group in Wistaston, Crewe, Cheshire with in excess of 120 young persons at any one time. We have a Beaver Colony, two Cub Packs and two Scout Troops, who are supported by some 25 volunteer leaders and an executive committee. We also host a flourishing Explorer Scout Unit for some 30 young persons aged 14 to 18 years. We are a member of the Scout Association but receive no funding from the parent body. Some five years ago it became apparent that our Scout Hut, which was then some fifty years old was rapidly deteriorating and would soon become unusable. We had a hard decision to make, find new premises or close the group. At a time where nationally there are some 51,000 young persons waiting to join the Scout Movement closing 35th SWC would have been unthinkable yet a distinct possibility. Our Group Executive took the decision that we should demolish the existing building and replace it with a brand new Scout Centre, state of the art, environmentally friendly and available for a wider community use when not in use by the group. Since that decision was taken a tremendous amount of work has been done on the project, we have been working very hard to raise funds and have consulted widely on what that building should look like. We are now in a position where we have planning permission and construction is under way. We have a projected cost for the new build of £200,000 and to date have raised £175,000 a shortfall of £25,000. This money has been raised from charitable trust donations, grants from local authorities and from local businesses. Above all the young people and leaders in the group have been totally involved in the challenge to raise the funds. Examples of their involvement range from selling eggs and cakes to swimming the English Channel and running the London Marathon. Fund raising continues to raise the shortfall. The project is in two phases. Phase one was the demolition of the old hut and the construction of a water tight shell for which a fire certificate could be granted. That phase is fully funded and is in fact nearing completion. Phase two is the internal fit out of that building. We have been very fortunate in gaining donations to help with this work. For example, a local business had donated all the fittings for the toilet area. Money is still required to pay for all aspects of plumbing including the provision of hot water and heating throughout the building. There is no gas supply to the building and installation costs are prohibitive. We will therefore be using LPG. Estimates for this work put the cost at £9,000. Once the project is complete the new building will be used by some 120 young people in the scout group and in addition we will make the building available for wider community use and we already have a number of organisations interested in
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