Describe your project
Little Acres campsite is set in nearly two acres of open grassland surrounded by park and woodland. Currently the campsite has no indoor facilities for inclement weather. Guide units only camp in the summer months with Brownie & Rainbow units visiting for the day. Epsom Division Girlguiding wants to radically transform the limited facilities we have at our campsite by constructing Little Acres Lodge, an attractive, well equipped and modern wood framed building. The Lodge will offer kitchen facilities, disabled access, accommodation, toilets and shower to maximise opportunities for young people. The Lodge will enable our members to increase their participation in activities out of doors, ranging from cookouts, night hikes alongside exploring the surrounding countryside. The outdoors is really beneficial, increasing the sense of well being, as well as physical exercise away from the distractions of modern technology.
How will your project benefit your local community?
As well as fundraising we have supported and attended many local community events and will continue to do so. The Lodge will enable us to host events for the wider local community, by using our campsite and Lodge as a base for community events. We are delighted that our Lodge will be a valuable asset for many years to come as we have a 25 year lease and we look forward to it becoming a much loved and much used facility. This new facility would also bring a positive impact to the local economy. Visitors could use public transport to visit nearby attractions, as well as shopping in the local town. The building company we have is local, we are therefore contributing to the economy of the community.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
Alongside the many community events we have attended as part of our fundraising strategy, Epsom Division Girlguiding now regularly attends numerous annual events held by the local community. This has strengthened our bond within the neighbourhood and raised our profile. We now are invited annually to assist at the Duck Race, quiz night, Book Fair and Christmas Fair. We carol sing at our local railway station, bringing a smile to commuters.
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
We currently have 600+ girls and over 200 volunteers across our immediate neighbourhood. However with the opening of Little Acres Lodge this would increase, as it would be used by Scouting and Guiding locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. Duke of Edinburgh groups could also use the facility.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
We plan for our newly constructed Lodge to have a wooden veranda with roof on 2 sides of the building. If awarded the money, we would use it to fund the construction of this part of the building. The veranda will enable groups to have some protection against the weather to continue with craft projects or tasks such as washing up whilst still enjoying the outdoors. The veranda also allows disabled access from our car park into the Lodge itself. The estimated cost of the veranda is £2,960.00. We are constantly fundraising and exploring a variety of avenues for funding. A grant from you would bring the outdoor experience opportunity closer.
When and why was your project founded?
We have leased Little Acres campsite since 1994 offering camping in beautiful surroundings. We began building Little Acres Lodge in February 2018 when we reached our fundraising target for Phase 1 of the project. We are now fundraising for Phase 2 which includes the interior.