1st Sandleheath Sea Scout Group

PRESS RELEASE - 18th April 2001

Sea Scouts secure lottery funding for New Building

1st Sandleheath Sea Scout Group are to celebrate getting a grant from the Community Fund

They have been allocated a grant of £397,191 from the Community Fund (formerly the National Lotteries Charities Board) to cover the costs of building a new headquarters in Sandleheath.

The new building will be constructed on a field used by the Scout Group for many years for outdoor activities. Their old wooden Scout Hut (which dated from the First World War) had to be abandoned last Autumn because it was beyond economic repair. The different sections have been meeting in a variety of locations throughout the District and will continue to do so until the new building is completed early next year.

Over 90 young people, both boys and girls currently meet regularly and with a new purpose-built headquarters many more can be accommodated and a wider range of activities offered. Sandleheath is a small village on the outskirts of Fordingbridge and the area has already been recognised as deprived in its provision of activities for young people and poor transport links.

The UK Scout Association has recently undergone some major changes with a brand new practical uniform and new age ranges for each section. Boys and girls can join Beavers at six years old and remain until 25 in Scout Network moving through five different sections.

1st Sandleheath Sea Scouts have a long tradition of offering adventurous activities such as caving and rock climbing and their water activities for older sections include sailing, canoeing and rowing. The new building will provide a safe environment to enable a combination of indoor and outdoor activities to run on the one site giving more choice to each member. The team building skills and leadership training which is at the core of Scouting will continue as will links to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Funding has been secured partly as a result of a partnership with Avon Valley Opportunity Group who are a pre-school playgroup for children with special needs. They will make use of the building during the day several times a week while the Sea Scouts will use it every evening and at weekends. It is hoped that the planned facilities such as the boat workshop could be used for training purposes for other groups and there is the opportunity to make the building available to the wider community.

Group Scout Leader, Ros White said ``We are really excited to have received this funding which is down to the hard work of a small dedicated committee. The new building will give the Scout Group the chance to offer all children and young people up to the age of 25 in the area the opportunity to take part in adventurous and interesting activities. This expansion programme means that we are also looking for more leaders and helpers to join the teams that run each section.'' Ros would be delighted to hear from anyone who remembers their time as a Scout or Guide and would like to volunteer to help occasionally or regularly or have a particular skill that could be called on occasionally. She can be contacted on 01425 654025.

``The group also needs some help with fundraising to equip this wonderful new building and would be delighted to hear from anyone who could assist in applying for grants, charitable trusts and sponsorship.''

To obtain further information please e-mail me: [email protected].

Photo Call

At 9.55am on Sunday 29th April there will be the opportunity to take a group photograph as all sections assemble in Fordingbridge main car park with other Scout Groups from the area prior to parading to St Mary's Church, Fordingbridge for the District's St George's Day Parade and church service.

© Copyright 2001, Stephen R. White - email:[email protected]