1st Highweek Scout Group HQ Extension Project

by Victoria Woulfe in Newton Abbot, England, United Kingdom

1st Highweek Scout Group HQ Extension Project
We did it
On 6th September 2019 we successfully raised £120 with 5 supporters in 56 days

To build an extension to 1st Highweek Scout Group HQ, to better accommodate all our youngsters and other community groups when possible.

by Victoria Woulfe in Newton Abbot, England, United Kingdom

1. What are the plans?

2. Who benefits?

3. Costs

4. Background information

5. Quotes from stakeholders

1. What are the plans?

Our three-phased plan to extend the 1st Highweek Scout HQ building has the ultimate aim to improve the toilets, provide disabled facilities, install showers to better facilitate overnight stays and to build a meeting/ first-aid room. We aim to achieve a more accessible entrance way and all-weather outside space for our large number of members. 

Phase A provides a new covered outdoor area and infrastructure in readiness for the later phases. Phase B further extends the outside covered area which will continue to be used when Phase C is complete. The last phase transforms and extends the kitchen, toilets and reception area and provides an additional multi-purpose room. This will go into the footprint of 'Phase A'. A pressurised hot water system and new central heating will be much more efficient than we currently have and provide cheaper running costs.

   Here is the entrance to the HQ as it is now (on clean-up day).

The extension would wrap around the end (where the woodstore is shown below) to the entrance, making the most of this space. This layout was chosen as the site is almost completely level here whereas the existing building is surrounded by banks on all other sides. It will maximise use of land which is currently not being used efficiently, without impacting on the rest of the site i.e. the play/camping field and car park. It is the furthest point from any residential neighbours. It also works well internally as additional plumbing etc will be easily extended from existing utilities.

Copy and paste this link into your browser for a slideshow of what we get up to at 1st Highweek Scouts with pictures of the site as it is now... http://slide.ly/view/193722087c6b554e157a0791d657b870

2. Who benefits?

We have 92 youngsters aged 6 to 18 years on our roll who use the headquarters weekly. They use the whole site all year around and would hugely benefit from all of the improvements. One Scout looks forward to the improvements, "More room for big games? Cleaner at camps and warmer on cold days." Another looks forward to "separate rooms because it would be nice and calm."

We would love to be able to make our site fully inclusive for disabled children and those with special needs. Improved toilets and a separate room would help immensely. One of our leaders said, "[the project]..gives greater scope to what we can do and for more inclusivity which is what scouts is all about - opportunities for everyone!"

Our facilities would be more suitable for other local groups to use. For example, the local Women's Institute group have already made enquiries. There is a growing demand for local community space as more people move into the area. We believe social responsibility and community spirit is important and would be proud to support other local groups by offering use of our facilities whenever we can.

Hiring out the headquarters to other scout groups would benefit even more youngsters and could give us an extra income.

3. Costs

Phase A: £12,400 

Phase B: £8,700

Phase C: 42,800

TOTAL: £63,900

4. Background information

The headquarters building opened in 1974 and the group has been running at this site ever since. Approximately 20 years ago, the group managed a project add a garage/store room. In more recent years we successfully bid for £10,000 lottery funding enabling us to replace the asbestos roof and received a legacy enabling us to improve the grounds and carpark. We have a track-record of managing large projects and would ensure your donations would be spent wisely.

We are an inclusive and extremely active group. We deliver a Beavers section for ages 6-8 years, Cubs for ages 8-10.5 years, Scouts for ages 10.5-14 years and Explorers for ages 14-18 years. Our Scouts take part in activities as diverse as kayaking, abseiling, expeditions, photography, climbing and coasteering. We support Scouts to learn survival skills, first aid, computer programming, and even rafting. There’s something for every young person. It’s a great way to have fun, make friends, get outdoors, express your creativity and experience the wider world.

The children learn life skills, confidence and character building, social responsibility, team building skills, co-operation, ethics and they learn about the world and different cultures.

We have approximately 24 Beavers, 24 Cubs, 24 Scouts and 16 Explorers.
We have 10 uniformed leaders, several parent helpers and a full executive committee.
We support the Royal British Legion, Guide Dogs for the Blind, RNLI, Shelter Box, HITS Foodbank, Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity and Highweek Village Church by attending events, raising money and making donations. We host children from Belarus annually at the scout hut, donating clothes and playing games.

5. Quotes from stakeholders

Please see some of the comments we have received from parents, leaders and youngsters looking forward to the improvements:

More space and rooms for meetings, would make nights easier to plan and a wider variety of activities could be undertaken safely and appropriately by the scouts. Having showers and better kitchen and toilets would help for camps.

It would allow a more varied programme and greater access for the community

Easy drop off/pick up would mean less chaotic for start and end of evening

It would help me get good friends

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