The Scout Group was opened in answer to a local need for provision of community activities for youngsters within the village. Since opening in September 2014 with just 8 cubs we have surpassed all expectations.
We currently have in excess of 80 young people in the Group over three sections, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, with an age range of 6 – 14 years.
We have extensive waiting lists for both the Cub and Beaver sections. The Beavers actually have a waiting list for the waiting list it’s that popular!!
So why do we need this?
The Group has grown excessively and at speed since opening and ideally, we would benefit from opening a second Cub Pack and Beaver Colony to accommodate those children on our waiting lists.
Our problem is our own success, our numbers have increased consistently at speed, and with it the need for more space to accommodate the numbers.
We currently meet in the local school (Witham St Hughs Academy) which is the largest structure in the village but is still woefully inadequate for our needs and over-booked by various other village clubs.
The Cubs use the main school hall from 18.15 until 19.30 when the Scouts take over until 2045. The Beavers meet at the same time as the Cubs but have to use the schools’ corridor to meet and run their activities in as there is no other area available.
Having our own meeting hall will allow us to meet on different nights and also allow us to provide a local Explorer section for those 14 -18 year olds that wish to continue with Scouting locally. It will also provide another outlet for the youth of the village to occupy them in the evenings.
So what's the issue then?
The school areas have to be returned to their original state at the end of the evening ready for the school to use in the morning, a situation that frustrates the activities that we can complete in an evening. There is no storage space available to us, so leaders have to bring any equipment they require with them, then away again at the end of the meeting, along with their equipment required for running the section.
In addition to this we are collecting a sizable amount of camping and activity equipment all of which needs to be looked after and stored. Currently the majority of our equipment is kept in an ISO container that we were given, which is currently situate in the centre of the village adjacent to the start of Phase 3.
Within the plans for our purpose-built Scout Hall there is a designated area for kit and equipment to be properly and safely stored.
Who's involved with this project?
The leadership team are members of the village; we give our time freely & without reservation for the good & benefit of our membership. There are 14 of us spread across the 3 sections in the group and we also have an executive committee that help guide the group with their finances and wider obligations; anyone can join this committee, so if you would like to, come and see us!
All of the leaders within the group are volunteers and despite the rumours, we do not get paid anything for our work as Scout leaders; we never have done, and never will.
Who's helping us?
The Parish Council have agreed to lease us land on a 999-year lease for a “Peppercorn Rent” in the newly approved Phase 3 expansion and planning permission for the proposed Scout Hall has already been approved.
We're doing our own bit, with Bag packs at superstores, sponsored events and straight down the line personal donations.
We're also canvassing local and national companies for financial and practical assistance. We've been pledged donations already and practical help with electrical works, tiling for the kitchen & shower areas, landscape gardening for the outside areas plus other generous offers to assist.
These offers are great for when the building is in fitting out stage, but we need to get there first.
What do we need?
Basically, it's cold, hard cash donations. The total bill without outside assistance is in the region of £500,000.
We're at the wrong end of this total, and as much as our combined efforts are bringing in, it's not quick enough for when we need it, which is basically Now.
If you can assist with the fit out on the inside of the hall, we'll also be very grateful for whatever you can provide. We'll take just about anything to get the final required total down to a more manageable level.
This is a village based project, for the population of the village
Witham St Hughs is well known for it's ability to get behind projects and make them work - The Beer Festival and bonfire night activities bear testament to this. But they succeed due to those on the committees and the work that they and their helpers put into it.
We'll take any amount that can can afford, be it 10p, £10 or 10 buttons - it all goes towards making this work.
Please help us add this fantastic facility and grow the village even more.
If you feel you can bring more to us, please get in touch during our meetings on Tuesday evenings in the school hall.
THANK YOU & BRAVO!! for your generosity with this project that will benefit many generations of young Withamers to come.