We are building a new Centre where our members and local people of all ages and abilities can come to enjoy company and friendship with a well-equipped kitchen at the heart of it.
This is why we need your help please! Shortly after our video was made sadly this happened to our former building.
Where and what is Birk Crag Centre?
Situated on the edge of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, after 60+ years of continuous use our previous wooden building was sadly no longer fit for purpose. It was well used, but lacked facilities (including accessibility), didn't meet current legislation, the roof leaked throughout, wood was rotting, single glazed windows were failing and more. Despite on-going maintenance, regrettably the building was demolished in September 2018.
Who will use Birk Crag Centre?
With 2,000 girls and 600 volunteer members locally plus 10s of 1,000s nationally, Birk Crag Centre was much-loved and very popular, with guests coming from York, Leeds, West Yorkshire, the North East and further afield whatever their needs, beliefs or abilities. Members aged 5 - 95+ years came for regular meetings, trainings, activities and residential events where they developed new skills, grew in confidence, self-esteem and resilience plus offering a meeting place for everyone, our new Centre will do the same!
Following 11 years of consultation with our members we were granted Planning Permission in September 2016, committed to fundraising and our dream of a new Birk Crag Centre. Our girls were so excited when the steel frame was put in place in May 2019 - the dream was getting ever closer. Now the floors and some drainage are in, the roof almost complete and walls progressing. In October 2019, we were delighted to welcome our Guiding Ambassadors, The Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate District, Stuart Martin and April Martin who is also a Girlguiding leader and Lindsey Chapman TV and Radio Presenter including BBC Springwatch, to unveil a commemorative stone.
The Centre will be fully accessible and sustainable, meeting the needs of members and to expand our facilities to the local community. We’re really looking forward to being able to open our doors for local use and have letters from community groups, Scouting and other organisations expressing interest in using the new building.
Our girls and leaders are excited now that they can see the building growing and rooms taking shape. This group are raising funds by having a Christmas jumper evening and look forward to staying in the new Centre.
What will the new Birk Crag Centre offer?
We will have a large hall, meeting and training facilities, a kitchen and dining room, residential accommodation for 40 people, along with an administrative base and equipment store for Girlguiding North Yorkshire West. The grounds will be available for campfires, outdoor learning, accessible and in due course include a sensory trail.
What have we already done to raise funds to rebuild Birk Crag Centre?
Girls, leaders and friends have held refreshment days/stalls, concerts in units and with community groups, sponsored events including walking many miles and a sky dive. The project has been applying to various Trust and Grant giving organisations and we are very grateful to several individuals who have generously given donations.
To date we have over 75% of the required funds for the rebuilding and are working really hard to raise the remaining funds in order to complete the fit out of all the rooms.
Why are we asking for your help to fund the Kitchen for Birk Crag Centre?
Its not just our members who want us to #BuildBirkCrag Centre, there are over 600 new houses being built just over half a mile away and a further 575 houses within a mile of our new Centre with no other purpose-built community venue in the immediate area.
We believe the kitchen, next to the dining area and hall will allow us to help build a strong community partnership enabling both the girls and local people to come together to enjoy company, opportunities to learn new skills, take part in activities, meet people with similar interests and build friendships.
Your donation = Our Kitchen!
The kitchen is starting to take shape (see the pictures below) and we need to fit it out to continue our mission and change lives on a weekly basis including getting young people involved in preparing and serving meals to catering for annual meetings and community group functions. This kitchen will form an important heart to the new building which has been only a dream for so long #BuildBirkCrag.
We would like to buy:
- 6 Plate Electric cooker with fan assisted oven
- Dishwasher with relevant accessories
- Stainless Steel Sink
This would provide the basics to enable us to open the Centre and cater both residentially and on a daily basis. We need to raise £7,800.
The kitchen has been designed to be easy to use, clean and maintain, and accessible to all regardless of ability, disability, cultural background or any other needs. We teach our members to be friends to all, good neighbours and warm hosts – surely the most important part of this is being able to ‘put the kettle on’ and welcome people into our new home?!
Perhaps you or someone you know has been involved in Guiding or Scouting? Whether as a young member, leader or supporter you will know just how valuable it is to provide opportunities for young people – building skills for life, enjoying meetings, trying new activities and sharing with our local community. Please help us to furnish the kitchen and help our dream to #BuildBirkCrag to become a reality. Thank you