1st Fressingfield Scouts is a large vibrant group of 100+ young people from 6 to 24 years old - supported by around 20 adult leaders. We currently have a rented dilapidated hut in village that we use as our HQ. The existing building has no running water, no kitchen and is served by one outside toilet.
We currently offer a huge range of activities for our members, camping, archery, shooting, water activities, arts & crafts, scouting skills, first aid training, leadership development, community engagement projects, motor sports and international expeditions (for older members) recently to Kenya and Iceland. We support young people to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and huge range of scout badge work - from petcare to gliding! We are a scout group that push the boundaries and aspire to provide an exceptional programme that delivers fun, friendship and challenge. Our existing HQ is now holding us back.
We have recently been gifted an acre of land in the village for the development of a new HQ and activity centre. Our plans include a large HQ building with hall, lecture room, activity spaces, stores, offices, showers, kitchen and inside toilets!
The headquarters building will be set in a plot that includes mature trees and open grassland - we will develop this space into an exciting area for young people to engage with the great outdoors in a challenging yet safe environment.
Outdoor facilities planned include, archery and air-rifle range, camping field with own shower, toilet block and camp fire circle, a climbing tower, trim trail, a wildlife area with reinstated pond and an outside chapel set in a rose garden as a reflective space. Additional facilities will include a Suffolk barn to store our minibuses, kayaks and larger camping equipment. The centre will be served with 20+ car parking spaces and we aim to plant native hedging and seed wildflower meadow edges to our camping field again to increase biodiversity in the locality.
The new facility will not only secure scouting in this rural area with some of the best facilities in the area for local scout members - we are also working with a number of local of schools to provide the facility during term times for pupils to use as an outdoor learning centre - further maximising the possible positive impact for young people.
Our proposal will allow us to expand our offer to more young people locally (our plan is to move from 100 youth members to 150 youth members within the year) and the improvement in facilities will mean that we will be able to provide even more exciting activities for an ever increasing membership. This is really important in an area where rural transport poverty has a major impact on the opportunities of many sections of our community.
We are also in discussions with 'First Responders' and we are likely to be the base for this essential emergency response for the rural community - providing space, facilities and some volunteers to support the East Anglian Ambulance Service in getting to medical emergencies quickly. The Scout Group is already a 'Heart Start training provider' with the ability to teach the wider community first aid, including resuscitation techniques a new HQ building with modern facilities including wifi and data projection etc would allow us to extend this type of work.
We are looking at ways to ensure that we benefit the maximum number of people with our project in a fairly rural part of Norfolk and Suffolk. We currently have one Beaver Colony (6-8 years), two Cub Packs (8-10 years), two Scout Troops (10-14 years) one Explorer Unit (14-18 years). With our new HQ we can expand our number that we can take within the existing sections as we have waiting lists for new members. We also intend to open a second Beaver Colony and a Network Unit (18-24 years).
Our proposal is for a centre that will have a major positive impact on the local community, scouting, education, health and well being.