Who we are and why we need a New Headquarters...
1st Fressingfield Scouts is a large vibrant group of 100+ young people from 6 to 25 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 poorly lit outside toilet.
These provisions are in no way suitable (especially amidst the Coronavirus outbreak), and with other groups being able to facilitate a phased return to face-to-face Scouting much earlier than us, the future of our historic Scout group is under threat.
(Below - One of our Beaver Colonies on a local walk)
What do 1st Fressingfield Scout Group Do?
We currently offer a huge range of activities for our members, including: 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 a huge range of scout badge work - from pet care 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.
(Below - Scouts route planning)
How Close are We?
We have secured funds through grants and pledges for a modular building, but, none of this funding is accessible unless we can raise £80,000 to cover the cost of the groundwork to connect all services.
We need your help to raise this money by the end of October to complete the groundwork, otherwise, the promise of funding will be withdrawn.
Our Current Stage...
We have our new acre of land with a secure perimeter fence where we have been able to begin developing structures including an obstacle course, outdoor chapel, campfire circle and wildlife pond. The one thing missing is our new headquarters!
The building we have secured, previously served as a temporary primary school and was used for less than two years. It is a modular structure which has been adjusted to fully suit our needs and requirements.
Importantly, it has indoor toilets, running water, disabled access, safety glass and other essentials which our current headquarters does not feature. Please see the video below for more information on our current headquarters.
Summary of why we need a New Headquarters...
- No toilets except single WC in Methodist Chapel
- No water supply except single tap in Chapel WC
- No proper access for wheelchairs and disabled
- Windows lack safety glass & some don’t open/close
- Roof requires costly repairs or replacement
- Building shows subsidence in one corner
- Parking compromises traffic on New Street
- Growth of Scout Group requires more space.
Impact of the New Headquarters...
The new facility will not only secure scouting in this rural area with some of the best facilities for local scout members - the facility will also be available to an local educational trust 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 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 two Beaver Colonies (6-8 years), two Cub Packs (8-10 years), two Scout Troops (10-14 years) and 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.
Our proposal is for a centre that will have a major positive impact on the local community, scouting, education, health and well being.
(Below - Part of our commitment to The Scout's #SkillsForLife campaign)
Environmental Impact of the New HQ...
Buildings and roads invariably change the environment. However, our development offers several compensatory elements that will enhance the area:
- Existing trees preserved
- Extensive planting of trees and hedging will screen views of Weybread Woodcraft and the Scout HQ
- The new plantings will add to biodiversity in the wider area, offering nesting sites for birds & bats
- Scouts will make and erect nest boxes for birds
- A small existing pond will be cleaned and should provide aquatic habitat and site for pond-dipping
- Wild flowers & grasses will be established in places and be managed as wild flower meadow
- The existing Public Footpath will remain for access between New Street and Priory Road.
In all these ways the new Scout activity area will greatly increase the richness of the habitat in the wider area, enhancing environment for neighbouring residents including in Priory Road, Priory Crescent, Carpenter’s Yard and the future housing development.
Further outdoor facilities planned include: archery and air-rifle range, camping field with own shower, toilet block and continued development of the wildlife area with a reinstated pond.
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.
A Selection of Images...
(Above: Iceland Expedition 2016)
(Above: Pioneer Scouts 'Building Bridges')
(Above: Consistent High Attendance at Remembrance Sunday)
(Above: Wolf Cubs Eating Healthy)
(Above: Pioneer Scouts Litter Picking)
(Above: Kenyan Expeditions in 2013)
(Above: Cubs on the Water)
(Above: Christmas Bag Packing at Morrisons)
(Above: Explorer Scouts Hadrian Wall Expedition 2019)
(Above: Tiger Cubs Pioneering Projects)
To see what else 1st Fressingfield do, please view our Gallery on our website here.