Weymouth West Air Scout Group has a long history and has been in the current building since 1977. Unfortunately the building is largely unchanged since that time. A new kitchen and heating system have been installed recently, but in many ways the building is decades behind the Group.
Modern Scouting is an inclusive organisation, for young people from 6 to 18, and we are open to all. Having said that our current building is not suitable for all. This project is about making the building fit for the 21st Century and accessible to all.
As a Scout Group we are prepared to do everything possible to allow any young person who wants to access Scouting in Weymouth to join. We have made Scouting accessible to several young people with disabilities over the years, and now have several members with a variety of issues, however wheelchair access is still not practical. The lack of a drop kerb at front of the building and step at front door can be overcome with ramps, but access to toilets is impossible for wheelchair users. The emergency exit from hall is too narrow and has no ramp. Doors are narrow, and rooms congested.
Our plan is to build an extension on rear of the existing building to provide additional space and solve these issues. We will provide level access to the building, Wheelchair accessible shower and toilet facilities. Additional breakout room to allow quiet space for young people with sensory issues as and when required. Additional meeting space for parent/careers and leaders to meet privately where required, and more storage space for the camping and activity equipment which is central to the life of an active Scout Group.
The plans have been drawn up in such a way as to allow the Group to continue for function throughout the construction phase, and we have liaised with building contractors to ensure this. We have had plans drawn up and submitted for planning consent. We have a number of building contractors who have submitted their costings for the project, in area of £100 000.
We are seeking funding now to push the project forward, our young people will be conducting fundraising activities over the coming months, some organised by themselves. We are working with a number of partners to seek avenues of funding and will be continuing these efforts.