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2021 New Year Newsletter

Date: 29th Dec 2020 Author: Ciarán Carr

Dear Parents and families

I hope that you were all able to have a lovely Christmas, and as 2020 finally draws to a close (and for many good-riddance) it is a good opportunity to look back on everything we have achieved during a turbulent year. What is amazing is the commitment of our leaders and the resilience of the young people. I hope that you enjoy the ‘1st Fressingfield Scouting Year 2020’

As you will be very aware, Suffolk and Norfolk are now in Covid-Tier 4, this means that all face to face scouting has had to stop. I appreciate that this will be disappointing for everyone (me included). But I am very hopeful that as the vaccine is rolled out and with the onset of spring, things will improve and a more normal scouting programme can be delivered. For now we will be returning to virtual scouting.

I would like to thank you all for sticking with the Scout Group, we have seen a drop in membership but as a charity that relies on membership subscriptions it is so important that we try to maintain our income from you. Although there are some cost savings, many things like rent, insurances, national membership fees (that are a set to rise substantially), service subscriptions etc. remain unchanged. Your continued support is very welcome and much needed.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

Yours in Scouting

(Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne).

Congratulations to our Leaders:

Two of our adult volunteers have been recognised recently for their commitment to the Scout Group:
Susie Remblence, Beaver Scout Leader, has received her 5 Year – Long Service Award and has also completed the Leader Training programme and have been awarded her Wood Beads;
Angie Ellis, Executive Secretary, has been awarded the 5 Year – Long Service Award Executive Pin

Quiz Night:

We will be running a community (virtual) quiz night Saturday 29th January at 7:00pm. It will be an open invitation to the public. No charge. We hope that you will be able to connect up with others for a fun and engaging evening of competitive, but friendly, quizzing. Save the date and details will be published on our website and social media feeds.

New Headquarters update:

We had hoped that our new building would have been installed just before Christmas, after securing a loan for the final amount. Unfortunately for a number of reasons that was delayed, we are working hard to get things back on track. We hope that when face to face scouting is able to resume we will have a new and much needed building at our Priory Road site. While the building has been delayed we continue to get the site ready, and have recently had UK Power connect the site to the national grid, so we now have power but also an electricity bill! Photo shows engineers connecting our ‘cabinet’ to the supply.

We are now working on the water and waste supplies and hope to have all services connected ready for the arrival of our modular building.

The site is also now a registered address and we have a post box!

Thanks to a further grant from the Tree Council, Michael and Sharon Knights (a family support bubble), have also been on site planting additional hedging and trees. We also have a stock of heritage fruit trees that will be planted to create an orchard between the new building and fence line later in the spring.

HQ Fundraising:

While fundraising events have been restricted, that hasn’t stopped us in raising just short of £10,000 during November and December. This is an amazing amount of money and I would like to personally acknowledge and thank the following individuals and organisations for their support:

  • The Mobbs family (in fond memory of Alison Mobbs) have donated £1000
  • A couple from Hoxne kindly donated their winter fuel allowance of £200
  • Fressingfield Parish Council granted us £350
  • Dawn Carman-Jones, FSG Chairman and Ciaran Carr, ASL-Adventurers parachute jump raised £1000
  • Jacob Gardner, Cub Scout completed the Suffolk coastal walk and raised in excess of £600 Lord Belstead’s Charity awarded a grant of £5000
  • And finally, thank you to…
  • Emma Petty, Executive Committee Member who organised Christmas card sales and a Christmas auction and raised in excess of £400

Gifts – other than money:

Recently we have been donated two excellent gazebo shelters by someone that no longer has a use for them. We are very grateful for this especially as one that we were using was twisted out of shape beyond use at a Cub Camp towards the end of last year during a storm.

In the last year or so we have also been gifted a table tennis table and a table top football game, this sort of gift will happen only rarely but it occurs to us that perhaps cooking equipment might be more often looking for a new home. We need metal pots, pans and utensils for use at camp so anything not breakable or easily melted is useful particularly frying pans, cooking pots, dishes and trays and things like ladles and spatulas and even redundant grids from barbeques and grills. Small axes, logging saws, pruning saws and spades or trenching tools are also useful. If you can help with this please contact Michael on 07761827053

Once we have the HQ building on site we will also need tradespeople and competent DIYers to volunteer with some internal refurbishment work and landscaping. If you can donate your time and expertise I would be delighted to hear from you. Carpenters, electricians and plumbers will be particularly welcomed. We will also need tree surgeons, landscape gardeners, cleaners and we ALWAYS need someone to operate the kettle.  If you can offer some time in the new year, please email Andrew, GSL. Andrew.aaldersdunthorne@talk21com

Young people STILL scouting and contributing:

As mentioned above Jacob raised a significant amount of cash on his coastal walk and other young people from Beavers to Explorers have been working hard to continue to scout. Feel inspired and want to support us, if you have an idea for a personal fundraiser challenge talk to your Section Leader. You will soon receive the spring programmes for your section and we hope as we move closer to Easter we will be able to meet up again in person. Here are just two of many highlights:

  • Explorers worked hard over the autumn to achieve their digital-citizenship stage 5 badges (seemed appropriate under the circumstances);
  • Three Pioneer Scouts also achieved the prestigious Gold Award, congratulations to Jess Amps, Nicole Pentelow and Hannah Petty.

This is a significant achievement and they didn’t allow C-19 to disrupt them. During that two years they have led teams, navigated, taught map reading and cooking, built and slept in a fantastic bivouac, hiked, worked together to help at Cub activities, twice led the various teams at our Pancake Café, enthusiastically attended most activities and generally supported each other and the Leaders. We hope they had their share of fun was all this was going on.
Two things need particular mention. As part of the Gold Award they volunteered for Suffolk Wildlife Trust and enjoyed it so much they only stopped going back because of lockdown. They also formed a team to help at fundraising quizzes and have become part of the quizmaster’s team for quizzes for other charities.

Scouting provides a second family to lots of young people. It’s a safe place where they can aspire and grow.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls