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In the News: Scout group desperately fundraising for £60,000 to help buy new Covid secure home

Date: 16th Oct 2020 Author: Ciarán Carr

A Suffolk Scout group is concerned it won’t be able to provide activities to young people as it struggles to fundraise to find a new home.

Elliot Walker, aged 7, helped to raise over £800 to help the scouts Picture: 1ST FRESSINGFIELD SCOUTS

The 1st Fressingfield Scout Group is unable to use its current home, the Goodwin Hall, because it has no toilet, running water or disabled access.

As a result of the pandemic and the increased importance of handwashing, the building is no longer suitable for the Scouts’ needs.

The group is one of the largest in the county and supports over 100 children aged six to 18.

For the past three years the group has been fundraising to try and create their own building.

The first Fressingfield Scouts current building Picture: 1ST FRESSINGFIELD SCOUTS

They have been gifted an acre of land on Priory Road in Fressingfield and already have planning permission for a modular-style building.

So far they have raised £250,000 but still need another £60,000.

The final funds will help connect the building to the much needed utilities and services so that running water, heating and lighting can be connected.

Fressingfield Scouts enjoying fencing Picture: 1ST FRESSINGFIELD SCOUTS

At the new site, the Scouts have already built an obstacle course, an outdoor chapel, campfire circle and a wildlife pond. The site is secured by a perimeter fence.

Group Scout Leader Andrew Aalders-Dunthorne said: “We are one of the last remaining village-based Scout groups.

“We are also one of the largest in the county with over 100 children relying on us to provide an extensive programme of activities.

“This usually includes international expeditions as well as a many UK-based camps and local community projects.

“We currently have 120 children learning vital skills that will equip them for adulthood. In addition to the skills they learn, Scouting helps the children with their mental well-being, especially important at this time.”

One of the Cubs, Elliot Walker, aged seven, took part in his own challenge to run, walk, ski, swim and cycle 100km in a month and he raised £850 towards the fundraising efforts.

He was awarded a County Commissioner’s Commendation for his fundraising.

He said: “I have made a lot of new friends. I particularly enjoyed the Cub Scout camp last year at the Sea Life Centre.

“I have also recently gained my international badge where I made things from different countries.”

“I am currently working on a badge where I have to have one overnight sleep in a tent every month.”

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