Daunting cash target to save Scout group

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A SCOUT group in Rugby must raise £200,000 - or its future will be in jeopardy.

Several years ago a fire destroyed the 22nd St John The Baptist Rugby Scout Group’s original home, forcing them to move into a wooden hut dating back to the 1960s. But the group is worried that the building’s deteriorating condition means that it may not be safe for much longer.

Andy Geddes, who volunteers for the group, said: “Following mergers and the demise of all the other Scout groups in the area we are now the only Scout Group in Hillmorton and are under pressure to take an ever increasing number of members.

“Happily we are in a good situation with numbers of leaders and helpers. Our big problem is our group hut. It’s a temporary structure that started its life early in the 1960s and despite extensive maintenance efforts the supporting beams, the roof and much of the fabric of the building are now so deteriorated that we must replace it before it becomes a danger to those who use it.”

The group includes Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and is run entirely by volunteers.

It caters for boys and girls between six and 18 years. Volunteers and group members have already sprung into action, organising several fundraising events.

Mr Geddes added: “We are hard at work trying to raise funds and have so far washed cars, run car boot stalls, packed shopping bags at Tesco, held quiz nights, walked very many miles on sponsored walks and distributed Christmas shopping catalogues from Webb Ivory.

“Despite all our efforts it is clear that we are going to need the help and goodwill of others to bring our ambitions to fruition.

“For us the outcomes are clear, to maintain a scout group in this area we need a new building. Without the new building there is no future for this group.”

The group is hopeful of a grant of £10,000 from Rugby Borough Council and are also in the process of applying to the National Lottery, The Norton Foundation, Heart of England, Peoples Post Code trust and several other charities. They have also applied for planning permission from the borough council after signing a 25-year lease with them for the site two years ago.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Scouts’ appeal should email hillmortongroup@hotmail.co.uk or call (01788) 562454.