'Demolished by the ravages of time': £150k needed to replace scout hut destroyed by rot and asbestos
PUBLISHED: 11:48 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:23 14 August 2019
Rot and asbestos may have rendered their former historic home unusable - but these scouts are determined to put something even better in its place.
1st Mendlesham Scouts was forced to tear down its former headquarters, which dated back to 1947 - with scout HQ project coordinator Noel Fletcher saying it "had to be demolished due to the ravages of time, rot and asbestos rendering it unsafe for the youngsters".
That means the youngsters do not currently have a base for their activities - "without which, many are in danger of losing the experience and enjoyment of physical social interaction", Mr Fletcher said.
As such an appeal to raise £150,000 has been launched to create what Mr Fletcher calls "new, safe, cost-effective, practical and environmentally friendly headquarters".
In a letter requesting donations, Mr Fletcher added: "A project like this takes a great deal of hard work by the youngsters, volunteers and adult leaders.
"It has taken time and hard grind to raise the £17,000 already collected, donated and pledged towards the £150,000 target, so their challenge continues unabated."
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Debbie Scarff, group chairman of 1st Mendlesham Scouts - which is about to celebrate its 90th anniversary - said: "I feel that a new Scout hut will allow our voluntary leaders a place where they can run their groups which is safe, nurturing, with equipment readily available and that they can call their own.
"Youngsters from Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and explorers will benefit and be able to continue their learning of life skills, be part of a community group, and enjoy having somewhere to meet which brings responsibility and ownership.
"The community in and around Mendlesham green will be able to see the group using the space and that it has not been left desolate, and the community will also benefit being able to hire the building also. We hope it will attract more young people to our group."
Jacob Champness-Wallis, an 11-year-old scout, said: "I use to be in Cubs and now attend Scouts. Going to the group has given me important life skills that I may need in the future.
"Attending Scouts has thought me how to put up a tent, learn to survive in the wild and to enjoy being outdoors, I have a new respect for others and my confidence has grown meeting new people and going away from home on camps.
"A hut will give us a place where we can meet which is ours. It's sad that we do not have our own hut at the moment and the land is not used as much as it could be."
For more information and how to donate, email Mr Fletcher here.
People can also donate directly to 1st Mendlesham Scout Group's bank account. The account number is 59239311 and the sort code is 090151.