Growth in Eye scout group helps town raise £140k for new hut
A rise in the number of young scouts has helped a town to buy a new scout hut after a £140,000 community fund-raising campaign.
Scout leaders in Eye, Suffolk, first mooted the idea 10 years ago of replacing the old, 1960s prefabricated building which had acted as their premises for decades after it began to fall into a state of disrepair.
However finding funds had proved tricky - until around 2009, when the number of children joining its ranks started to swell.
Since then the number of members of Eye First Scout Group has doubled, bringing with it a number of hard-working parents and volunteers willing to serve on its committee.
A nearby architect agreed to draw up some plans for the replacement of the old building in Wellington Road, while volunteers were drafted in to do building work to save on costs.
Around £40,000 was raised through community fund-raising activities and another £40,000 from grants, with the remaining cash coming from a generous one-off donation.
Merlin Carr, chairman of the scout group, praised the volunteers who had helped make the town’s dream of a new scout hut a reality after a decade-long wait.
“I think we have been lucky in the leaders we have got,” said Mr Carr ahead of the official opening of the hut on Friday, July 18.
“Any scout group stands by the quality of its leadership group. Our scout leader, Joan Norman, has been a great strength for the whole group.
“It is an activity which appeals to boys and girls, and parents see it was something which can drag children from street corners.
“Local scout groups are doing quite well at the moment and in much of Suffolk, there seems to have been growth.”
Eye Scout Group has even won a Scout Association award for its membership increase, with currently 80 boys in all three groups.
An open day was held to show people around the new facilities on Saturday, July 19, which include a large hall, meeting room and up-to-date kitchen and toilet facilities.
It is hoped the facility, which is leased from land owned by the Eye Women’s Institute, will not just serve the scouts but can be used by a variety of community organisations for meetings and other events.
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