Scouts in Ifield are a step closer to a much needed new headquarters after winning a public vote to receive a grant worth thousands of pounds.
The Second Ifield (St Margaret’s) Scout Group, who are rebuilding their present hut in Friston Walk, have been given £3,000 by Lloyds Bank Community Fund to help with the development.
The fundraising started in 1996 and before Christmas the old scout hut was decommissioned.
The group, established in 1956, has around 110 boys and girls aged six to 18. Group chairman Brian Eastman is hopeful the new site can see them boost that number further.
He said: “It means a lot to be part of the community fund.
“The money from the Lloyds fund has helped hugely and we’re now only £4,000 short of our £247,000 target.
“The old hut was built 35 years ago and was effectively two derelict wartime houses pulled together.
“It had problems with asbestos too. Although it wasn’t dangerous, we weren’t able to fix the roof once it began to leak.”
He said the new hut would enable to group to expand.
“We’ll be able to host two meetings a night and accommodate those on the waiting list for the group who we currently can’t take on.
“With the new hut, which the grant has helped pay for, we can offer more activities for more people and in a safe environment. This just wasn’t possible before.”
Although work as started to rebuild, they still needs funds to pay for a kitchen and new equipment.
People can give financially or help in more practical ways.
Group scout leader Wendy Keeley added: “We are desperately looking for new leaders so we can open up a Beaver colony and cubs.
“If there are companies who would like to donate materials, like the kitchen or doing the groundwork.”
The scout group was one of 1,332 good causes in 333 communities throughout England and Wales the Lloyds Bank Community Fund has supported.
Four good causes were nominated by staff in each community with more than 2.3million votes cast in branches, online and by text message at the end of last year.
In each community the two good causes with the most votes both received £3,000, with the other two receiving £300 each to help them benefit their community.
To find out more about the community groups in your area, visit www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund
To donate towards the scout’s fundraising go to mydonate.bt.com/charities/2ndifieldstmargaretsscoutgroup or email Wendy on firstname.lastname@example.org