Young Scouts, their parents and Scout leaders celebrated the official opening of their ‘amazing’ Scout hall, following an ‘epic struggle’ to get the new premises built.
The new home of the 1st Southwick Scout Group has replaced the former, 58-year-old scout hut in Sandown Road.
Mark Noakes, group scout leader, said: “We have achieved our goal and delivered what I consider to be an amazing building that will give the local scouting community a huge boost and hopefully give thousands of young people the opportunity to join the movement and have fun while learning valuable life skills for many years to come.”
After the old building, known as Burton Hall, succumbed to subsidence, it was decided to demolish it completely and start afresh with a brand-new, purpose-built hall.
Mr Noakes said: “It was quite a sad decision for some of us as we had spent so many happy hours in our old home, some of us even attended as Scouts ourselves in our younger years.”
The group moved out in January, 2017, and part of the land was sold to be redeveloped into a three-bedroom house, a move which helped fund a substantial part of the new building.
However, the Scouts still needed to raise £54,000 – a ‘monumental task’ which was made possible thanks to a loan from the West Sussex Scout Executive.
While the building is now open, Mr Noakes said: “We are still some £13,000 adrift, but after what we have already achieved this does not seem such a daunting task.”
The new hall is built to ‘the latest standards’, with disabled access and toilets and full insulation – which means ‘no more freezing cold nights sitting around with coats on’, Mr Noakes said.
He thanked chairman and treasurer Ken and Sue George and the executive committee for their support, along with the following businesses and organisations for their donationd and support:
Amy and Tony Banks
Mayoss and co builders
Sussex masonic charities
Shoreham port authority
The Hinchliffe family
Shoreham Yacht Club
The Dudman Group
Southwick Round Table
Gardner and Scardifield
Wickes of Worthing
Hampshire tile warehouse
Eyre and Ellison
Travis perkins portslade
Tile tile tile
Mayberry garden centre
Wenban smith Worthing
Greg stone flooring
Shoreham academy youth wing
West sussex county scouts
Southwick and shoreham beach masonic lodges
Paul Braisby and Lloyds bank
Aviva community fund