Sea Scout leaders are hoping to modernise their building by making it more accessible for disabled people.
The Les Goodbody Seascouts Centre in Brighton Road, where the 3rd Shoreham Sea Scouts meet, is split over two floors, with the main hall – where all activities take place – set on the upper floor and accessible only by stairs.
Katie Woodrow, a Scout leader who manages the whole group, said: “The building is fantastic, but we have realised it does not lend itself to being user friendly.
“We really should have a lift. It’s been in the pipeline for several years but now we want to get the project going.”
A recent member of the Cubs group was a wheelchair user and had real difficulty going up and down the stairs, she said.
But other changes are also needed for the building, which is often hired out for meetings and parties. Katie said: “If we are going to be disabled-friendly we will need other facilities too, such as a toilet and washroom, which is a much bigger job.”
However, the group has found itself in a ‘tricky situation’ due to its lack of funds.
While the organisation, as a charity led by volunteers, may be able to successfully apply for a grant, it needs to have a figure of how much the work could be expected to cost before applying. Yet getting the quotes and plans drawn up is very expensive, Katie said.
The group was lucky to have recently been added to the Co-op community fund, she said, which gives customers the opportunity to give one per cent of what they spend into a charity pot for local organisations.
Katie is also organising a fund-raising meeting with other members in the hope of coming up with ideas to get the project going.
“It’s a very popular group,” she said. “But if people can’t use the building then they won’t be able to get involved.”
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