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Scouts in £100k rally for new hut
Buy this photo » Stonesfield Scout Group members, left to right, Fred Willis-Bund, 11, Leo Revell, 11, Joseph Bacon, eight, Thomas Simpson, seven, and Ben Nicoll, 10
SCOUTS in West Oxfordshire are to launch a £100,000 fundraising appeal to build a new scout hut.
The 1st Stonesfield Scout Group has about 100 youngsters on its roll but the current scout hut, built in the 1960s, contains asbestos.
The group is restricted in what it can now do with the current building and has said it is at the end of its useful life.
It is hoped the fundraising campaign will allow the group to demolish the current hut and replace it with a modern, purpose-built building.
The scout hut, known as Andy’s Den after former scout leader Andy Mason, sits in the middle of a wooded area.
Group scout leader Graham Clarke, below, said: “The scout hut has got to the end of its useful life. Left alone it is fine, but you cannot drill through it because you would release asbestos spores.
“We are totally limited about what we can do in terms of shelving and changing lighting – every time we do something we have to get a specialist in and get a clean air certificate.”
He said the current flat-roofed building, which includes a main hall, store room, toilet and kitchen, will be demolished.
It will be replaced with pitched-roof building, which will create more storage space and full disabled access with a main hall, kitchen and toilets.
Mr Clarke added: “If you look at our scout hut the unique selling point is the location. It is in a full woodland setting.
“That is why we are just short of 100 cubs, scouts and beavers at the moment. It is a completely different education from what they have at school.”
The location allows the group to run canoeing and orienteering, as well as play games in the wood and youngsters use rope swings to cross the nearby river.
Mr Clarke said the group hoped to receive grants, though the bulk of fundraising would have to be done by the group itself.
Raffles, jumble sales, bingo and other events are planned and it is hoped the building work would will start in the autumn.
- Fundraising is expected to start at Easter when negotiations are complete with landowners the Diocese of Oxford and Stonesfield Parish Council. To donate, contact Mr Clarke on 01993 898498.