Scouts call for help as they continue new hall project despite major setback

By Neil Speight

26th Apr 2021 | Local News

A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched to help a borough scout group complete its new home after unexpected problems blew away the planned budget.

First Corringham Scouts have had a home for decades on Herd Lane in the town after being gifted a piece of land which came with a wooden hut in 1959.

In 1972 volunteers demolished the wooden hut and constructed a larger hall from a second hand pre-fabricated building.

However, after around 45 years of great service the building began to show signs of wear and tear and was slowly subsiding.

It was decided to replace it and fundraising project began, which achieved its target and the hall was pulled down. Things looked to be on track but once the building was down and its foundations examined, a shocking discovery was made.

The building's original base was on top of a dump or waste material, which had not been discovered when sample drillings were made. Removing the contaminated material sucked up most the budget put aside for the complete rebuild – leaving the group tens of thousands of pounds away from being able to complete the project.

So they pressed on by stages and the initial work has seen a new, lower concrete base laid with drainage installed for new toilets. Dropping the level of the base and the drainage means the new building will be much easier to access and it will have top notch facilities to deal with disabilities.

However, the funds have now been eaten away and to move forward the group needs to raise more.

A minimum target of £60,000 has been set but to complete the build to the initially expected standards will cost a further £40,000.

Acting Group Scout Leader Glenn Ford says: "It was a tremendous shock when we demolished the old building and began to dig up the foundations. It was clear why the building had started to subside because underneath a lot of contaminated waste material, including barrels of bitumen, had been dumped and the ground was slowly collapsing in on itself.

"It was a very expensive problem that we faced but we have no choice but to seek the safe removal of the contamination using safe methods which proved hugely expensive.

"So much so it blew away the whole budget. We thought we had raised enough to start and complete the work and had nothing untoward been discovered we would be in the new building by now.

"However, we have pressed ahead. The group is 95 years old this year and we hope to be able to move forward and I very much hope that we will be in a secure new home that we can be very proud of well before our centenary.

"It will take a lot of effort and we will need a lot of support from the community but scouting is all about facing challenges and we will not shirk this."

First Corringham consists of three sections, Beavers aged six to eight, Cubs aged eight to then and Scouts aged ten to 15 of which there are two troops, Intrepid and Pegasus.

Members of the Corringham scouting community Taking part in all sorts of activities from kayaking to climbing, archery to shooting, as well as attending numerous camps, jamborees and community activities.

They have helped several generations of children from across the area and now there are children attending scouts, whose grandparents and parents have worn the group colours with pride.

If you would like to help the fundraising campaign in any way, contact the group via its Facebook page or email [email protected]

If you would like to make a donation to the fundraising campaign you can do so via this link.

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