1st Hardingstone Back at HQ
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Scouting in Hardingstone, Becky Whiting, Group Manager, took on the mammoth task of refurbishing their HQ which had been derelict for over 4 years and was in dire need of renovation. Over the past 18 months, with help from the local community, fundraising began to finance the project. Friends of Hardingstone contributed £500.00 towards the cost and there was also a donation from the local parish council. Not only did parents and Scout Leaders help with fundraising, they also put their DIY skills to the test. Ray, an adult volunteer said “I put over 1.5 kilometres of cladding around the building to make sure we had a water tight building as well as going to building merchants and asking for donations of materials. Travis Perkins really helped me out and we also had volunteer parties from Nationwide who came to dig out a soak away as well as clear the ground.
1st Hardingstone have been using the local school for the past 4 years but Becky really wanted to move back into their Scout HQ. She said “Being in the school was good, however, we really wanted to move back to where we belong and offer more activities to our Scout Group. This gives us more opportunity to be more flexible and to see our Scout group grow. We currently have 81 young people in our Scout Group and are always looking for more as well as adult volunteers”.
Sunday was the grand reopening which saw a parade to the Scout hut lead by the Northampton Scout band to make sure everyone knew that Scouting was back in its rightful home. Also parading with the Scouts was Craig Kidd, lead volunteer in Northampton, Tony Keay, lead volunteer for Scouting in Northamptonshire and Wayne Bulpitt, lead volunteer for Scouting in the UK. Wayne was especially proud of what the Scout Group had achieved. Not only did he declare the building open but he all presented 10 Cub Scouts the Silver Chief Scout award, the highest award in the Cub Scout Section. Wayne said “It is a real honour to be invited and share in this new adventure for the Scout Group. Over 72% of the local community see Scouting as having a positive impact in the area.”
The Scout Group offers and exciting programme of activities and has given the Scouts plenty of opportunities. Lewis, a Cub Scout showed me all the badges he had achieved and told me that he had recently gone to Legoland in Germany with the Scouts. His younger brother Jack, has just joined in the youngest section and told me what he liked best about Beavers. He said “I like playing games, meeting my friends and having fun” Sophie, their mum also said,” Scouting has given my children opportunities to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do like camping as well as increasing their confidence.
Becky concluded “It has been a long hard journey but will be so great to see the members of the Scout Group back in their Home after the summer, where they can build on the activities they enjoy. We are very lucky as a Group to have this facility, as this allows us the freedom to make the building our own. I am sure many young people will be enjoying Scouting here for years to come”