THE SCOUT movement in Bexhill and Rother is looking to raise £120,000 to fund a new building to replace its old scout hut.
With more than 700 members across the area, Scouting is alive and kicking in this corner of East Sussex – with nine different sections established in Bexhill, Battle and a host of nearby villages like Little Common, Robertsbridge and Ninfield.
In fact, such is the popularity of the Senlac Division, leaders are often forced to turn youngsters away because groups are oversubscribed.
A campsite at Kiteye Wood has acted as an historic base for outdoor activities for local Scouts but is currently without an appropriate indoor facility after the old hut was knocked down due to health and safety concerns.
The plan is to replace it with a purpose-built, permanent construction, with cooking facilities and central heating which would be suitable not only for local Scouts but also be opened up for hire to the local community and businesses for meetings, training sessions and seminars.
Senlac District spokesman David King was quick to point out the new build would be “far more than a Scout hut.”
He said: “This won’t be a Scout hut in the traditional sense – it will be a proper, well-constructed permanent building. Once it is up it should last 50-60 years.
“It will make a big difference to our Scouts. Kiteye is brilliant for outdoor activities and having this base would make it easier for people to do them. It would also give Scouts somewhere to go in the event of bad weather.
“But more than that it would be used as a facility for the entire community and we really hope local people can help support out fundraising.”
Mr King said the local Scouting movement would be delighted if former members decided to make donations toward the new building and said a plaque carrying the names of everyone who helps financially will be put up in the centre.
And he added that people could also make a donation in memory of a loved one, with their name being added to the display.
Representatives from the Senlac District have also made a professional video presentation which they can take to local groups or businesses to tell them more about the project.
To send a donation (cheques to Senlac District Scout Council) or to ask for more information, readers can write to Senlac District Scout Council, c/o The Spinney, Bexhill, TN39 3SW.
Or anyone who would like to find out how they can get involved with the local Scouting movement – which is in need of more leaders - should call Harry Saunders on 01424 211465.