Scouting for cash to build new Boldon hut

East Boldon Beaver Scouts wash a fire engine to raise funds for a new hut and Leakemia charity. Front Luisa Gibson aged seven.

East Boldon Beaver Scouts wash a fire engine to raise funds for a new hut and Leakemia charity. Front Luisa Gibson aged seven.

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PLANS for a new £136,000 Scout hut have suffered a setback after funding dried up.

The East Boldon Scout Group boasts 250 members, but its 75-year-old hut is too small and is becoming difficult to maintain.

Planning permission for a new building on the same site, just off Front Street, was granted earlier this year, and Scouts have raised £22,000.

But the group is struggling to find the remaining £114,000.

Group leader Simon Gray said: “At the moment it looks as though we’re funding it entirely by ourselves.

“I think we’re becoming a victim of the recession, and we’re suffering because of our postcode. We are regarded as an affluent area because we are based in East Boldon.

“Funders are targeting people who live in areas of social deprivation, but we cater for young people from all over South Tyneside.”

Mr Gray said he sent off about 30 funding applications three months ago. A small number have been turned down, and he is still waiting for a response from 27 funding organisations.

He added: “It’s a worrying time because the existing hut just isn’t big enough. It’s very old and it is on the way out.

“The need for a new building is getting greater and a local builder has given us a good quote for £136,000.

“Our youngsters, with the support of the community, have raised a lot of money so far and they deserve something for their efforts.”

During the past year, East Boldon Scouts have worked hard to raise money for a new hut.

They turned the village’s United Reformed Church hall into a restaurant for two special dining evenings in November 2010, and April of this year.

Bike rides, supermarket bag packs, a ceilidh, a quiz, a coast-to-coast cycle ride, and charity runs have all contributed to the overall total.

The latest fund-raiser took place last Friday, when young members of East Boldon Beaver Scouts washed a fire engine at the fire station in South Shields.

A team of 28 boys and girls took part in the event, which also marked 25 years of the national Beaver Scouts movement.

The money raised will go towards the Scout hut appeal and the charity, Children with Leukaemia, based at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London.

To donate to the group’s new hut project click here

Twitter: @Sunderlandecho