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Mears makeover transforms Basingstoke scout hut

Mears makeover transforms Basingstoke scout hut
Mears makeover transforms Basingstoke scout hut

A project which set out to renovate a century-old scout hut in Basingstoke has completely transformed the building and grounds for future generations.

Volunteers from Mears ‘Task Team’, trades specialists and Basingstoke branch staff, as well Lucas Critchley, Chief Operating Officer, joined forces with the leaders at Worting Scout Hut over two days to complete a host of work inside and out on the site.

Over the past decades, Worting Scouts has faced challenges with the upkeep of the building, which dates back to around 1970. It has been an ongoing struggle to source the skills or funding to complete the extensive work needed and provide a safe an inclusive environment for more than 100 children age 6 – 18 years old.

Some of the jobs completed over the two-day transformation project included brand new fencing and raised planters, bathrooms, a door to the garden, vegetable patch area, and painting throughout – including a climbing wall.

The team volunteered their time through Mears employee volunteering hours scheme to overhaul the hut itself as well as the fencing and grounds, with the cost of materials funded by a grant from the Mears Foundation.

The idea for the project came from Elizabeth Ravenscroft, Operations Manager, who was an Explorer as a teenager and whose daughter Elsie now attends Beavers at the Worting Road site.

Elizabeth said:

The Worting Scout Hut is an essential part of the Basingstoke community, and the leaders give hours of their time away to support our younger generation, which I have been lucky to experience myself. They are creating amazing opportunities and projects which really help in later life – and it meant a tremendous amount to me that we’ve been able to protect it for the future.

Lucas Critchley, Chief Operating Officer, who volunteered assisting with the new fencing, said:

It was absolutely fantastic to get involved with such a worthwhile project and help make an impact for a building and community group which means so much to so many young people and adults in Basingstoke.

David Wheeler, Chairman of Worting Scout Group Trustee Board, said:

We are incredibly grateful for the two days that Mears’ volunteers dedicated to helping us. Everyone on the team who helped out was phenomenal and their generosity has made a significant impact on the Worting Scout Group. The work carried out not only helps us as leaders, but ultimately creates a space that our young members can use on a weekly basis.

Basingstoke branch now plan to continue working with the group providing ongoing support, with further potential projects lined up for the future including maintaining the vegetable garden and improvements to the building.

The results of the hut’s dramatic makeover will be unrevealed at a ceremony in early September for Scouting families, friends, and members of the local community.