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2014 St George’s Day celebrations was held at Reigate College with many activities for the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the Reigate District to take part in. The rain held off apart from a couple of flurries and did not seem to have any effect on anyone. The Explorers joined in later and all took part in the final ceremony where each section repeated their promise. Afterwards the scouts were inspected by both the Deputy Mayors of Reigate and Horley.

Help the 30th Reigate Scout Group redevelop Somers Hall

30th Reigate Scout Group is running out of space.

With over 300 members, from Beavers through to Young Leaders, 30th Reigate Scout Group is one of the biggest and most successful Scout Groups in Surrey. If you poke your head around the door of Somers Hall on Slipshoe Street, any evening of the week, you’ll see how tricky it is to accommodate so many young people in such limited space, doing so many activities - plus find enough space for the huge amount of kit that’s needed by everyone. To help ‘ease the squeeze’ and reduce our waiting lists, and to ensure this beautiful Victorian building remains “fit for purpose”, we urgently need your help.

What’s Planned?

With the help of Reigate Architects, 30th Reigate Scout Group has now got planning permission to build a two storey extension at the back of Somers Hall. This will add two more activity rooms, along with improved storage and modernised kitchen and toilet facilities, as well as improving access.

What’s the Cost?

The cost for the redevelopment project is estimated at £250,000. This only covers the main construction work, the costs of furnishing the new rooms and refurbishment of existing areas will be additional costs.

Where is Somers Hall and who are the 30th Reigate?

Somers Hall, a beautiful Victorian building, built in 1885, is located in Slipshoe Street, Reigate, Surrey. The land was donated to the youth of Reigate by Lady Henry Somerset, and the building is now owned and managed by Trustees. Since the 1950s, the Hall has been used primarily by the 30th Reigate Scout Group, one of the largest and most successful Scout Groups in Surrey, with a membership of over 300 young people between the ages of 6 and 24.

The Hall also facilitates one of the largest Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in Surrey and provides a meeting and training facility for regional groups, volunteers and managers, such as the Reigate Scout Network. It is also used by other non-Scouting community groups. In addition, the building also provides a store for all the equipment needed to support the ever-expanding range of activities, such as regularly taking over 180 young people on Scout and Explorer Summer Camps.

“The amount of equipment required to run the average evening with the numbers that we have is significant. Also, we have had to utilise storage space as ‘working space’ to accommodate our active programme. The combination of these factors ultimately means everything we do is compromised due to the lack of space.” Nick Clark, 30th Reigate Scout Troop Leader

Why we are doing it?

The number of young people participating in the 30th Reigate Scout Group has doubled in the last 10 years to now over 300, and there is an ever-growing waiting list.

The redevelopment project will:

  1. Increase the capacity to serve more young people
  2. Ensure the Hall remains “fit for purpose” and economic to run
  3. Provide a modern facility and a safe and suitable working environment for all users of the hall
  4. Attract more volunteers, leaders and managers to support youth activities
  5. Enable users to tailor activities and cater for a wider range of mixed abilities
  6. Ensure the continuation of a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, by enabling storage of necessary equipment

“It is likely that without the additional space, the Group will struggle to offer the quality of Scouting that it is famous for to the increased number of young people who wish to partake in it.”

Who will benefit from the project?

The principal beneficiaries will be the youth of Reigate, from 6 to 24 years of age.

The improved Hall will:

  1. Ensure that even more young people have access to the Scouting Movement and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme to enhance their life experience and help them develop as active members of our community
  2. Give our local youth exposure to a wider range of experiences and activities, and the opportunities to learn new skills and develop their confidence
  3. Enable activities to be tailored to their age and ability, accommodate any special needs, and be held in appropriately sized groups
  4. Provide a safe meeting place that gives them the opportunity to meet new people, and build new friendships

“The demand for places at our Scout Group is nearly twice what can physically be accommodated and as a result, there are many young people who will miss out on what Scouting has to offer”

This project will provide a suitable and modern working environment for the training, networking and management meetings of regional youth leaders and volunteers, including the volunteer managers of the 30th Reigate Scout Group. The Hall is also regularly used by the Reigate District Network, the group for 18-24 year olds. It will provide the necessary space to facilitate essential training of new volunteers and leaders, and ensure the Scout Group and programme can expand to benefit more young people by attracting new volunteers.

The redevelopment will ensure that this beautiful Victorian building in a local conservation area remains as a local community asset in an economically viable and serviceable condition. Somers Hall, conveniently located in the town centre, has been regularly used for a wide range of other community activities such as craft fairs and meetings of other local groups. The project will provide a modern hall suitable for a wider range of activities and users. The area will continue to benefit from the fundraising and other community activities undertaken by 30th Reigate, and the Hall and the Scout Group will continue to provide an active focal point for the adult community.

It is widely recognised that the Scouting movement helps develop independent young people with essential life skills and everyday competencies that benefits society as a whole. It encourages young people to be active and healthy- an attitude that can last for life. This project will ensure our large and vibrant Scout Group can produce even more community-aware young people with a good value set who become concerned citizens and volunteers themselves. The redevelopment will help us become greener and protect our environment, by providing a modern and efficient heating system, improving insulation, and reducing energy consumption.

“Recruiting new Leaders has been affected by the lack of space we have. It is intimidating walking into a room with 70 young people. With new rooms, it will enable us to ‘divide and conquer’, encouraging adults to get involved at a less overawing level.”

How can you help?

We have already raised the £250,000 needed for the main part of this project, from our own fundraising activities and careful financial management. To raise the additional funding for heating, kitchen, redecoration and additional facilities we are asking individuals, local companies, local groups, trusts and foundations to support our redevelopment project.

As well as inviting cash donations and gifts-in-kind, we are offering sponsorship opportunities to enable your organisation to be associated with this vital community asset.

Please contact us to discuss how you can help

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Find out more

You can keep up to date on our progress at our website: www.30threigate.org.uk

You can download and read our latest annual report & accounts, which contains information on our structure and activities, from the Charity Commission website: http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/find-charities/ - then enter our charity registration number 1121934.

Or, why not visit us to see for yourself our young people enjoying 30th Reigate and how badly we need the extra space and facilities at Somers Hall.

Donate

Please support our ScoutGrow project.

You can give online at our My Donate page: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/30threigatescoutgroup

Cheques payable to 30th Reigate Scout Group, Somers Hall, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 9HU

 

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