A group of 50 volunteers from a regional housing developer, spent two days restoring and refurbishing a vandalised Scout hut in Lewes last month (October 9-10).
The 6th Lewes Scout Hut, in Ham Lane, suffered serious damage in 2018, leaving the Scouts without a base. The WCs were damaged, the floor had collapsed, and the wall had been broken.
Volunteers from Savills’ South East development team, Reside Developments, with the support of qualified tradespeople, joined forces to bring the valuable space back into the heart of the Lewes community once again.
Brett Hamblin, managing director at Reside Developments, led the expansive project, overseeing 50 volunteers.
He said: “I am very impressed that so many of you - most with little or no DIY experience – have taken so keenly to the tasks. I applaud your enthusiasm and tireless efforts to complete the challenge and your humour along the way.” he said.
Volunteers cut back overgrown areas, built a fire pit and mock amphitheatre, fit a new kitchen, built new WCs, installed fences and a gate, re-built the access and steps, created a sensory room, fit low voltage lights, and decorated all the new areas.
Ian Fowler, Director of Savills South East development team, Ian Fowler, said: “We have never attempted anything like this before and the vast majority of us have been out of our comfort zone, but what this challenge has proved beyond any doubt is that working as a team is vitally important.
“I’m so very proud and also very grateful to everyone, particularly the Reside team and the trades who have generously given up their time, as well as those who have made financial donations and given materials and equipment to help us.”
A young Scout, Tom Perry, said the group is ‘so grateful and happy’ to have their hut back. “We meet with friends and we also learn and take the opportunity to be part of the community and achieve things – thank you to everyone.”
Lewes MP Maria Caulfield, Cubs, Beavers, Scouts, leaders, and parents congregated for celebratory refreshments once the refurbishment was complete.
The MP unveiled a commemorative plaque designed and made by Vicky Gunn of Savills. She praised volunteers for donating their skills and their time, calling it a ‘very generous display of kindness’ which will have ‘positive and far-reaching impacts’.
A JustGiving page has been set up to pay for some of the work and can be found here.
Any remaining funds will be used by the Scout group to maintain and improve their building.