The judging panel have continued their difficult but rewarding task of selecting just three entries for the final stage for the Challenge. The entries submitted have been an uplifting reminder not only of the scope of the causes that exist throughout the country to benefit members of the community, but also the energy and dedication of their organisers and supporters. The panel has now selected the second project that has been shortlisted for the final stage, put forward by the Buxted Scout Group, based in East Sussex.
Almost 50 years ago a wooden building was constructed in Buxted village, on land gifted under Trust to be used for recreational purposes. In the years since it was built, in what is a semi-rural location where there are limited facilities or organised activities for young people, the building has become the home of the local Scout group and of two Brownie packs. In addition, it has also been the base for many village events. The building, therefore, plays an important role in enabling activities to be provided during the important formative years of young people in the village, as well as providing a venue to enable community based projects to be developed.
However, time has taken its toll on the structure and for a number of years the Scout group has been raising funds to enable either replacement or major refurbishment to take place. Cost and planning restrictions made refurbishment the only option and an extensive programme of replacement and improvement has been under way during the last year or so. Although local support for the project, in every way, has been invaluable, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make available funds stretch to complete all of the intended improvements.
In particular, the provisions of upgraded, modern hot water facilities to the kitchen and to the toilets, which includes a wheelchair accessible unit, is one of the necessary improvements that are at present not possible. The aim of Scouting is to promote the development of the full potential of young people both as individuals and as responsible citizens. Consequently the importance of the highest standards of personal hygiene, both in the home and in public places, is included as part of the life training provided but the group. If it can be made possible to upgrade the existing barely adequate washing facilities, in a building that is shared with many others, this would be a practical and visible reinforcement of the commitment of the community to these principles.