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11 May 2024

18th Darlington Scouts celebrate their brand-new Scout Hut

18th Darlington (1st Middleton St George) Scouts, based in the village of Middleton St George, have a lot to celebrate. This year marks the Group’s 70th Birthday, and after a very long wait, the Scouts have a brand-new Scout Hut, thanks to a Youth Investment Fund grant of £404, 981.00.

The 18th Darlington (1st Middleton St George) Scout Hut officially opened its doors today, at a ribbon cutting celebration event. The Scout Hut was declared open by Lord Lieutenant for Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon. Deputy Mayor of Darlington Councillor Bob Donoghue and Deputy Mayoress Maggie Donoghue; County Lead Volunteer for Durham Scouts, Bryan Johnson, and District Lead Volunteer for Darlington and District Scouts, Richard Smith all joined the celebrations along with some of the young people who will enjoy the new space.

Back in January 2017 their old Scout Hut had to be demolished. It was an old portacabin with had little space for Scout activities and storage. It wasn’t a nice space for young people to enjoy, and it just wasn’t safe. Since then, the Scouts have been using a temporary home made possible by the generosity of the Women’s Institute, close to the Scout’s land in the village of Middleton St George, Darlington.

The old Scout hut before it was demolished

Scouts, Explorers, Beavers, and Cubs cannot wait to start having fun in their new home. Having a bigger and accessible space means that even more young people can enjoy themselves. The Youth Investment Fund grant has paid for the construction of a new Scout Hut. It’s a modern brick building that young people will really identify with and can call their own. The new space will enhance and benefit the whole village community, who can also use the Scout Hut for many other community activities.

Although the new building is located in a residential area it blends in perfectly with its surroundings, but it still has all the traditional characteristics which highlights the fact that it is a Scout Hut.

There will be much more space for fun activities and learning new skills for life and work, and plenty of room to store everything, including the Scout’s camping equipment. It means that the Scouts will enjoy many more outdoor activities and camping fun. More than anything the funding means that the Scout Hut will be there for many generations of Scouts long into the future.

18th Darlington Scouts new Scout Hut
When I instigated the demolishing of the old Scout Hut, I made a promise to the Group that it would be replaced with something better and sustainable. It has taken a long time, and a lot of hard work not only by our funders but also those involved with the Group, but the promise made all those years ago has finally been kept. I am really pleased that due to everyone’s cooperation we have provided the young people with a safe, secure and enjoyable space for them to grow and develop. A huge achievement and one that we can be enormously proud of.

Gary Micklethwaite
18th Darlington Scout Group Group’s Chairperson

Young people outside of their brand new Scout Hut

The Youth Investment Fund is funded by the UK Government and delivered by Social Investment Business in partnership with National Youth Agency, Resonance and Key Fund.

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