The 33rd Norwich Scout Group has a long history of preparing young people with skills for life. They encourage young people to do more, learn more and be more. Each week, they give young people the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed.
Young people love their group, and its idyllic location. The Scout building is set in a beautiful woodland, right in the heart of Norwich, with an acre of outdoor space. But they have been using the same old space for over 100 years, dating back to1920s. It is now falling apart, there are holes in the roof, it’s mouldy, bits of the floor are missing and it’s cold. There’s even frost on the inside windows in winter. The toilets and kitchen are ramshackle, with cupboards just about hanging on.
The young people who love the Norwich Scout Group say: “It’s great, but it’s just not accessible, it’s cramped, it’s not very safe.” At the moment there is an 18-month waiting list to join thanks partly to the limitations of the hut.
But the Norwich Scout Group’s fortunes are changing. A Youth Investment Fund grant of over £915K will double the number of young people they can reach. It will pay for a new log cabin style building, in keeping with the woodland setting. It will be bigger, fit for purpose, sustainable, and wheelchair accessible. The build will include a large veranda – allowing outdoor activities in during the colder months.
Norwich Scout Group have chosen an innovative build approach, using Modern Methods of Construction. It means most of the build can happen off-site, minimising disruption. It will come with a hundred-year guarantee and is sustainable, being carbon neutral, powered by a heat pump and with solar panels. Importantly it will be completely wheelchair accessible, including accessible toilets and changing rooms. It means every young person can join the group, and another local Scout Group supporting disabled young people can also use the space.
The Youth Investment Fund is securing our future and will be transformational for generations to come. Our plans have been five years in the making, we have been scrabbling about for small pots of money here and there, but now we have an amazing opportunity. We will have a fantastic new facility that will outlive us all. It will create a true legacy for 33rd Norwich Scout Group, for our local community and Norwich as a whole.
Lead Volunteer , 33rd Norwich Scout Group
Young people are at the heart of this project, and their ideas inspired its vision. Norwich Scout Group believes in empowering young people, with a regular Youth Forum and young people are part of the governance structure. Norwich Scout Group’s application to the Youth Investment Fund, included a powerful film about the young people’s ambition for the future. There was also lots of engagement and consultation with current and former members, the local community and groups that use the space, like Forest School and a fitness club.
Now that the project has the green light, they can press go. It is going to be a quick build and they hope to be in their new home by September 2024.