In 2013, the Scout Group Executive undertook to raise funds to replace its ageing Scout House in Berkswell village centre. It is over 50 years old, expensive to maintain, too small, does not meet disabled regulations and is not fit for purpose. An architect, who is also a Scout in the group, designed the new building in consultation with others and building permission in the Conservation Area was granted by Solihull MBC in October 2014.
In September 2014, an Appeals Committee under the chairmanship of Dr David Stableforth and having Jenny Thompson, accountant, as the treasurer was formed with 5 other members, later increasing to 11 members and this voluntary committee has met monthly ever since. The committee produced a project brochure and launched at a coffee morning in March 2015. The Berkswell Charities pledged £200,000 at an early stage towards the currently projected cost of £415,000 and our first donation of £500 was received from the Berkswell Trefoil Guild in March 2015.
Our sponsored Brick Appeal, offering an engraved tile to donors in the new Scout House, launched in May 2015 and continues. The Scout Group has earmarked substantially all new funds raised since we launched and continues to make regular contributions from jumble sales, the annual barbecue and duck and frog races. In addition, Scout Group leaders, individual scouts and their parents have organised a Snowdon climb, a sponsored walk and a quiz at the local Brickmakers’ Arms. From April 2014 the Scouts alone have raised £16,783. In November 2015, a talented organiser helped us raise £6,787 clear profit from our Scout House Winter Ball at the Birmingham Motorcycle Museum, hosted by BBC TV presenter Joanne Malin.
The Appeals Committee have organised a programme of corporate giving by local businesses since December 2015 and through this we continue to receive substantial donations. We have received donations from local parish councils and other local organisations, as well as generous individuals. The main source of income at present is from charitable trusts and foundations who have generously given donations and pledges. We are fortunate, to have acquired the services of a professional fundraiser who is helping us on a ‘pro bono’ basis. With her help, we have recently sent applications out to over 65 charitable trusts and will continue with this work in the coming months.
Our Building Committee was formed in 2014 and has an architect, quantity surveyor and project manager amongst its members. This group has sent the plans out to tender and we hope to commence building in the summer 2017. The itemised list of materials, fixtures and fittings provide opportunities for giving ‘in kind’ and we have already received generous offers of goods and services.
We regularly meet with the Berkswell Charities Trust Committee who are committed to our project, to review our project income leading up to the proposed building commencement in the summer 2017.
Finally, the following will give an idea of progress to date. The sums we have acquired as at 31st May 2016 are:
If you know of local businesses who might be able to help reach our fundraising target of £415,000 then please ask them to get in touch. Thank you
Dr David Stableforth
Appeals Committee Chairman