Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

We are asking for your votes for money to provide ovens and hobs for a new kitchen so that our group of over 100 children can cook indoors regularly.
1st Northwood Scout Group meets weekly in term time and activities are run by a team of adult volunteers who run the 4 Sections: Beavers 6-8 years, Cubs 8-10 1/2 years, Scouts 10 1/2- 14 years and Explorers 14-18 years.

Cooking is an activity all our 6-18 year olds hugely enjoy both indoors and out and which ticks all the boxes about belonging to this largest mixed youth organisation in the U.K. vis. having fun, building life skills of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, having pride in one’s accomplishments and sharing skills and knowledge. From setting up the equipment to cook, preparing the food, cooking it, eating it and clearing up afterwards, all these important aspects of the art of cooking are practised. Learning essential cooking skills indoors such as how for example to safely chop veg, use a frying pan with hot fat also transfers well to when our young people cook outdoors on their regular camping trips. It also helps when catering for our large community fund-raising events such as our annual Grand Jumble Sale seen in the video.

When we asked our 6-18-year olds what they would like in a new, modern, Scout hut, to replace our ageing, dilapidated structurally compromised 1956 hut, a universal reply was a kitchen to cook in. All our adult volunteers also heartily concurred! Whenever we ask our young people for feedback about their favourite activities, cooking features high on the list as in this quote from one of our 7 year-old Cubs: “I really enjoy coming to Cubs, my favourite activities this term have been making pancakes, which l put far too much syrup on.”

We do of course have a kitchen in our existing hut but it is a case of the proverbial, "no space to swing a cat" small, galley-style kitchen with one old electric cooker with 4 rings. The kitchen only allows rooms for about 4 people to squeeze past one another sideways (whilst breathing in!) to get to the sink or cooker and because of the inevitable challenges caused to health and safety, (think burning hot pans, boiling water etc!) the children are not allowed in. So, when we cook, we have to take out heavy, unwieldy double-burner camping stoves and use them in our back-storage room and carry all the equipment needed such as knives, chopping boards, mixing bowls etc out of the kitchen, through the main hall into the back room which has no natural light or ventilation unless we open the doors (a little impracticable on cold winter nights!)

So, when we launched our year-long fund-raising project in March this year to raise the £100k shortfall of the £170k cost of replacing our decaying 60+ year old Scout hut, having a modern, spacious kitchen the young people can cook in safely and efficiently without all the palaver above was an essential part of the project. We are well on our way to meeting our £100k target by March 2018 as we have already raised £62k and are continuing to use our successful fund-raising strategies to raise the remainder. We plan to start building in June 2018.

Meanwhile, we are busy planning the new kitchen’s layout and features to maximise space and provide good quality, durable kitchen equipment which will serve our children well for many years to come. We also wish to provide for children with special needs such as wheelchair users and will incorporate this need into planning the ovens & hobs.

Please help us to provide for ovens and hobs in our planned new kitchen so that over one hundred 6-18 year olds can learn and practice cooking skills which will serve them well throughout their lives. A comment from a new Explorer parent to her 16 year old son who joined last week is apposite: "It will be very important to join in Explorer activities especially things like cooking and DIY skills that you will be able to use later in life; you may even become more helpful at home!

Project Video

1st Northwood Scout Group

Founded in 1914, volunteers in 1956 raised £900 to build the current hut. Over 60 years later we are proud to be fund-raising to replace it to allow the next few generations of local children to have the opportunity to join this vibrant, active group, helping them and their community.

Location: Northwood