The Shanly Foundation – the charitable arm of the developer, the Shanly Group – has awarded a £100,000 prize to a Scout Group in Leicestershire after they won a national competition to build their dream headquarters.
The Woodhouse Eaves Scouts were the winners of the Building Futures competition, a collaboration between the Shanly Foundation and Scout Association. Backed by Chief Scout Bear Grylls, the initiative invited Scout groups across the country to design their ideal meeting place with the chance of winning the funds to build it.
Entries were judged on the features that would make their meeting place sustainable, accessible and of use to the local community. The Woodhouse Eaves group had been without a permanent meeting place for two years after the village hall they were using became so dilapidated that it was demolished. The group’s leaders were having to co-ordinate meetings for 120 Scouts, Beavers and Cubs in various community centres, hired rooms, garages and parents’ outbuildings.
On receiving the £100,000 cheque, Jane Cameron, Group Scout Leader of the Woodhouse Eaves, said: “This is unbelievable – I can’t put into words how much this means to us. We’ve been doing our best to keep the Group going from meeting places across the county, but it has been a struggle. This money means we can store our own kit, put pictures on the walls and have campfires whenever we want. We’re a resourceful bunch here at Woodhouse Eaves and so can’t wait to get our hard hats on and get cracking!”
The competition saw almost 100 entries which were judged by the Scouts Association and trustees of the Shanly Foundation. On choosing Woodhouse Eaves as the main prize winner, Michael Shanly, chairman of the Shanly Foundation and former Scout, commented: “What really struck us with the Woodhouse Eaves’ submission was their drive and passion to deliver the project having proven their fundraising skills and resources to make their dream headquarters a reality.
“With 120 members, we were seriously impressed that the group had been able to maintain their weekly meetings from various venues and it was clear that the whole group had been involved in the plans for the headquarters. The design itself was practical and sensible yet innovative and attractive – something the whole community will benefit from.
Scout huts are not just buildings, but a place where young people can come together to plan adventures and learn new skills that are so important for adult life - Michael Shanly, chairman of the Shanly Foundation
“We were overwhelmed with the number and the quality of submissions to the Building Futures competition. The interest in the initiative shows how incredibly important meeting places are to the success and sustainability of Scouting. These are not just buildings, but a place where young people can come together to plan adventures and learn new skills that are so important for adult life. We see our donation as an investment in their future and the future of many Scouts to come.
“We will be following Woodhouse Eaves progress every step of the way, from breaking ground to topping out, and look forward to being invited to their first campfire!”
The Shanly Foundation also awarded five runner up prizes of £10,000 for Scout groups to carry out repairs on dilapidated huts and a further six prizes of £5,000 to help groups kit out their meeting place with equipment for activities. This is the Shanly Foundation’s largest donation to date since it was set up in 1998.
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