from 1st Goostrey Scouts: (Official photographs:Rachel Kolker)
Young people in Goostrey in Cheshire East are celebrating following the opening of a new Scout Hut and Youth Centre.
The centre is now open for business after an official opening ceremony on Saturday 6 May, hosted by 1st Goostrey Scouts and attended by Fiona Bruce, who has been MP for Congleton since 2010, until the recent prorogration of Parliament.
Also in attendance were Cllr Peter Godfrey, the chairman, and other members of Goostrey Parish Council. Group Scout Leader, David Giles and his team were joined by Steve Buckley, District Commissioner for Alderley Scouts, Graham Phillips, County Commissioner, and Richard Smith, Senior Grant Manager from landfill body, WREN, as well as representatives from a wide range of community organisations who have supported and donated to this project.
The building was officially opened by Fiona Bruce and the oldest and youngest members of 1st Goostrey Scouts, Terence Rathbone and Alfie Warren aged 6. The “ribbon” cut to mark the opening consisted of a string of 1st Goostrey’s distinctive yellow and green Scout ‘neckers’.
David Giles, Group Scout Leader, is delighted that the dream of having a dedicated home for the Scouts and a purpose-built youth facility has been realised.
“This new building will be used by all the uniformed groups in Goostrey: Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Guides, Brownies, Rainbows and senior sections, as well as by the Pre-school and other clubs. It is going to make a real difference to members of our youth groups and the wider community.”
The building’s internal fit-out, including the plumbing, electrics and decoration, was largely funded by a grant from WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund.
David added: “We are extremely grateful to WREN for providing £50,000 of funding as we would not have been able to go ahead without its support.”
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Richard Smith, Senior Grant Manager for WREN said: “It is always really rewarding to see projects completed and start to make a difference to the communities they serve. The new Scout Hut and Youth Centre is a fantastic community asset and I am sure it will be used and enjoyed by a great many people in the coming years”.
A plaque was unveiled at the opening ceremony, thanking donors and supporters for their contributions. David explained: “We are indebted to Goostrey Parish Council for giving us half the land which had previously housed the former Goostrey Youth Centre, and for matching the WREN funding with a donation of £50,000 on behalf of the village. We also wish to pay tribute to the generosity of Helen Wood and Alan Buchan in making available the surrounding land, which has allowed us to create an outdoor play area at the back of the building and additional parking.
“A further £150,000 has been raised by Goostrey Scouts, through fundraising activities organised by our leaders and local volunteers, and donations from the Bernard Sunley Trust, Cheshire East Council, private individuals, clubs, societies and local businesses, including the Crown Inn.”
David added: “This project could simply not have been possible without the goodwill and generosity of so many people in our local community to whom I am greatly indebted.
“We hope the whole village, which has come together to celebrate the opening of the new building, will continue to donate generously, as we press on with fundraising to meet the outstanding £50,000 of the £300,000 build cost of the facility – so that we can repay our loan as soon as possible.”
Peter Godfrey, chairman of Goostrey Parish Council, said: “Goostrey now has a Scout Hut and Youth Centre of which it can be very proud and which will be a real asset to the community. I hope and trust that it will be used and enjoyed by the young people of the village for many years to come. This project has brought out the best in our community and has shown what we can achieve when we all pull in the same direction.”
Fiona Bruce said: “This is a marvellous achievement after years of hard work by many residents, and I congratulate everyone involved.”
At the opening ceremony visitors joined conducted tours of the new building, led by Scouts and their Leaders, and enjoyed refreshments provided by members of Goostrey Guiding.
The facility consists of a large hall, kitchen, toilets and storage space on the ground floor, with stairs and an accessible lift leading up to a mezzanine. This comprises a committee room named after the Revd Ian Godfrey, the late vicar of Goostrey, with an adjoining kitchenette area, and another large meeting space. The mezzanine allows the upstairs rooms to be hired for separate functions while youth groups hold their regular meetings downstairs.
To the joy of many younger visitors, a special guest of honour was welcomed for the first time to the new Scout Hut & Youth Centre: the 1st Goostrey Bear Mascot, Ted, dressed in a suitable scout shirt and necker. David thanked Mrs Kettle, longstanding Goostrey resident, for kindly donating this giant black cuddly bear. His name was derived from the winning entry at Rose Day last year after a fundraising competition to “name the Bear Mascot”.
David concluded: “I wish to pay tribute to the commitment and hard work of the team of people in 1st Goostrey Scouts who have worked unstintingly over the last three years to realise this project. The community owes them all a great debt of gratitude for putting their professional skills at the disposal of the village to create this wonderful facility, from which future generations will greatly benefit.”
Donations can be made directly to the Scout Hut and Youth Centre at:
1st Goostrey Scouts.