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Support sought as project to refurbish Girlguiding and Scout facilities in Downham Market shortlisted for rural fund award



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A project to refurbish "awful" facilities used by Girlguiding and Scout groups in Downham has been shortlisted by the Calor Rural Community Fund.

This means the Howdale Pax group, which maintains the hut on Howdale Road in the town, are in with the chance of winning £5,000 to replace their current toilets and install a disabled toilet.

The group are now in need of support on their Calor Rural Community Fund page, where people can vote for them and pledge money towards their project.

Downham Market Brownies, Guides and Rainbows prepare for an auction and fete to raise money to refurbish the Scout and Guide Hut at Howdale...Emma Smith (front right)(1st Downham Market Rainbow Unit Leader), with Faye Harris (Rainbow front centre), Amy Harrison (Brownie front left), along with Charlotte Knapp (4th left middle) (2nd Downham Market Brownie Leader), and Abbie Frusher (1st right middle Assistant Leader 1st Downham Market Rainbow unit). (16811357)
Downham Market Brownies, Guides and Rainbows prepare for an auction and fete to raise money to refurbish the Scout and Guide Hut at Howdale...Emma Smith (front right)(1st Downham Market Rainbow Unit Leader), with Faye Harris (Rainbow front centre), Amy Harrison (Brownie front left), along with Charlotte Knapp (4th left middle) (2nd Downham Market Brownie Leader), and Abbie Frusher (1st right middle Assistant Leader 1st Downham Market Rainbow unit). (16811357)

On Monday, Emma Smith, a leader at 1st Downham Market Rainbows and member of Howdale Pax, said: "We are very excited about this, and have today hit £250 but we are looking to gain more local support.

"It’s a points based system which are gained through likes, shares and donations on the Calor website.

"We need the points to get through to the final round, where judges then decide which projects win one of 11 £5,000 prizes available."

Auction and Fete to raise funds for the refurbishment of Howdale Scout and Guides Hut Downham Market. Pictured Some of the Downham Rangers.at the event. (19710118)
Auction and Fete to raise funds for the refurbishment of Howdale Scout and Guides Hut Downham Market. Pictured Some of the Downham Rangers.at the event. (19710118)

So the group, which launched the project to refurbish their facilities in September last year, are now hoping for support from the community to help them reach the final round.

In October last year, they raised £1,390 at an auction and fete towards the costs of the project, which they said would be their "own DIY SOS".

They have now raised £370 on their Calor Community Fund page – where all likes, shares and donations must be made to help them gain points in order to reach the final round.

Emma added: "We would love some help in getting this out to the local community, it could make a huge difference to our young people, volunteers and hut."

A video on the page, which was recorded prior to the coronavirus lockdown, shows the young people and leaders are reluctant to use the current toilets, which have not been refurbished since the hut opened around 30 years ago.

In the video, Emma says: "Every week, hundreds of children use this hut for Guiding and Scouting activities. In that time, they need to go to the toilet at least once.

"Our toilets are generally not fit for purpose and they are not accessible for those in need.

"Our toilets have been like this for 30 years, since the building opened. They are in desperate need of a facelift, so we need new painting in there, and just general and new toilets.

Auction and Fete to raise funds for the refurbishment of Howdale Scout and Guides Hut Downham Market.Pictured organisers of the event.. (19393624)
Auction and Fete to raise funds for the refurbishment of Howdale Scout and Guides Hut Downham Market.Pictured organisers of the event.. (19393624)

"So that's why we need your help. We've applied for the Calor Rural Community Fund because it helps community projects just like ours. We've been shortlisted so we need you to vote."

Emma said the Scouts and Girlguiding organisations stopped face-to-face meetings on March 23.

She said Scouts have recently started running virtual meetings and are hoping to run a virtual camp in July.

Within Girlguiding their Rangers, a brownie and guide unit have been meeting virtually every week on |Zoom doing activities including crafting and bingo, while other units have been sending out activities for girls to continue Guiding at home.

To vote, donate or show your support for Howdale Pax, visit https://communityfund.calor.co.uk/girlguiding-and-scouts-help-fix-our-hut.



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