Wear and Tear.
The 1st Welwyn Scout Group Headquarters in Lockleys Drive was closed down between 2012 and 2014 because major structural repairs and essential improvements were needed. During that time the Scouts and Cubs shared meetings with their counterparts in Codicote, and the Beavers had moved to New Church House, Welwyn.
But, quite apart from the structural damage, the enforced departure from Lockleys Drive, Welwyn had an alarming hit on membership numbers too: whereas decades ago the Group totalled some 200 members, by the time of their return to Lockleys Drive in October 2014, membership had fallen to 25, more or less!
A Brighter Future
Led by Group Scout Leader Andy Trotter, the 1st Welwyn Group returned to their new Headquarters at Lockleys Drive in October 2014 with a great fanfare. The new Scout HQ has been named after the late Derek Nash, the inspirational Group Scout Leader who led a hard working team for over 20 years, battling to resolve the problem of a rapidly deteriorating HQ, and tirelessly fund-raising in order to open up alternative options for the future.
Those of you who are familiar with the original Scout Hut, should pay a visit to the new Derek Nash Scout HQ and be prepared for a big surprise.
Membership is recovering too: from the low-point of 20 young people in October 2014 this has now risen to around 80, with beavers, cubs, brownies and scouts meeting in the building on Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The high quality of the refitted Scout Hall also attracts the over ’60’s Friendship Club, Welwyn Wailers, adult and childrens yoga, keep fit classes, and Painting in Watercolour classes. Birthday parties are being held there and it is anticipated that a local band, and a drama group for kids, might also start meeting in the Hall.
A Challenging Future
But this success is leading to new problems – the perennial problem of finding volunteers: leaders and helpers.
The Group is currently operating with the minimum of two leaders per section, and the cub leader will shortly be moving on. A replacement is being sought urgently otherwise the cub section will have to close at Christmas 2015 causing the 20 boys and girls in the cub pack to lose out on the experience of a lifetime, an experience that many of us are able to look back on as a building block for life.
The Group does desperately need volunteers, and not just for leaders. There are 60 Proficiency Badges for beavers, cubs and scouts to qualify for. Volunteers are always needed to help teach some of these subjects and to evaluate the work. Most of us have skills acquired through our lives which might be put to good use. If you believe you might have something to offer, have a word with with Andy Trotter, Group Scout Leader on 07580 942319
Welwyn Scouts are classified as a ‘Foundation Group’, meaning that the 1st Welwyn Group was formed in 1908 when Baden Powell first started scouting.
Please consider what you might be able to do by way of help or support to ensure that the 1st Welwyn Group remains as a Heritage for our childrens’ generation too.
(For more information about the 1st Welwyn Scout Group – its history and its legacy – go to the 1st Welwyn Scout Group Page).