Leaders Bernadette Ball and Julie Wardrop with a group of unhappy Beavers after the youngsters were told about vandalism at their headquarters
VANDALISM PROBLEM AT SCOUT AND GUIDES HQ
Hethersett’s Scouts and Guides Headquarters is costing thousands of
The cost of repairs to
windows and the roof is draining much needed money away from the scouts,
guides, cubs, beavers, brownies, explorers and rainbows that regularly
use the hall.
“When you see the
results of vandalism it makes you feel sick. Many people put a great
deal of effort into the group. We see the youngsters themselves blossom
and grow in confidence and we teach them citizenship and how to care for
others and then vandals spoil it for them. They see the damage that has
been caused and get very upset and we have to explain how some people
get pleasure from damaging the hall,” said Group Scout Leader
Since September the
headquarters has had its roof damaged on a number of occasions as well
as windows smashed and fires lit in its grounds. The latest damage to
the roof has cost £2,200 to repair with the money coming from group
“We are trying to
improve and update the hall. Now we have to spend the money on repairs
rather than improvements. It really does go against the grain to have to
spend money on repairs. The hall was originally built by parents for the
youngsters of Hethersett to enjoy,” said group treasurer Paul Barrett.
Eighteen months ago a
serious break-in at the hall saw every cupboard entered and ransacked.
The group has reported
the latest spate of vandalism to the police and received advice from
Norfolk Constabulary’s crime prevention department. Apart from
spoiling the fun of others vandals are also running quite a risk.
“Whoever is damaging
the panels could easily fall through the roof and suffer serious
injury,” Paul added.
Paul and Bernadette are
also insistent that the vandals will not win: “We are determined to
keep going whatever happens. The vandals will not beat us. We would
appeal for help from the public and ask people to keep their eyes open
and report anything suspicious to the police,” they said.
Apart from the
vandalism, the group goes from strength to strength with over 120
youngsters from the age of five to over 18 taking part in regular
scouting and guiding activities. Last year the hall celebrated its
silver jubilee, having been built in 1981.
The group is also
looking this year to celebrate a centenary of Scouting. The first ever
scout camp took place on Brownsea Island at the beginning of August,
The Hethersett group is
hoping that the second century of Scouting and Guiding will be
vandalism-free in the village.
Hethersett Scout Group has its own web site at www.hethersettscouts.org.uk