Southam community celebrates the opening of a newly refurbished scout hut which is a base for more than 130 young people

The scout hut project was selected from more than 100 proposals put forward to the housing group

The newly refurbished scout hut was officially opened on September 10. Photo supplied

Young people in Southam are celebrating the opening of their newly-refurbished scout hut which has been transformed thanks to a recent community investment project.

The project at the 2nd Southam Scout Hut started in March following an appeal on social media from housing group Orbit, which asked people to nominate community projects that needed support.

The scout hut, which hadn’t seen any renovations for more than 60 years, was selected from more than 100 proposals and, working with the Group Scout Leader (GSL) and Fortem – one of Orbit’s repairs and maintenance contractors, plans were drawn up for its refurbishment.

The newly-refurbished scout hut in Southam. Photo supplied

A base for more than 130 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers aged from six to 18 years as well as 24 adult leaders, the hut has benefitted from a complete re-wire and new heating system, as well as a new kitchen, disabled access and toilet.

The rooms have also been rearranged to create more space for activities.

Catherine Cox, management trainee and project lead for Fortem, said: “Every year Fortem's management trainees are split into teams and tasked with carrying out a charitable project which makes a positive impact on the community.

"When we were approached by Orbit about the Scout Hut, it sounded like the perfect project.

How the scout hut used to look before the refurbishment. Photo supplied

"The project was completely self-funded, so as well as project managing the refurbishments, the team worked really hard to raise £4,888 towards the project.

"We’re proud of the results and hope that it will help the group to continue to provide lots of great opportunities for young people in the area.”

Orbit was also able to work with its suppliers, social enterprises and partnerships to provide a free pest inspection donated by Rentokil, discounted carpets from maintenance company Hankinson, free CCTV from Stealth Fire and Security, as well as all the paint and decorating supplies, which were donated by Bell Group.

The new signage for the hut was also donated by Nuneaton Signs, a social enterprise focussed on employing disabled people.

Inside the newly refurbished scout hut in Southam. Photo supplied

Clare Sykes, social impact co-ordinator for Orbit, which provides more than 1,000 homes in Southam and surrounding villages, said: “Orbit is not just a housing provider and landlord.

"We’re committed to investing in our communities and making a positive difference to people’s lives, and we look to our contractors to reflect and support us in these aims.

"We’re thrilled with the support that this project has received from our partners, and with the benefit that it will bring to the scout group and the wider community via the wonderful work that they do in the local area.”

The 2nd Southam Scout Group was formed in November 1963 and is one of the largest scout groups in the Leamington Scout District.

The completion of their new hut was marked with an open day on September 10.

Group Scout Leader, Gordon Ferguson added: “We’re absolutely delighted with the hut which is now a safer, more comfortable and accessible space and gives us the perfect base to offer more young people some amazing opportunities and experiences.

"We’re hugely grateful to everyone involved.”