Warwick Sea Scout leaders recognised for their efforts in raising over £1.25million for their new HQ

The new HQ opened in St Nicholas Park in September 2021
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Leaders of the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts have been recognised for their efforts in raising more than £1.25million to build a new headquarters.

Paul Jaspal, president of the Rotary Club of Warwick, welcomed a dozen Scout leaders and Nigel Hailey, the county commissioner, to an open evening on February 9 to celebrate their work.

The building known as TS Norton (Training Ship) was opened in September 2021 in St Nicholas Park after a 10-year campaign to move from their old building by the river.

Members of the Warwick Rotary Club with members of the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts. Photo suppliedMembers of the Warwick Rotary Club with members of the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts. Photo supplied
Members of the Warwick Rotary Club with members of the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts. Photo supplied

Rotarian Laurie Day worked with them to obtain planning approval, and funding was first obtained to renew the jetties and boatyard, which opened in 2018 assisted by a “Make a Difference” grant from the club.

The Sea Scouts led by Viv Bosworth (chair), Marc Gadsby (group Scout leader) and Janette Eslick (fundraiser) inspired their Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers to raise money for the project, as well as keeping up with their regular activities, including boating, canoeing, and summer camping trips.

Rotary and the Scouts worked together to raise funds by parking cars at the Thai festival and marshalling the half marathon.

By 2019 the Scouts were able to “break ground” on their new building, but an arson attack damaged the structure, requiring partial demolition just before Covid struck creating further delay.

They held their nerve, kept on fundraising, secured additional grants and eventually last September the building was opened. Rotarian Graham Suggett, trustee of Norton Foundation, provider of the final grant of £225,000 was able to unveil the name of the building ‘TS Norton’.

There are now nearly 200 young people involved in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers, with another 200 waiting to get in.

Meetings involve learning life skills for Scout badges as well as water-based activities, with a recent Burns night, orienteering and learning some cookery.

Rotarian Jackie Crampton presented the leaders with a well-deserved award from the International Federation of Scouting Rotarians for Community Service for their dedication to youth and the community.

President Paul Jaspal then presented Rotarian Laurie Day with a ‘Paul Harris Sapphire’ badge one of Rotary’s highest awards for 'Service above Self'.

In addition to his work with the Scouts, Laurie, an architect, has undertaken design work for disabled people, is Youth Services chair and during Covid helped get computers for disadvantaged youngsters, and ran the recent Youth Speaks competition.

Closing the evening President Paul Jaspal said: "It has been inspiring to meet such a positive group of people who had been determined to make a dream come true.

"They had demonstrated to their young people that hard work pays and continued to make a huge contribution to their community and deserved our thanks and congratulations."

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