We’re sending out an SOS (Save Our Site)
The leaders of the Leamington and Warwick Sea Cadets group were handed the keys to the former clubhouse for the Leamington and Warwick Sub Aqua Club in Adelaide Road recently but they had no idea the building was in such a state of disrepair.
The group has been using The Royal Naval Association Club and Dale Street Methodist church hall as temporary meeting places but its leaders are hoping to be able to have a permanent site in use by the time it celebrates its 70th anniversary on October 6.
Unit assistant Sarah Floyd said: “The building is the future of the group and without it we would have nowhere to carry on the syllabus.
“We would lose the group and all of the work done over the past few years will have been in vain.
“We want to be able to teach children discipline, respect and commitment, we are against them meeting up on the street and we need the place for them.”
Part of the terms for the building’s five-year lease are for its occupiers to carry out their own improvements.
The costs of the refurbishments, which would include new changing rooms for children and adults, a new front door, carpeting throughout the premises and a new up-to-date heating system, would be about £50,000.
Unlike Army and Air Cadet groups the Sea Cadets receive no funding from the Ministry of Defence as they are not regarded as a recruitment platform and therefore the group must be self sufficient
Members have taken part in fundraising activities and have shaken tins at various events and so far Johnstone’s Paints and Affordable Decorators in Leamington, TBS Building Supplies in Southam and a Birmingham company have generously offered materials and services for free.
But more help will be needed to ensure the group continues to thrive.
Just a few years ago the unit had lost its headquarters and had only five members but thanks to the help of volunteers, led by chairwoman Avril James, it now has more than 40 cadets aged from ten to 17, with new members joining regularly.
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Three new changing rooms, for adults girls and boys, including showers.
· New carpet throughout the premises.
· A new heating system to replace the curent one which is about 30 years old and has parts which are no longer available.
· Repairs to the leaking flat roof on the building’s extension.
· A new front door to replace the current one, which has been damaged several times and does not fit the security system which has been generously donated by Ingesoll Rand.
· New windows throughout the premises - the old ones are “falling out”.
· Replacement brickwork in two parts of the extension wall.
· A new floor for the extension.
· A complete refurbishment of the kitchen including a new cooker and new fridge freezer.
· Plates and cutlery for the kitchen.