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The First Luton Sea Scouts are hoping to win £25,000 to upgrade their shower and toilet facilities, reports Nigel Taylor.

The Group, based on the banks of the River Lea near Luton Hoo, is appealing to the public and the Scout community to vote for them to win £25,000 from the One Family Foundation. They will use the money to build an up-to-date sanitary block for the many hundreds of Scouts who use the facilities at popular water activity days.

Each year the Group opens their venue to Scouts from across the county to try canoeing, kayaking, rafting, rowing and sailing. These events mean that approximately 450 Bedfordshire boys and girls can try various water activities, sometimes for the first time. Adult volunteers within the Group also provide training opportunities for young people and other adult volunteers which hopefully will result in them helping out at their activity weekends. In 2013, the Group hosted a “Bear in the Air” event when Chief Scout Bear Grylls visited the site and met many young people.

Joanne Merrick, lead volunteer for the Group said, “At First Luton, we aim to give the young people the most rounded experience through some amazing activities on the River Lea. To be able to continue this amazing work and make it even more enjoyable for all we are looking to raise money to build a new washroom and provide a better standard of basic facilities. We often have to hire in facilities which means money being diverted to hire charges rather than providing activities for young people.”

The Group currently has in excess of 120 members, 80 of them boys and girls aged 6 to 14. These young people are provided with the opportunity to try different water activities and many of them will become very competent on the water.

The Group has been trying to raise funds for years to improve the site and many discussions have been held and then halted due to insufficient funds. It has come to a point where a proper sanitary block became a necessity rather than an enhancement due to the popularity of the activities on offer. If the Group is successful in its application for the community award it will certainly help to expedite the project.

You can vote for the Group to receive the £25,000 by visiting: www.https://foundation.onefamily.com/projects/first-luton-sea-scouts-sanitary-block/.

Voting closes on Wednesday 6th September 2017.

For further information about First Luton Sea Scouts please visit www.firstluton.co.uk.

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