The 1st Nc Sea Scout HQ Project

We did it!

Together with your support and the help of many other funders

we completed the building of the new scout headquarters

in Lakenham, Norwich, UK 


There are very few Scout Groups in the world who can claim to have been running continuously for over a century. Formed on the 15th January 1908 (originally as the Lion’s Patrol), the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group has benefited thousands of young people,volunteers and members of the community over the years.

Scouting offers young people the chance to make new friends, build confidence and work as part of a team; engaging in countless activities and embarking upon numerous challenges and adventures. In particular, the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts offer a broad spectrum of fun and more demanding pursuits including canoeing and boating,
climbing, and camping experiences; all in the safety of its own grounds.

The membership of the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts currently exceeds one hundred: seventy young people aged between 6 and 14 years and a leadership and support team of over thirty supervising adults. Additionally, there are some fifty district Explorers in the South Norwich area who use the facilities for their own development, eight of whom do so on a regular, weekly basis. 

Our Vision
So far, having secured appropriate funding, we have been able to replace and improve the quay heading at the river’s edge; ensuring safety and durability so that the site can be made available to other Scout and community groups for water-based activities. In addition, we have of installed a disabled person’s lift that will allow complete disabled access from the quay into canoes and rowing boats.

We believe that all young people should be able to take part in all Scouting activities without being inhibited by disability. Our new HQ building will ensure that this aim is applied to all of our facilities. The 46th Norwich Scout Group, which specializes in catering for Scouts with special needs, have already expressed an interest in using our facilities upon completion.

The planning approval for the new HQ building states that it must be built from ‘sustainable’ materials. To comply with the approval it will be timber framed and clad with cedar boarding and have a zinc sheet roof with the whole building having as small a carbon footprint as possible. Its projected life span will be in excess of 70 years. 

The floor area of the new HQ building will only be slightly
larger than the present hall; leaving roughly the same amount of grassed area at the back for activities including a place to pitch tents, the climbing wall, the camp fire pit and access to the river for boating and canoeing. 

Inside, although the layout will be similar to the current building, the kitchen will be bigger and repositioned to improve accessibility. The back wall of the main hall will have large sliding doors, enabling the building to be opened up to the outside. Access doors, corridors and toilets will be to the current requirements for disabled access, a feature which is unachievable in the current building. There will also be a secret place for the ‘Time Capsule’. 

The Need for a New Building
At present, the headquarters building is tired and run-down, having remained largely unchanged since 1967 when it was built with funds raised by parents and members of the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts. It has now become uneconomical to run, impractical to use and structurally unsafe if left as it is. A radical revamp is needed in order for the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts to meet the demands of the youth of South Norwich and, in a wider context, its communities in general. 

The new HQ will be built on the same site in Old Lakenham (one that has been used since 1935, where the freehold is owned by the Scout Association) having been granted planning permission in early 2009 by Norwich City Council.

Old Lakenham and its surrounding area sit to the south of Norwich on the outskirts of the City. It is recognised as an area of need based upon the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) for England [2007] where geographical output areas within the community were reported in the top 4%. 

This is a powerful indicator of poor education, employment, health and low income in the vicinity;suggesting that community based group ssuch as the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts are greatly needed to continue inducing a sense of citizenship, value, self-esteem and confidence in young people growing up in Old Lakenham. In order for this to be achieved, a modern HQ building is needed to offer comfort, warmth and safety to all those who use it.

...Twenty years ago I was a very shy young
boy... My time at the 1st Norwich Sea Scouts
changed me! Scouting taught me self-confidence,..
teamwork,... leadership,... respect,... tolerance of
others and myself,... above all it taught me
ambition and desire to be the best I can be...

... The last four years I have worked for Raleigh
(previously Operation Raleigh) as Country
Director; delivering their operations in Borneo,
Namibia and Ghana.... I truly believe that I
wouldn’t have had the life I have if it wasn’t for
 James Clements
Head of School & Groups for Raleigh
A former 1st Norwich member from Cub Scouts
through to voluntary leadership with the Explorers.

Who will Benefit?
* Beavers are 6 - 8 years old. Beavers make friendships, do craft activities, learn to do things for themselves and sometimes have sleep-overs.

* Cubs are 8 - 10 years old. They learn to work in small groups and appreciate others. Cubs participate in activities that teach them skills such as map reading and knot tying. Walks, camps and other outdoor activities are a fun way for Cubs to try out their new skills.

* The Scout section is for 10 - 14 year olds. The Friday evening troop meeting is an opportunity for the Scouts to learn life skills, practice team-working and enjoy a bit more independence. The Scout section undertakes more adventurous activities and offers more camps.

* Explorers are aged 14-18 years. They are encouraged and supported in their progression toward becoming accredited volunteer leaders. Scout Association training standards are mapped to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and may be counted towards the Gold Award.

As well as members of the Scout group, examples of external bodies who have expressed an interest in hiring the hall are listed below. We are able to ensure that charges for use of the hall are affordable as running costs have been covered by our own fundraising and subscription fees since 1935.

Residents’ and Tenants’ Associations
 Social housing makes up a large proportion of the area surrounding our headquarters so we are keen to offer the community low-cost use of the hall. 

Local schools.
A number of local primary schools have expressed an interest in supervised water-based activities at HQ. We see this as an opportunity to recruit greater numbers of Beavers and Cubs as well as offering an affordable and entertaining afternoon out.
Local youth clubs. 
A local church youth group and dance clubs are among those who are keen to use our new facilities. They do not wish to hire the present hall as it is.

I currently hire the hall and teach Martial Arts
at times when I cannot get other halls. I would
hire it regularly if the funding could be found to
see to the heating issues and floor.
Daniel Kean-Cockburn,
Karate teacher &  former Scout 

Project Management
A project management team, reporting to the Group Board of Trustees will oversee fundraising, physical demolition and building work.  An architect has been retained for periodic inspection of progress and members of the project team have property services and contract management experience.

A dedicated bank account has been set up specifically for the building project, with two independent signatories, on delegated authority from the Board. The Group Treasurer remains responsible for financial scrutiny.

* The new building design minimises operating costs such as heating, lighting, and maintenance.
* Our new premises will be hired out externally for one-off functions, weekly meetings and use of the outdoor facilities.
* We anticipate generating greater income as a result of enrolling more young people than in recent years. Greater capacity, desirable facilities and provision of equipment for those with special needs are all expected to contribute to this increase.
* The new HQ, as with the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group, is run entirely by volunteers; with new volunteers such as Explorers being trained all the time.
* Our new building provides opportunities for environmentally friendly income generation. For example, installing ‘photo-voltaic cells’ on the roof would allow energy to be supplied to the National Grid at an agreed rate.
* Fun days at HQ allow us to fundraise in a way that gives our new volunteers opportunities to develop and shine, include all sections of the community, and show-off our new facilities.

Our Fundraising strategy:
Since the project was started, the fundraising committee has raised over £350,000 in promises of support, grants and donations for the re-development of the HQ site. 
Donations received from generous donors below:-

Our own fundraising activity includes:
• ‘Sponsor a Plank’ appeal to raise funds. There will be 1,020 metres of cedar cladding covering the building’s walls and we are asking people to sponsor at least one metre of it at £25 per metre. 
Gift Aid can be added to these donations, and to date over £5,000 has been raised.
• 2010 was the first year of the ‘Great Norwich Duck Race’; contributing £3,200 to our cause. We are hoping to raise over £5,000 at the 2011 event and continue the race as an ongoing annual activity and fundraiser.

To date, this fundraising has enabled us to meet:
- £24,000 in professional and statutory costs for re-development of  the HQ site.
- £2,500 in launching and promoting the Duck Race.
- £25,000 for the new quay heading, slipway and disabled persons’ lift; this being phase one of the re-development of the site. 

Item Cost (£)
Demolition & site clearance  10,000
Substructure, base & foundations 34,027
Building timber frame 129,301
Roofing system 29,943
Internal & external windows and doors 47,637
Plumbing & sanitary ware 20,416
Flooring – main hall 13,611
Flooring – other areas 9,527
Under-floor heating & gas boiler 29,943
Electrical installation 36,749
External works & drainage 9,527
Services connection 4,083
Sun pipes lighting system 7,486
Kitchen 6,805
Decoration 5,444
TOTAL net cost of building 394,500

We are now at the fortunate stage of raising the last £60,000 towards the new building and look forward to starting the building in the early summer this year, 2012.

We hope that you are inspired to help us achieve our goal and benefit thousands of others in Norwich for decades to come.