Henfield Scout Centre Building Appeal Founded during the winter of 1907/1908 after B-P’s experimental camp on Brownsea Island, 1st Henfield Scout Group is the oldest Scout Group in the world; this fact has been acknowledged by the Scout Association, and is the reason why in 2007, Scouting’s Centenary of the Brownsea Island Camp, Henfield was the only village in England to host the Centenary Torch on its journey around the world to Brownsea Island. 

Having been Scouting successfully since 1907, thousands of lads, and more recently girls also, have gained valuable life-skills in that time and grown to be valuable members of our community. 

In 1933 a local benefactor, Frank Clarke, donated a piece of land and a building, at the end of Craggits Lane, to be used for Scouting in Henfield. This land is managed by The Clarke’s Mead Trust and if in the very unlikely event, that Scouting ceases to be active in Henfield, the Trustees would ensure that the Land and Buildings be used for the youth of Henfield. It is on this land that we will build the new Henfield Scout Centre which can be home to the oldest Scout Group in the world for the next hundred years. 

Over fifteen years ago, it was discovered that the Scout hut was rotting and it was no longer financially viable to continue repairing it, so fund-raising began and in excess of £65,000 was raised. However around £50,000 has had to be spent on architects’, structural engineer’s’ and consultants’ fees to gain planning approval, so very little money remains. 

A major hitch was when our Lottery Application failed, because the Scout Group, although not funded by, comes under the umbrella of the National Scout Association, and the Lottery will only make grants to the National Association. We will be applying again shortly as the Clarkes Mead Trust and hope to be more successful this time. 

Visit our website at www.henfieldscoutsbuildingappeal.org where there are early photos, the Group’s history, and through which we intend to market a range of badges, neckerchiefs, camp blankets and other Scouting items, to Scouts and Guides worldwide. 

We have a Buy-a-Brick scheme operating, the engraved bricks will be used in the Reception walls and patio area of the Centre, and cost £25 and £35 each. ‘Units of Interest’, in the Scout Group, can be purchased in multiples of £5 for which a Certificate will be issued. 

‘Friends of Henfield Scouts’ work to raise funds through a variety of means, Coffee Mornings, Garage Sales, selling cakes, etc, on behalf of the Appeal. Can you organise an event for the Appeal and become a Friend? Can you donate any items for a Celebrity Memorabilia Auction? A special edition, woven Commemorative Badge is on sale at £5 each. Budgens Supermarket in Henfield has kindly made us their preferred Charity for 2013. Could your company do the same and raise funds for the Appeal? If you’re taking part in a sponsored event, why not donate your sponsor money to the “Oldest Scout Group in the world”? 

The plans are drawn, planning consent has been granted and all that is needed now is £350,000 for the Centre to be built, so we are appealing to ex-Scouts and Henfield residents to help raise the money. This is a truly worthwhile cause which needs your support if Henfield Scouts is to get a new Centre and continue Scouting for another 100 years.

Contact Dave Malkin 493843 to volunteer or for further information regarding fundraising schemes.