"Girlguiding is the leading charity in the UK for girls and young women. It helps them develop the skills and confidence to become the young women they want to be"
"Scouting actively engages and supports young people in their personal development, empowering them to make a positive contribution to society."
Howdale Pax is a group of people committed to maintaining the upkeep of the Downham Market Scout and Guide Association Headquarters, which provides a venue for the community to enjoy and share. It hosts around seven Scout and Girlguiding groups a week.
Our aim is to give our young people a space to grow, thrive and encourage them to help communities. We provide them the opportunity to make lifelong friends whilst learning valuable life skills. Our weekly meetings involve working towards badges whilst having fun and taking on new challenges. They also have opportunities to explore the outdoors through camping, activities and games. By the end of their experience they have a broader view of the world around them, a sense of community and ultimately learn how they can make a difference.
Our hut opened its doors 30 years ago, and has been used by Scouts and Guides ever since. In that time we have had countless young people walk through the doors to start their journey, and for so many it hasn’t finished. We now have previous members bringing their own children to join us, and some never left and have become Leaders themselves. We are very lucky to have a venue that is solely ours, as this is quite unusual within Scouts and Guides. It is about time we injected some life back into it.
Our toilets have not changed since the building opened, and are in need of some serious TLC. They are dreary, smelly and unpleasant which means many try to avoid using them which is not what we want. The boys currently only have 1 toilet to share as the urinal is unusable. The girls have 2 toilets which are temperamental. The flushes on both toilets are on their way out and the younger girls/boys often need help to push it down. We currently don't have a disabled toilet which means we are not providing the facilities required for our young people and volunteers.
We will use the money to buy all the materials we need to replace the existing toilets and bring it out of the dark ages. We want to take out all the original fixtures and fittings and start again. We would like to create 3 toilets, 1 disabled and 2 unisex toilets, with floor to ceiling partition to ensure privacy for all. To do this we have a long list of materials required to make our dream toilets come true. We want to get this right, so the toilets can be used for many years to come. The graphic below shows just how many materials we need to make this project happen.
Girlguiding has Rainbows, Brownies and a Ranger Unit which are made up of around 100 young girls aged between 5 and 18 who meet at the hut. Scouts currently have Cubs, Beavers and Scouts ranging between 6 and 14 with also around 100 young people involved. This doesn't include the adult volunteers involved, without them none of this would be possible.
New toilet facilities would allow us to use the space more effectively, and provide parents with the knowledge that their children have hygienic facilities when they need them. The disabled toilet would allow more young people and volunteers to enjoy the hut knowing we have suitable accessible facilities. This would also give us the opportunity to open up the hut for wider use such as other Scout/Guide groups and the local community. It is the biggest project we have taken on, but we aren't afraid of the challenge. This is going to benefit the next generation in our area.
Last year we kickstarted our fundraising efforts with an Auction and Fete. We featured in local press and everyone in the community was invited, and the support and generosity received was overwhelming.
This also led to new relationships with local organisations and businesses. One of them is Downham Market Rotary Club, who have been really supportive with our project, providing valuable guidance in areas where we needed it. We would like to thank them for all their help and hard work with getting this far, and look forward to this continuing in the future!
- "My favourite thing about Guiding is being able to be yourself and also having the leaders and other girls support you through everything."
- "What I like most is the chance to meet new people and enjoy myself outside of school and family."
- "When I first started I was very shy and withdrawn. Over the years, Girlguiding has helped me become more outgoing."
- "I think the hut feels outdated."
- "The hut could do with a modernising and it would make the environment a lot more comfortable."
- "The hut makes me feel sad, as lots of people want to be a part of Scouting and Guiding, but the hut just isn’t in good condition. The building isn’t a happy or a positive place to meet.
- "Adequate toilet facilities are an absolute necessity and new loos will be appreciated by all!"
As a thank you for donating to our project we have range of rewards on offer for those who select this option. They are limited so don't miss out!
£2 - Have your name put in our hut - As a thank you for donating to our project your name will be put up in our hut and remain there forever more!
£10 -A special thank you from us - You will receive a badge*, activity pack and a thank you card from one of our lovely Rainbows or Leaders.
£25 - Unique Print by one of our Leaders - One of our fellow leaders is a design graduate and is offering 10 of her mystery graphic prints! Never before seen or sold online. You will also receive one of our badges*.
£50 - Name our new toilets - We are offering the unique opportunity to name one of our 3 toilets! You will receive a badge* and special naming certificate and also have the honour of your chosen name being displayed on the toilet doors. A prize like no other!
£100 - Afternoon Tea for 4 - As a thank you from all of us, we would like to offer an afternoon tea for 4. This will include tea, cakes, sandwiches and some wonderful hosts. You will also receive 4 badges*. (Only available to those local within 10 miles of Downham Market) Please note: With the current situation, this will only be held when the government states it is completely safe to do so.
£250 - Hand Embroidered Initials in Frame - Stylised hand embroidered initials designed by local artist Abigail Frusher based on nature. One of our special badges* will also be sent to you. To see artist work go to www.abigaillily.org or check her out on instagram @abigaillilyfrusher. We can't thank you enough for your support!
£500 - Guest of honour at Grand Opening - As a special thank you for donating to our project, we would like you to be guest of honour at our grand opening. You will receive a personal invitation, badge*, formally open the first phase of our hut renovations and feature in online and social media promotion. Please note: This will only be held when work is completed and with the current situation when the government states it is completely safe to do so.
We hope that you will support us with our project to ensure that our young people and volunteers have new and improved facilities, but finally our hut gets the attention it truly deserves.
*fulfilment date for some of the rewards and badges may be subject to change due to current situation, badge approval/manufacture and post delays. We will keep you updated!