A year after a scout troop appealed for help to fix a hall in which they had to endure freezing temperatures, a leaking roof and dodgy electrics their leader has expressed his amazement that the problems are nearly at an end.
The 10th Chingford Scouts along with cubs and beavers were tasked with finding £13,000 to carry out vital repairs to St Francis Church Hall when they were left to pay for its upkeep in exchange for a low rent last February.
Children had been forced to put up with water cascading from the patchy roof, blown electrics and bitterly cold evenings due to broken heating at the venue in Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford.
But after the community helped find nearly £10,000 for the troop to fix the leaky roof and the broken heating, Group Scout Leader Bernie Pridmore, 68, has conveyed his thanks to everyone who has supported them.
He said: “It seemed like a ridiculous amount of money to raise at the time but somehow we’ve managed to do it.
“Just about everyone has been trying to help. We’ve had lots of community groups making quite generous donations for using the hall, and companies quoting us cheaper prices to fix things.”
The troop successfully applied for £3,000 towards the roof repairs through the local community ward forum, which provides local groups with council funding, and met the rest of the cost through thousands collected through donations and fundraising.
The faulty heating was replaced with brand new radiators last month for £5,300 - £1,000 less than the asking price after Mr Pridmore explained the scouts’ predicament.
He said: “Before we had our scouts shivering in great big coats but now it’s lovely and toasty.
“They’re able to run around and do real activities now. Everyone has just helped loads. What’s more, the parents of our members have stuck with us, and groups have carried on using it which has been a boost for our funds.”
Now he is hoping to replace the old electrics, which are not up to modern safety standards, through a council grant he has applied for.
He said: “We’re in the process of organising things like quiz nights to make up the rest of the cost. Hopefully it’ll all be up to scratch soon, everyone’s delighted with it so far.”