Warwick Sea Scouts to host gala in celebration of new HQ

Since the arson attack on its building site in 2020, the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts have completed the £1.1million fundraising for the new HQ and community building

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 4:43 pm
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 3:55 pm
The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts' new hut. Photo supplied

A Scout group in Warwick is celebrating the completion of their new HQ building.

The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts have announced that its new building has now been completed in St Nicholas Park, following the receipt of a £225,000 grant from the Norton Foundation to fund the final building works.

This concludes the next phase of its ‘Building a Future’ project, which aims to expand the group and secure safe facilities for the future; following the completion of their new jetties in 2018.

Cllr Neale Murphy, Chair of Warwick District Council visiting the new Sea scout HQ. Photo supplied

The group will now move on to renovating their old HQ into a new boathouse as the final stage in its project.

The work has been fully funded after extensive fundraising by the Sea Scouts over many years and has delivered a new resource for both its youngsters and general public.

This has been possible through the generosity of many grant providers, with large grants being secured from: The Norton Foundation; Warwick District Council; HS2 Community and Environment Fund; 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust and King Henry VIII Endowed Trust.

The additional funds have been raised through on-going efforts from the group's youngsters and volunteers; from car park marshalling to climbing Ben Nevis; and many other smaller trusts and private donations.

Inside the new HQ and community building. Photo supplied

Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council, said: "Congratulations on the mountains you've climbed and the super hard work that has gone into creating this superb facility."

At the Gala opening on September 18 the Sea Scouts’ new HQ will be opened by Scout Adventurer, Sal Montgomery, and named ‘TS Norton’ (Training Ship Norton) in recognition of the generous £225,000 grant the Norton Foundation made to complete the building.

The group members, former members and invited guests will attend a formal opening in the morning and the Sea Scouts are hoping as many former members as possible can join them to celebrate.

There will be an Open House at TS Norton from 1pm-4pm when members of the community are invited to go along for a tour of the building, and also enjoy a BBQ, refreshments and stalls from the RNLI, Royal British Legion and Royal Navy set up outside at the rear of the building.

Cllr Neale Murphy, Chair of Warwick District Council showing his ‘divers below’ flag from his time in the Royal Navy. Photo supplied

The Coventry Festival Band will also perform until 1:30pm.

Alan Bailey, Chairman of the Norton Capital Grants Committee 2020, said: "Young people, through scouting, now have a great place in which to learn and grow through the

opportunities created by this enthusiastic group of scouting volunteers.

"The Norton Foundation recognizes that investing in the "Training Ship Norton" is one of the best investments it can make locally to help develop the leaders of tomorrow.

Inside the new HQ building. Photo supplied

"It wishes all young people well who "sail in her".

"I have never seen such a group of adult volunteers set themselves such a high target and then achieve it in the most professional way.

"You and your team will leave a legacy in Warwick difficult to surpass. Well done."

The Sea Scouts’ Open House will be an opportunity to see its new facilities that are available for hire for local groups and find out more about what the group does.

Inside will be displays from each of their sections and a collection of photos from this year’s Scout camp at Lake Windermere.

They also hope to create a wall of memories from any former members that attend the opening.

Inside the new HQ. Photo supplied

Neale Murphy, Chair of Warwick District Council, said: "I was lucky to get a sneak preview of the new HQ ahead of its formal gala opening and it was fantastic to see the amazing new community facilities.

"It was great to chat to some youngsters too and hear all about their adventures at their recent summer camp in Windermere.

"It really brought home why such facilities are so important for the district's young people, who really benefit from the life-long skills and experiences on offer with 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts, whilst also establishing a great new community venue in the heart of Warwick. I also enjoyed reminiscing about my time in the Royal Navy.".

If you are a former member or supporter of 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts and would like to attend the formal gala opening in the morning email: [email protected]

The group would also love to hear from anyone interested in joining as a leader to support the growth of their group, in particular with the second Beaver colony and second Cub pack they have just opened in their new HQ.

Janette Eslick, Lead Fundraiser, 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts, said: "We are excited that Sal Montgomery, a Scout Adventurer, will be joining us to open our new HQ, TS Norton and hope that as many former members as possible can join us for the formal opening ceremonies in the morning when we will parade from our old hut to our new HQ.

"We are also looking forward to members of the community dropping in anytime from 1-4pm to see behind our portholes.

"Sal Montgomery is a kayaker and adventurer, being most famous for saving Steve Backshall’s life in his Bhutan kayaking trip.

"You can come along and meet Sal the night before our gala opening, where she will be speaking and answering questions at a special ‘Evening with Sal’ at Warwick School. Check out

more details at www.2wk.org.uk"

Alan Bailey and Graham Suggett, Norton Foundation visit ‘TS Norton’. Photo supplied