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Grant to keep Chippenham Scout Group secure
5:00pm Saturday 23rd March 2013 in News
The 10th Chippenham Scout Group has received a £5,000 grant to refurbish its hut.
The children appealed to the Chippenham area board councillors to help them make their hut secure after thieves broke in on February 11 and, in another incident a few weeks later, needles and a sharps box were found outside.
Six of the Scout group, aged between 11 and 13, made heartfelt pleas at the board meeting at Neeld Hall last Monday.
They said: “We need to make our hut warm and secure. Some windows are broken. On the roof there are felt sections missing, letting in the rain. Two weeks ago someone broke in and stole tents, rucksacks and sleeping bags. Drug users are using a secluded area there and we found a sharps box.
“It would be nice to not worry about our equipment being damaged or stolen.”
Councillors voted to award the grant for the hut.
The group has applied for match funding from Borough Lands and the Rotary Club and, if its grants reach £10,000, will be able to get better security and insulation by next winter.
PC John Brixey, community beat manager for Chippenham, is appealing to businesses to give a helping hand. He said police had been patrolling the Westmead Lane area to deter drug users.
He said: “It could have been hazardous if the box had broken open and someone had stepped on a needle. You don’t know what diseases they might have been carrying.”
The children listened at the meeting as reformed addict Steve Owen, 51, of Melksham, told them how his life had been ruined by heroin addiction, as part of Drugs Awareness week.
Scout leader Chris Jones said: “It put it into context for them and I could tell it had a big impact on them.”