Rotherham explorer scouts canvas Banks Renewables for funds for new tents

March 17, 2014 | Community News

A South Yorkshire Explorer Scout Unit’s need to replace and upgrade the ageing tents they use for their expeditions has been covered by a four-figure grant from a renewable energy firm.

The Maelstrom Explorer Scouts, who draw their members from the communities around south Rotherham, including Whiston, Swallownest and Ulley, have taken delivery of four new four-man tents, which have been specially chosen to match the colour of their neckerchiefs.

The purchase of the new equipment has been funded through a £1,000 grant from renewable energy firm Banks Renewables, via the community fund linked to Banks’ nearby Penny Hill Wind Farm.

And the Scouts have already given a ‘thumbs up’ to their new tents after testing them out on a weekend trip into the Yorkshire Dales.

Set up seven years ago to encourage more local young people to stay in the Scouting movement and reach its most senior levels, the Maelstrom Explorer Scout group currently has a dozen members aged between 14 and 18 years old, all of whom are working towards different levels of the Queen’s Scout and Duke of Edinburgh Awards schemes.

The group undertakes regular weekend training expeditions right through the year into different parts of the county and beyond, and will be taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge later in the summer.

Gary Bacon, leader of the Maelstrom Explorer Scouts, says: “The four-man tents we had have been very well used over the last few years, and we were looking for ways in which to replace them before they got into too worn-out a condition.

“We carry out a range of fundraising work ourselves through the year which takes a lot of time and organisation, so the generous support we’ve received from Banks has not only saved up a lot of effort, but has also meant we’ve been able to replace our stock of tents all in one go.

“Our Scouts are all really committed to making the very best of the training and learning opportunities that we’re able to offer them, and the feedback we had from them on the new tents over their first weekend of use was really positive, which sets us up well for all the expeditions we have planned through the year.”

The Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund will provide over £500,000 of community funding over the 25-year lifespan of the Penny Hill Wind Farm, which sits to the south east of Rotherham and west of the junction of the M1 and M18.

The fund is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and aims to make a positive, long-term difference to local voluntary groups, environmental projects and community facilities in these areas.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “The Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund is specifically designed to help local community organisations improve what they can offer to their members and the people in the area, and it’s great to see how this objective is being realised through the grant given to the Maelstrom scouts.”

Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ Penny Hill Wind Farm which are looking for a grant of up to £3,000 should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 for further information.

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