Scouts on target with grant bid for equipment

Pictured are members and leaders of the 6th Morpeth Scouts and, back left, Jeannie Kielty of The Banks Group.
Pictured are members and leaders of the 6th Morpeth Scouts and, back left, Jeannie Kielty of The Banks Group.

Scouts in a Northumberland town have hit the bullseye with a regional employer after winning funding for new archery equipment.

Members of the 6th Morpeth Scout Group gave it a go during a visit to an archery centre and at one of their camps, and their enthusiasm and aptitude for the sport had led group leaders to look at how they might source their own equipment.

After successfully applying to The Banks Group for a £2,776 grant from the Banks Community Fund, the group has now bought three sets of archery equipment.

In addition, it is also making the equipment available to other local scout groups as well as taking the items along to community events around the area to try to give as many people as possible the chance to try the sport for themselves.

Group leaders will be available to manage these outside sessions if the other clubs or organisations do not have anyone available with the training required to run them safely.

The Banks Community Fund grant has also funded the purchase of three new tents which, as well as using them at camps, the scouts can store the archery equipment when they are attending events and shelter in if the weather turns bad.

Peter Holloway, former leader and committee member at the 6th Morpeth Scout Group, said: “We try to give all our members the opportunity to try as many different new activities as possible, so they have the best chance of finding things that they really like.

“Archery proved to be a real hit, both in terms of everyone’s enthusiasm for it and the skill levels that many of our scouts quickly demonstrated, and we felt it was something that we wanted to offer more often if we could find a way to fund the necessary equipment.

“As well as using the equipment regularly ourselves, there’s been lots of interest from other local scout groups and community groups in having a go, and we’ll be trying to share both the archery equipment and the expertise we’re developing as widely as we can in the future.

“We wouldn’t have been able to buy either the archery equipment or our new tents without The Banks Group’s backing and we’re very grateful for its support.”

The 6th Morpeth Scouts provides beavers, cubs and scouts groups – with a membership of around 130 boys and girls aged between six and 14-years-old.

It is run by an 18-strong team of volunteer leaders, and meets twice a week at the Morpeth Methodist Church on Howard Terrace.

Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at the Banks Group, says: “Scouting opens up so many new windows of opportunities for young people, mostly thanks to the commitment of their leaders, and it’s great to see how well this new equipment is being used already by the 6th Morpeth group and their local peers.”

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of The Banks Group projects.

Anyone interested in applying for funding should call James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 3786342.