Thursday, 20 August 2015

Beavers in Tents

WELL END Beavers in Tents 4th and 5th July.

1st Welwyn group attended the first Beavers in Tents at Well End Activity Centre on one of the hottest July weekends. The beavers assisted in erecting their tents before setting off on a series of 10 well organised activities such as erecting a flag - designed and built by the team and cooking dough twists over a campfire!

The whole camp sing song was very popular and “making fire” was voted the most popular base activity by our beavers! The weekend finished with flag break and James Reynolds receiving his Bronze Award – well done James.

A few photos of the event show what a brilliant time was had by all!

Monday, 23 February 2015

1st Welwyn Scout Group is back in Welwyn!

Next week there will be the first scout meeting in the HQ since we had to shut due to serious water ingress in 2021!

We will continue to meet in Codicote in joint meetings with the Codicote troop roughly half of each term, but recommencing meetings in Welwyn is a crucial step in starting to rebuild our troop numbers. My thanks to Kevin Lingwood and Will Bailey for keeping meetings going for all of this time, along with Christine and Beth Whitbread of the Codicote Scout.

Mike Gray will become ASL, after running a scout troop in Yorkshire some years ago, to build the leadership team.

Cubs have grown to 12-14 young people meeting weekly in Welwyn with Steve Long, Jo Reeve and Tony Worsley, from 4 cubs in May last year, and we have around 10-12 beavers meeting with Julie Long and helpers Erica and Gill and other parents, each week in Welwyn.

Pat Try has stepped down as Head of Fundraising after leading the project fundraising for so many years, to give us enough money to bring the work to a successful completion - how can the Group begin to thank her enough for her years of dedication?

Unfortunately we are losing Dennis Spruce as treasurer; Dennis made us tens of thousands of pounds from tax refunds, applications for grants, and given many months of his time, finalising the fit out after the contractors had left site, we shall miss him. If anyone is prepared to take on this role, please get in touch. This year our finances will involve a small number of regular invoices, rent, insurance, etc, and subs collections, so far simpler than last year.

We eventually spent around £115,000 on the refit, and in addition we probably received the equivalent of £25-30,000 of free labour and materials from Tesco, Netherdown Developments, EDF Energy and GSK, and lots of individuals, which were crucial in making the HQ look fully modernised, warm and welcoming, as seen in the photographs.

We have the Brownies back with us, which we hope will eventually lead to restarting of Rainbows and Guides, if their District wishes to do so and leaders can be found. Some years ago we prided ourselves on being one of the few Scout and Guide Groups in the area.

The Friendship Club and Welwyn Wailers are also meeting in the hall; we have let it for a Golden Wedding party and other people are considering regular or one-off uses of the hall and/or the meeting room / presentation room in the rear - contact me if you are interested, there are plenty of free hours in the week, and we want the HQ to become another resource for the local community after you have all supported us and helped fund the refit.

Lastly, in the next few weeks we hope to complete a lease with Welwyn Hatfield Council to 2137, so after 107 years in the village to date, we can now look forward to another 123 years here!!!

Derek Nash, after whom we named the Hall, was a truly inspirational man who exemplified what a scout should be, helping thousands of young people to stretch themselves, build a caring attitude to their fellow scouts and the community - in Welwyn, in Hertfordshire, the UK, USA and Russia.

1st Welwyn has done the same since Scouting was founded in 1908, we are a Foundation Group as we date back to that very year, and we now intend to rebuild our membership and with our very strong leadership team, give the local young people those same opportunities again.

Thank you all for your support.

Andy Trotter
Group Scout Leader
1st Welwyn Scout Group

Thursday, 30 October 2014

New HQ Opening Ceremony


4th October 2014: 1st Welwyn Scout Group celebrated the opening of it's refurbished HQ.


This photo shows the beautiful carved wooden plaque produced by Dave "Woodie" Wood of 6th WGC Scout Group to show the renamed 1st Welwyn Scout Group "Derek Nash Hall" is open for use by beavers, cubs, brownies and scouts since September 2014. Derek Nash was a former leader and a group scout leader of 1st Welwyn who devoted 57 years of his life to the Scout Movement in the UK, USA and Russia.

Monday, 22 September 2014

September 2014 News: Scout HQ has reopened

The Fully Refitted Scout HQ reopened on the 9th September!

Yes the facilities opened on time on the 9th September, with a newly enlarged main hall, new kitchen, fully refurbished stores and meeting room.

Thanks to Tesco Development Team's generosity, contractors have fitted heaters, some new internal walls, a new kitchen, carpets and tiled flooring, and the Development Team members travelled from all over the country and painted whole sections of the HQ, and planted new gardens around two sides of the building.

New CCTV, fire detection and security systems as well as wifi, have also been fitted with the assistence and cooperation of Bill Morris, the Parish Council Chairman, and funding from County Council Chairman Richard Smith.

Netherdown Developments and CSS groundworks contractors have installed the new access and disabled ramp, part funded by a grant from the Gibson Trust.

We have also recently received over £9,000 in a Lottery Fund "Awards for All" grant, which has bought a new cooker and fridge, and tables and chairs, and will buy racking and new cupboards, as well as new camping equipment.

Further internal wall upgrading, false ceilings and rails to the disabled ramp, plus more painting, should be completed or largely finished by the Opening Celebration on the 4th October (see below).

Scout sections expanding and other new users attracted to the HQ

This new village facility has already begun to attract increased numbers to the scout sections, with around 20 beavers and 10 cubs meeting regularly since the 9th, and the scouts will commence use of the HQ shortly.

The Welwyn Wailers, a local arts group, and potentially other uniformed groups are discussing use starting in the next few weeks.

The building is suitable for birthday or other celebrations, yoga or other similar uses, or business meetings, and lettings can be arranged from mid October by contacting the number below.

We have room in the scout sections now for both boys and girls from 6 to 14 years old, so get in touch with me if you know of young people who want to come down and try out with our experienced and enthusiastic leaders.

We want our great new facility to again become an integral part of the community, as it has been since 1908, now the Welwyn Hatfield Council have agreed to grant a new lease to 2140, giving us security well into the next century!

Opening celebration for the 1st Welwyn Derek Nash Scout HQ - 4th October

The building will be officially opened on the 4th October, starting at 11 30am in the Civic Centre Main Hall, and moving to the HQ at 12 30pm.

Members of Derek's family will "cut the ribbon". Derek dedicated almost 60 years to scouting, with 30 of those years in Welwyn, when the Group was the largest in the District, numbering almost 200 young people.

He also lead and supported scouting in the USA, Russia, at County and national level, a better example of what scouts stands for cannot be found than Derek, who died a few years ago having retired from scouts.

The war memorial to scouts killed in the two world wars will also be rededicated on that day.

If you are a former 1st Welwyn scout, guider, leader, parent or supporter, or just want to see what the building has been refitted to provide, please come to the celebrations, there will be drinks and nibbles, and chances to meet up with old friends, or meet new ones with an interest in scouting and what it can offer.

60's Rock Night Fund Raiser - 4th October Civic Centre Main Hall.

A local '60's rock band will play from 7 30 to 11pm at the Civic Centre, just come to enjoy the music, or show that you can remember the dances!

Tickets are £10 a head including a light supper, bring your own drinks, available by calling 01438 715979.

This will raise funds for the Group to help the leaders put on exciting activities in the HQ, and potentially outside the area.

To sites owned by Hertfordshire Scouts, throughout the county, the Peak District, Wales and Scotland, and possibly abroad. Local scouts are going to Japan and Iceland for camps during the next 12 month.

Can you help?

We can build a stronger, more exciting group, based on our new HQ and leadership, can you offer a few hours a month, as a member of the committee that support the leaders, as a parent helper, or a trainee leader?

I was a parent helper, committee member, assistant and then scout leader, and found the various roles interesting and at times very rewarding and funny. We are a relaxed and friendly team of people, come along to one of our meetings, or just have a chat with me.

I know time is hard to find, I worked in London and some of our existing team do now, but it will benefit young people, your own or our existing youngsters, so please give it a try.

Andy Trotter
Chairman and Acting Group Scout Leader
1st Welwyn Scout Group
07580942319

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Summer Update

The HQ refit project


1st Welwyn Scout Group HQ
The main building project completed at the beginning of August!

From the picture you can see that the new external insulation and light green concrete/polymer render is complete, you can just about see the new insulated steel roof and the double glazed windows

Also finished but not visible is the rewiring, new toilets, and new internal entrance room/meeting room/stores at the back of the building

Still ahead in the next three weeks is installation of the new disabled ramp by a Netherdown Development's contractor, new kitchen, wall linings and floor coverings, external flower beds and the start of the redecoration of virtually every surface we can lay a brush on!

Tesco are doing a lot of that work, and my former colleagues from EDF Energy have made a start on the painting for us

If any of you will have time to paint after the 28th August, which is after Tesco leave, please let me know, we will want to finish as much as possible before our first meetings of all sections, with those starting on the 9th September!

Over two years since we had to move out due to the water ingress problems

We have exciting news about a further grant for re equipping we have received, which we can give you more details of in our next newsletter, and were over the moon when we were given £10,000 in Welwyn Week by a charity whose trustees are winding it up, and heard about our project.

That money was crucial to our having funds to finish extra work which emerged in the main contract (the building dates from 1967/71) as we opened up the structure. It avoided the treasurer and I having to use our Barclaycards at the end of the job!

The leaders, parents and scouts also pitched in during Welwyn Week, making almost £1,000 towards our funds at Street Market and Fun Day, especially with the Duck Race, our thanks to all who got involved

Section meetings and recruitment


So we are confident that we can restart beavers, cubs and scouts on schedule the week after schools start back, on the 9th September

Julie our beaver leader is recovering well from an operation in July, and extra help by Jo Reeve and other District volunteers mean that those meetings will run as usual, though Julie may have to sit through a number of them

Steve our cub leader and Mike Gray and Tony Worsley will continue the cub meetings which restarted in the village in June, and new cub recruits have contacted us through the summer, but more can be taken, let me know if there are boys or girls who want to join. Our first sixer is a girl.

The Scouts will alternate meetings between Codicote and Welwyn through the rest of this year, Kevin Lingwood our scout leader, would welcome new scouts to join the boys and girls already in his troop, and volunteer parents as helpers


In conclusion

So real progress across a number of fronts, and now we need to push forward to restore the numbers of young people we can help to enjoy fun, challenging programmes that teach them skills they will use and value for the rest of their lives

If you can help as a parent helper or leader at section meetings, or as a committee member please get in touch, we can use your time and ideas to take things to the next stage

The young people we help will join the tens of thousands that have gone through the Group since 1908, and that will now be able to do so till at least 2140, as the WH Council have just agreed to grant us a new 126 year lease!!

All the best

Andy Trotter
Chairman and Group Scout Leader
1st Welwyn Scout Group

Welwyn, October 2014: Opening Celebrations

Opening Celebrations - 4th October.


The HQ will officially be opened at celebrations on Saturday 4th October at the Civic Centre, 11am for an 11 30 start, and afterwards at the HQ, which we will walk around to for 12 30pm for the ribbon cutting! There will be drinks and nibbles and a celebration cake!

We hope the Friends of 1st Welwyn Scout Group will be able to attend at least part of the proceedings. All are welcome ~ supporters, donors, former leaders or young people who went through 1st Welwyn as scouts of guides. 1st Welwyn had one of the few joint scout and guide groups and, in the future, hope that may be recreated. We would also welcome people who are just curious about what has happened to this village institution!

The HQ will be named after Derek Nash, who built 1st Welwyn into one of the strongest and most successful Groups in the District in the 80s and through to the early 2000s.As well as his time in Welwyn, Derek also spent almost 30 years on District, County, USA and UK Scouting posts, helping scouting restart in Russia after the Cold War ended and inspiring many of our Welwyn youngsters. In all, 57 years in uniform in the movement. Derek's family will attend to "cut the ribbon".

We will also rededicate the war memorial to scouts from the Group who died in the 1st and 2nd World Wars, including three brothers from one family in the 1st World War.

'60's Rock Night - 4th October.


As a fundraiser, but also an opportunity for old friends to meet and catch up, we are holding a social event on the evening of the official Opening Celebrations.

The band comes highly recommended and there should be lots of opportunities for dancing (possibly a certain amount of "dad's dancing"!)

Tickets will be £10 including a light buffet and a lice of another celebration cake, and we plan to have a bar service.

Tickets will be available on the night but, to help with the planning, if you could let me know by e mail approximate numbers of tickets you require, I can start a list, and get them to you when I have someone to run the box office (let me know if that could be you!)


Andy Trotter
Chairman and Group Scout Leader
1st Welwyn Scout Group

Friday, 30 May 2014

May 2014 News

Cubs reopen in Welwyn after two years away!


In June cub pack meetings will restart in Welwyn at New Church House, where the beavers already meet. Initial plans are to hold the meeting from 6 30/45 to 8pm, Steve Long will be Cub Leader, Mike Gray Assistant Cub Leader, and Tony Worsley as a helper.

All three are very experienced leaders and plan an exciting new programme for boys and girls of cub age, 8-11years, so let me know on 07580942319 if you have young people who want to join.


HQ refit


I am pleased to say the HQ refit is progressing well and the asbestos roof should go in two weeks time, to be replaced by a highly insulated steel roof and new gutters

Our penetrating damp problems of the last few years were due to gutters so solid with debris that water ran straight off onto the 6" of leaves and soil banked up against the HQ wal.

Volunteers helped shift the soil and leaves, and also cut down the trees and bushes from which much of the rubbish had come.

After the roof is complete, the external walls will be fitted with thick insulation and rendered after which, externally, the HQ will look brand new.

Work will then move inside, to provision of new toilets, including disabled facilities, a rewire and ready for complete

Due to funds raised to date being fully committed on the main refit project, we will carry out the redecoration work ourselves, so dust off your paint brushes for late July/August!


Fundraising


We will be at Welwyn Festival Street Market (21st June), FunDay (28th June) and Roman Day at Sherrardswood School/Roman Baths (29th June), selling virtual "bricks" to raise funds to complete other refit work and to buy new camping and storeage equipment, as well as selling ducks for the duck race which finishes off Fun Day.

Also we are holding a '60's Rock Band Night on the evening of the 4th October, to coincide with our celebration of the HQ refit completion (see below) More details of prices, etc in the next newsletter

Celebration of the refit completing and the opening of the Derek Nash 1st Welwyn Scout HQ


On the 4th October we will be holding a celebration and ribbon cutting for the refitted HQ, starting at 11am at the Civic Centre, and 12 30pm at the HQ in Lockleys Drive Welwyn.

Please all come along if you can, the HQ will be named the Derek Nash HQ, after my predecessor who dedicated 57 years of his life to scouting, including 25 years in Welwyn, Codicote and WGC, as well as Scout HQ in London, and built 1st Welwyn up to 180 young people in the '90s, at that time the largest Group in WGC District

He died some years ago, but his grandson, a beaver, we hope will cut the ribbon, possibly assisted by Derek's widow Kath, if she is able to make it, and other members of Derek's family.

So things are moving on, and we expect in the next 12/18 months to restore the Group to it's former strength and vibrancy.

More Newsletters will follow over the summer, and hopefully we will see many of you during Welwyn Festival Week, 20-29th June.

Andy Trotter 
Chairman and Group Scout leader 
1st Welwyn Scouts