Sea scouts vow to see HQ rise from ashes following arson attack - The Leamington Observer

Sea scouts vow to see HQ rise from ashes following arson attack

Leamington Editorial 4th Mar, 2020 Updated: 4th Mar, 2020   0

SEA Scouts have vowed not to be defeated after arsonists torched their new Warwick HQ – which youngsters have spent years fund-raising to build.

The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts have tirelessly undertaken charity hikes, bike rides and bag packing sessions at local supermarkets during the past five years to help raise the £680,000 needed to pay for the new hut.

They were expecting to move in this September but on Saturday (February 29) an arson attack sent all their efforts up in smoke.

The blaze, which started around 8pm, also affected neighbouring St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre, with the sports hall expected to remain closed until Sunday. The swimming pool and gym remain open.

It took five fire engines to bring the blaze under control and neighbouring homes were advised to keep windows shut.

Police enquires are continuing and two boys aged 12 and 13, both from Warwick, have been interviewed under caution about the attack.

But the scouts are determined to see the new headquarters open and have vowed to continue efforts to raise the remaining £250,000 needed to complete the project.

The day after the blaze members, who range in age from six to 18, were at Warwick Half Marathon to man car parking and water stations to raise funds.

Group scout leader Marc Gadsby said: “Volunteers and leaders were in a state of shock over the weekend, devastated this had happened.

“As disappointing as this news is, we are grateful no one was injured in the fire. At scouts we teach our youngsters about perseverance, determination and resilience and to see things through to the end  and that’s what we are now all determined to do.

“While this is an inconvenience, scouting at 2nd Warwick will continue meantime thanks to the resilience and determination of our leaders and youth members. We will not let this affect our aims to provide young people in Warwick with the skills they need for life.”

The group is urging businesses and those interested in fund-raising for the group to get in touch.

They are also looking for a temporary home for the Beaver group to move into in September.

Fund-raiser Janette Eslick said: “We have been working relentlessly for five years to raise money for our new HQ and it is devastating to see this setback in the project.

“The drive to raise the final funds to complete the shell continues regardless with even more passion now. We have had amazing support so far, and hope that the community will come together again to support us get the new scout HQ fitted out as quickly as possible after the re-build is completed, in order to minimise any further delays to the project.”

The upgrade has so far seen new jetties and a boatyard built, with a new hut the final part of the ‘Building for the Future’ project.

Its current hut is 53-years-old and the group has a huge waiting list, with more members able to join when the HQ opens.

Visit for more information.

Police investigations continue and detectives have appealed to anyone who may have witnessed the attack or any suspicious behaviour in the area to contact them.

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