Determined Scouts and Guides whose Yaxley headquarters were burned down in an arson attack have made a start on their new £350,000 home.
Yaxley Scouts and Guides have had a nomadic existence meeting in schools, churches and community centres since the devastating arson in the early hours of Bonfire Night in 2009.
They have since raised £275,000 for a new headquarters - not enough to complete the build, but enough to put up the wooden structure that will serve as the new centre’s shell.
The HQ in Gault Park, Yaxley, on the corner of Great Drove and Main Street, had its ground-breaking ceremony last Wednesday, September 12.
It is hoped that the final sum will be raised in the upcoming weeks and the hut could be open before the end of the year.
Mark Jarrett, who is chairman of the Yaxley Scouts and Guides, said: “The children are very excited at the possibility of a new hut.
“With it being three years there are quite a few who don’t know anything different.
“There are so many benefits, but the biggest is to just bring everything all together in one place again.
“At the moment we are fragments doing our own thing. We have groups meeting at the church, football pavilion and schools, all over the place.
“To all come back together under one roof again will be a great thing.
“It also means we can offer things like camping – it is going to be brilliant.
“This is a building to serve us in the community for a great many years to come.”
The hut was burnt to the ground on October 31, 2009, and despite a police investigation, nobody has been found guilty of the crime.
The group have been assisted in putting on events by Yaxley Parish Council, Fourfields Primary School, William de Yaxley Primary School, Yaxley Football Club and St Peter’s Church.
Yaxley Parish Council Cllr Anne Rees said: “I think getting a new headquarters would be good news all round for the community of Yaxley.
“The children don’t want to be going all over the place – they want to be in one hub.
“Anything they have come in for we have helped them with, we have helped advertise things and facilitate what they need.
“But the Scouts and Guides have done an amazing job with fund-raising.”
Cllr Rees is planning to take photographs of each stage of building over the next 10 weeks.
The next big fund-raising event will be a fireworks night on November 3 from 7pm.
It will take place on land behind the Three Horseshoes on Main Street, Yaxley.
Admission costs £10 per family, £3 for adults and £2 for children.
Mr Jarrett added: “We have been fund-raising ever since the arson and have raised a fairly substantial chunk of money.
“But it is still not quite enough.
“We have only got enough money to put up the shell, and we are hoping that when people see that it might inspire them to donate more money.”
For more information about the Yaxley bonfire night event visit www.yaxleyfireworks.co.uk.
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