Young people and children in the North Down and Ards area will learn new skills and get connected with their community, thanks to a grant from Big Lottery Fund
The 8th Down Portaferry Sea Scouts is a cross community scout group that provides activities for young people aged six to 16 years. They received a £8,981 grant from the Awards for All programme to buy a range of camping equipment to facilitate summer camps for the children. It is part of a Big Lottery Fund grants windfall of £743,207 to 95 groups across Northern Ireland (see full list of awards on our website)
Group Leader Shane Berry said, “The scouters and young people of 8th Down Portaferry Sea Scouts are so pleased to have been awarded this grant by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All programme…
“Camping is an integral part of the scouting experience for the young people,” he said, “so we held a camp at Crawfordsburn Country Park in spring with borrowed or improvised tents. But there weren’t enough for all of the kids to be able to take part, and we were limited in what we could do.
“In spite of that, the young people began their journey of learning skills under canvas and had a ball. Tom and Cillian who are two of our cubs said they loved putting up the tent together, camping out and making hotdogs outside. Cub Scouts Aine and Lucia had a lot of fun telling stories, playing guitar and making up songs. The young people had so much fun we knew we had to get our own equipment so we could do more of it.”
He added: “We are delighted to have received this award. We will be able to buy enough sleeping tents, mess tents and cooking equipment for all our young people to camp together and in individual sections. It is very exciting for them.”
The group is planning to hold camps in the Mourne Mountains and at a regional scouting camp in Gosford Forest Park in April next year.
“The young people are very much looking forward to camping again and are making plans with the scout leaders for where to go next and what their activities programme will be. We can’t wait to get started,” Shane said.