MORE than 100 scouts and guides face losing their groups unless £155,000 is raised to build new headquarters for them.
The 80-year-old hut currently used by Staindrop Scouts and Guides, in the village, has fallen into a state of disrepair, leading to the launch of a fundraising campaign by the group to fund the construction of a new, larger building, with modern facilities.
The current building is unstable and cannot be used by other community groups due to its poor state.
There are problems with rodents at the hut, which only has one toilet, no hot water, and inadequate space and storage for the increasingly popular groups.
The unlit lane leading up to the hut is described as being dangerous under foot and attracts local youths who use it as a meeting place.
Group scout leader, Jacqui Nicholson, said: “I have had the good fortune to be entrusted with a thriving group of enthusiastic young people and a strong team of dedicated leaders.
“But the accommodation for the scout group and guide troop is severely in need of being rebuilt.
“The awful truth is that there will be a point in the very near future when we will not be allowed to carry on in the hut as it is.
“The scouts and guides are central to the village community and support all village events.
“If we cannot continue in the hut then we will have to close seven sections of the youth organisation, meaning over 100 children will be unable to access scouting and guides.
“In a rural community like ours, that is devastating.
“We will continue to provide low cost, high quality activities in the village if we can rebuild our hut.”
Donations of goods or services are being sought for an online auction of promises, which is being held on Saturday, March 8, in aid of the initiative.
There will also be a special event with activities such as climbing walls, go-karts, and bouncy castles, in the grounds of Staindrop CofE Primary School, that day.
To donate items for the auction, or to place bids for existing lots, visit: auctionofpromises.com/2014AuctionForStaindropScoutAndGuideHQ