By David Owen, Leicester Mercury
A Scout group has given more inner city children the chance to experience adventures in the great outdoors, thanks to a Comic Relief fund.
The 12/74th Leicester Scouts and Guides, based in Highfields, Leicester, received £1,000 from the Red Nose Day Community Cash Fund in 2011.
Ahead of this year’s Red Nose Day – on Friday, March 15 – the Leicester Mercury has teamed up again with Comic Relief to give charities and community groups the chance to apply for a slice of £50,000.
We are looking for the best examples of grassroots work to receive between £500 and £1,000 from the Red Nose Day Community Cash Fund.
Two years ago, the Highfields Scout group needed help to offer outdoor trips for a growing number of youngsters from diverse backgrounds.
Group Scout leader Tony Kendall, 58, said: “In February 2011, we applied for a grant from the Red Nose Day fund to buy four new patrol tents. We are an inner city group with a membership of more than 75 young people, many of whom are from the Muslim community, both boys and girls, aged from six to 16.
“The tents we were using were purchased in 1984 and had seen better days.”
The £1,000 grant was put towards buying four new tents, which cost £2,600 in total.
They have been used at least three times a year to take 32 kids at a time on camping trips across Leicestershire.
Tony said: “This has allowed the young people to gain outdoor experiences ranging from climbing and abseiling to canoeing.
“The group has always been heavily involved in taking the young people camping, either as a group or part of the district Scout group.
“This includes to the National Muslim Scout Fellowship camp, near Stafford.”
Formed in 1929, the Leicester Scouts have moved with the times to reflect the changing city, and three years ago set up a Saturday afternoon meeting, particularly popular with Muslim children who cannot make it to mid-week evening activities.
“The help we received from the Red Nose Day fund was crucial for us to expand our activities and offer more children the chance to participate in Scouting.”
Grant applications will be decided by a panel which includes representatives from the Mercury, Comic Relief and the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation.
Katy Green, Chief Executive Officer at the Community Foundation, said: “Red Nose Day Community Cash provides a brilliant opportunity to help a large number of groups.”
Sue Wicks, Comic Relief UK grants manager, said: “We’ve funded some truly inspiring projects in the city in previous years.
“And with less than two weeks until Red Nose Day, I urge as many groups as possible to get their applications in now for their chance to get a grant from the £50,000 on offer.”
The deadline to apply is March 15 and the grants panel are looking for a range of projects that respond to real needs.