Phoenix scout group rises from crumbling command centre ashes with new Wimbledon HQ

Wimbledon scouts are now prepared to move into their new purpose-built HQ thanks to financial support from a housing company.

The 19th Wimbledon Scouts, whose emblem is the Phoenix, has been able to replace its dilapidated command centre with a state-of-the-art hall due to help from Berkeley Homes and will enjoy a grand opening launching on November 8.

The group, which can trace its history over 100 years, are now kitted out with meeting rooms, a kitchen, toilets and shower facilities.

Paul Wilkins from the 19th Wimbledon Scout Group, said: “We are ecstatic! These new headquarters will help us provide opportunities that most school or church halls simply cannot.

“They are a superb base for all that scouting teaches.”

The project has been made possible by a series of commitments from Berkeley Homes, who are building the adjacent Wimbledon Hill Park development.

They have pledged nearly £100,000 through donations and local infrastructure payments and have also agreed a change of lease in the building to extend use of the facility to the wider community.

Berkeley Homes Central London Managing Director, Brendan Twomey, said: “We wanted to support the Scouts and helping them build a new HQ seemed the perfect way to do it.

“We know how important this facility is to local residents and the community. It will host playgroups, act as a new neighbourhood hall and be a fantastic place for young people to learn life skills.”

There have also been significant contributions from several other organisations including the London Marathon Charitable Trust, Veolia Environmental Trust (through the Landfill Communities Fund), Garfield Weston, the All England Lawn Tennis Club and a host of others from across the community who “bought a brick” to support the Scouts’ plans for a 21st Century HQ.

As part of the regeneration of the area, Berkeley Homes has also extended the Scout’s site boundary to include an old tennis court and area of woodland.

This donation is just one of a series of commitments by Berkeley Homes as they continue to redevelop the Wimbledon Hill site.

They will be providing a new ecologically-friendly footpath, a sports pavilion, £228,977 in education subsidies, onsite affordable housing and £40,000 for additional community facilities.

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