A kind-hearted Ampthill mum has raised more than £800 by giving up alcohol in October to help raise money for a £300k rebuild of the town’s scout hut.
The hut In Station Road, Ampthill, was first built in 1970 and since then hundreds of children have enjoyed attending Beavers, Cubs, Rainbows and Guides at it.
Around 180 children currently attend the Scouting and Girl Guide groups, which run five days a week.
But it is now in desperate need of repair. The roof is no longer under guarantee and the toilets and drainage are so bad that the hut’s future – and the future of Scouting in the town – is at risk.
A local quantity surveyor has estimated it will cost £300k for a major refurbishment and additional space to be added.
Scouting volunteers in Ampthill have already raised £16,000 through fundraising, as well as help from the Ampthill Flexi Rotary, Ampthill Festival and Ampthill Fireworks.
But Karen Blomfield, 43, who is a Group Scout Leader for the 2nd Ampthill and Woburn Scout Group, decided to go one step further and cut out alcohol for the month of October to raise money and awareness about the project.
“I went sober four years ago for Macmillan and I thought I would do it again,” she explains.
“Like many mums, I love having a glass of wine in the evening to unwind and so to cut it out completely has been a big challenge for me!
“But I was so determined. I absolutely love helping at Scouts as a group leader and both my children, Tom and Elizabeth, are heavily involved in it.
“It offers so many opportunities and experiences for all the children who go and it would be absolutely devastating if we had to close down because we didn’t raise enough for the hut to be repaired and extra space added.
“I hope by doing this I do raise awareness in the town because so many children have enjoyed and continue to enjoy Cubs, Scouts and Guides. If we all donated just a little bit, it could go a long way.”
Karen, who works full time as a customer support consultant for the airline industry, has already reached her target of £300 but she’d be over the moon if she could raise even more to help something that is enjoyed by so many.
She added: “We have about 40 children on the waiting list for Beavers – 20 of these could start tomorrow if we had a place for them.”