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Story Homes kickstarts fundraising campaign

March 2016

A North Cumbrian outdoor centre for young people has been given a £10,000 boost from Story Homes towards a massive refurbishment of their premises and facilities.

Ratlingate Outdoor Centre on the outskirts of Carlisle has been used by the Scouts for years. It started off as a Scout campsite in 1937 and then in 1996 an accommodation building was added, which was great when it was built, but is now limiting the use of the site.

Young people come to stay at Ratlingate from all over Cumbria, the North East, the rest of the UK and even from other continents. The main attraction is the 20 acres of woodland surrounding the camping area, which is available for young people to do activities, play games or go exploring.

The small team from Ratlingate have embarked on a fundraising campaign where they hope to raise £400,000 to extend and refurbish the facilities. The work that is proposed will address a number of problems and make it more accessible to other groups to use as well as the Scouts. For example, the building is currently not wheelchair accessible; there aren’t enough bedrooms for a typical school group, there are insufficient toilets and showers; the heating system is ineffective and more.

Fundraiser, Mike Bareham said: “Ratlingate is a really great place, but the building could be so much better. By making the improvements we hope to be able to attract new visitors and help even more young people benefit from our fantastic centre.

“The aim of our project is to enable young people to escape from TVs, computers, city streets, boredom, deprivation or the restrictions of a disability and instead learn new skills, make friends and have fun in a safe outdoor environment at a cost that is affordable to all. We’re all really grateful for this generous contribution from Story Homes.”

Chairman of Story Homes, Fred Story added: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to kick start the fundraising efforts for Mike and the team at Ratlingate Outdoor Centre. I’m a keen supporter of the Scouts and know what a difference a facility like this can make to young people. Mike has a huge challenge on his hands trying to raise the funds for this but I’m confident that he’ll do it and that the centre will go from strength to strength.”

Story Homes supports many community projects and prides itself on helping out in the areas where its developments are located. For more information on projects and good causes that have been supported visit our webpages here.