DESPERATE Scouts have launched a huge fundraising drive for £15,000 to replace the leaky roof on their hut.

The 1st Braintree Group, which is made up of more than 60 Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, has been dealing with problems with its roof for the past couple of winters.

And Scout leaders say the ageing building, which is in John Ray Street, Braintree, also needs new toilet facilities and a kitchen area installed.

Martin Locke, who has been the Scout leader for four years, said: “The roof is in a bad way, there are lots of holes in it so when it rains it does leak.

“The water will run down the walls and it’s damaged the flooring. Sometimes we take the kids outside in hi-vis if it’s bad enough.

“The building has been there for 88 years so in many ways it’s lucky that it’s been able to survive for this long.

“Usually we have things going on there for four nights of the week so it’s important that we get it repaired.”

Asbestos has also been found in the roof of the historic building giving another reason for it to be replaced.

Mr Locke said: “We have had an asbestos survey carried out and for the proper removal and disposal of the existing asbestos cement tiles. We are doing everything by the book.”

At the time of going to print, just over £250 had been pledged to the group to help fund the new roof and facilities.

The bid comes as the group is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year.

Mr Locke said: “I think people should help us because we’re an important asset to the community. Personally, I’m extremely proud of the group and everything it has achieved.

“I have four of my own kids who are part of the groups and it’s brilliant in terms of getting them outside and involved in he community.

“I think it gives children a proper childhood, it gets them away from their consoles and outside and doing things like climbing trees.”

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