Press Release 01/2017
The spirit of giving unto others and helping your neighbour was alive and well in Lucan late last year where the 180th Lucan South Scout Group unintentionally became the recipient of a building and site at Balgaddy, west Dublin.
Up until now the 180th Lucan South Scout Group had never imagined they would enjoy the security and safety of a site that could house a scout den of their own but in an unexpected show of generosity and community giving, Father John Hassett and his diocese have donated the Bush Centre and its site to the group with which they can use to develop a scout den and community centre to serve the approximate 200 children, young people, families and scout leaders who currently make up the group.
It is envisioned that the site will house a community building that continues to serve a variety of other community groups and services in Balgaddy from those offering childcare services, healthy lifestyle classes, after school activities to those who need a place for their community group or small business to meet and greet others.
The result of an impromptu conversation between Father John Hassett and scout leader Ann Power, it emerged that the diocese were in a position to offer a site they owned to the scout group with the promise and understanding that the site and any subsequent building erected there would be used to serve the children and families living in the area.
This incredible act of kindness has come at just the right moment for the 180th Lucan South Scout group as they had to seriously consider their future and how they could continue to offer their program of informal education to children and young people in the area. Without a scout den of their own, they had endured damage and theft of equipment, and have had to deliver the scout program at a number of venues throughout the neighbourhood over a number of evenings which has proved a drain on the volunteer leaders and led to difficulties when organising group activities.
“Having been in operation, for over 10 years, in the area, the group is now larger in number with waiting lists for each section being managed, and yet, we have not had the advantage or comfort of owning a scout den or secure storage facilities in the area”, explains Lorraine Kelly, group leader.
Each year the 180th Lucan South Scout group support and engage with approximately 200 local children and young people from approximately 100 families and households. The age of attendees ranges from 6 to 18+ years. As such, the group can offer informal education that manages to cover personal development, encourage children and young people’s role as active citizens, and explores how they can engage in a healthy lifestyle while acquiring a full scouting skill set.
This education is delivered by trained volunteers in a safe, positive and encouraging setting. The Scout program tries its best to retain children and young people for as long as possible where it is hoped they will move on to become the next Scout leaders and pay back their knowledge and experience to other children in the community.
The children and young people at the 180th Lucan South Scout group are representative of the large and wonderful diversity of families and homes in West Dublin.
“Scouting activities bring so much to the community not just for its leaders and attendees but through the community work it carries out,” added Lorraine Kelly, group leader.
The site at Balgaddy is 0.5acre in size, is located next to the Divine Mercy church and car park and currently houses a basic community centre with limited facilities, both the building and small green area are in need of repair and restoration.
The dream for the 180th Lucan South Scout group now is that they will be able to raise funds to develop a modern, mult -purpose community building that will engage the local community and its children and young people. Because the work of the 180th Lucan South Scout group is entirely voluntary, there will be a call for help to achieve this dream.
“We would love to hear from anyone with a social corporate funding program or anyone who could assist with materials or skills to help complete this building” explained Lorraine Kelly.
The group is also exploring grant options but have come up against a suspension in funding from the National Lottery via the Department of Children and Youth Affairs so it is calling for a meeting with local councilors and Ministers to get help with this.
For an opportunity to meet with and discuss the project
Meet with the leaders, youth members and children of the 180th Lucan South Scout Group and Father John Hassett, at the Open Day at the Bush Centre Balgaddy Co Dublin held this Sunday 2 April from 12 – 4pm. Father John Hassett will be present from 3-3.45pm.
For more information on this story or if you can help the project please contact
Lorraine Kelly Group Leader 180th Lucan South Scout Group and/or
Ann Power Scout Leader 180th Lucan South Scout Group