Our vision as Trustees is to have a Community Centre that will enable the young of Topsham to become more at ease with people with disabilities and people living with Dementia and their carers.
The Scout Hut on Ferry Road has been used since 1962 until 14th February 2014 when flooding brought contaminated muddy river water up through the floor boards.
The building was demolished in June 2017 . It was originally a mess hall at Exeter University and probably pre WWII.
It was dismantled and rebuilt by volunteers from Topsham and members of the scout group in 1962.
Since then it has been used by countless local children; learning scouting skills and with a strong link to the community.
Over the decades the condition of the hut had been slowly deteriorating and funds were being sought to replace it before it became unusable.
Although second hand it has been a good home to the group. Its location has allowed easy access to the river where they can learn water safety skills and go out on various water craft.
Currently the group has three sections; Beavers, Cubs and Scouts with around 70 children attending weekly. All meet at different venues not always in Topsham and often changing week by week.
Topsham Adventure Centre has been formed as a charity (Number 1170649) to oversee the rebuilding of the Scout Hut as a joint venture with other charities/organizations to benefit people of all ages whether they be living with illnesses and disabilities or otherwise.
The building will be used as follows:
- It will be the new home for Scouting Groups operating in Topsham and the surrounding area.
- It will also be used as a day centre for people with disabilities including clients of the charity Community Equality Disability Action (CEDA) which provides services to Children and Young People with Disabilities. Topsham Adventure Centre will also be available for the use of clients (and their carers) of The Mede, an organisation that provides respite for people living with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
- And it will also be available (when – albeit on rare occasions when it is not being used as above) for use as a hireable venue for children’s birthday parties, family gatherings, anniversaries, parties and Community Action Meetings.
The old, unsafe structure has been demolished and plans for a sustainable and fully accessible replacement with activity areas and changing facilities have been unanimously approved by Exeter City Council. The Council have also granted a 99-year lease on the land. South-West Water have generously offered off-road parking spaces for wheelchair-adapted transport, carers and Scout leaders.
Dr Nick Batchelor
Chair of Trustees
Nick is a Doctor at Royal Devon and Exeter(Wonford) and has been a big supporter of the Sea Scouts for some time now and is really excited to be leading what he is sure is an enormously valuable project for Topsham and the wider community.
Trustee & Chair of 1st Topsham Sea Scouts
Fiona qualified as a solicitor in Melbourne, Australia where she worked in the Community Legal sector and as a youth lawyer. Fiona has worked as a child protection lawyer in the UK since 2002 and now lives in Topsham where her two young children have joined Topsham Sea Scouts. Fiona is Chair of the Topsham Sea Scouts Committee.
Steve has an extensive career in working with communities and the charity sector on project development and funding. He is currently Chair to the Boards of CEDA and the training organisation Westward Pathfinder.
Former Solicitor but now a Charity Consultant and Trustee of WESC Foundation and Exeter Dispensary and Aid in Sickness Fund. Angus has helped to put together the collaboration with CEDA and others.
Gill worked as an educational book publisher and had the privilege of travelling extensively in developing countries, visiting schools of all kinds. She was a Scout Leader in Hampshire, before moving to Devon in 2006. She is currently a Trustee of Topsham Museum and Tours Secretary of the local branch of the Arts Society.