Fife Scouts have issued an SOS – help Save Our Scout Hall.
The devastated East Neuk troop is facing a £22,000 bill to fix dangerous structural faults in its Pittenweem building.
The news has come as a “massive blow” on the back of lockdown, which saw the scouts unable to meet indoors for a year.
Steel supports have already been fitted around the entrance after large cracks appeared in the stonework.
And a structural engineer has warned major works are required to hold up the roof while the damage is fixed.
The 12th Fife (East Neuk) scout group has now launched a massive fundraising drive to help meet the “sudden and unexpected” costs.
And just as scouts and cubs are known for helping others, they hope the community will rally to support them by donating to their appeal.
The South Street building is home to more than 70 scouts, cubs, beavers and explorers, as well as brownies and guides.
It is also used by the community during the annual Pittenweem Arts Festival, which is cancelled this year due to Covid.
The hall dates back to 1852 and has been used as a scout hall since 1966.
It has also been a slaughter house, as well as a picture house.
‘Our scout hall is falling down’
Scout leader Jo Taylor says the cost of repairs is a huge setback for the group.
“We’ve limped through the last year getting kids to do just outdoor activities,” she said.
“Now, just as lockdown is easing, the opportunity for face-to-face indoor activities is lost because our scout hall is falling down.”
The troop hopes to raise money as quickly as they can to allow them to rebuild the hall as soon as possible.
But they’re hampered in their own fundraising activities due to the ongoing Covid restrictions.
“Normally we’d be out doing things like bag packs and coffee mornings but we can’t do that just now,” Jo said.
“We might be able to do something like that later in the summer but for now, we’re relying on social media.”
They have launched a Save Our Scout Hall page on Facebook, which includes ways to donate.
What exactly is the problem?
Signs of a structural fault in the sandstone building began showing about a year ago.
The cracks became worse during the cold winter and the area was fenced off as steel supports were inserted both inside and outside.
The engineer who inspected it recommended removing the front door area, including the stone pediment.
“Unfortunately, this area also supports the main steel beam that holds up the three roofs that make up our hall,” said Jo.
“It is a major job to support the roof while the works are carried out.”
Jo added: “A preliminary report puts the costings of the works to be around £22,000, which is a massive blow.
“This is in addition to the ongoing care of the building and alterations to meet with current health and safety standards.
“In order to assist us with these sudden and unexpected costs, we are mounting a fundraising campaign.
“We are at present looking into grants but we are also seeking donations to help us fix this damage and return to using our hall for scouting.
“Scouting is about the self-development of kids. It has nice values and ethics and is an inclusive movement.
“We can’t lose our hall.”
Donations can be made via the Save Our Scout Hall online fundraising page at justgiving.com/campaign/savepittenweemscouthall