In Funding Stories, Strengthening community cohesion

Group: The 4th Beaconsfield Scouts
Project: Inclusive and accessible outdoor eating and learning area
Grant:  £10,000
Fund: General Fund

Photo of an old Scout building and an outside area, with overgrown bushes and brambles. In the foreground is an unkept grassy area with a fire pit circle.


With funding from Heart of Bucks, The 4th Beaconsfield Scouts transformed their outside space into an accessible and inclusive outdoor eating/learning area.

Having recently created a ‘Reflection room’ where neurodiverse members can go to to relax and refocus, The 4th Beaconsfield Scouts began to think more generally about inclusion and accessibility. This led them to acknowledging that their outdoor area wasn’t accessible for wheelchair users. It also didn’t feature any covered areas, making it harder to use in poor weather conditions. These factors meant the area wasn’t being utilised as effectively as it could. Also, the lack of wheelchair accessibility could be putting off potential members who use wheelchairs or have mobility issues. The group recognised that making changes to their outdoor area would help to continue conversations around accessibility and inclusion with its members, and expose them to challenges that most of them do not face but that are very real for a percentage of the population.

A photo of a Scout building with a large outdoor covered area to the right. In the foreground is a pathway with a ramp, leading to a clear and tidy grassy area. On the left hand side is tree stump seating around a fire pit.


The grant received was spent directly on the transformation of the Scout groups outdoor area and making the building wheelchair accessible. A covered area was constructed along the side of the building, enabling not just outdoor eating but whole sessions to take place outdoors no matter the weather. Bushes and brambles were cleared, making the area look more inviting. The fire pit was moved and enhanced, making it safer and accessible. Finally, ramps leading to all areas were added creating wheelchair access to the outdoor area, the firepit and the building itself. Although the group do not currently have any wheelchair users as members, this has removed any barriers to them joining. By making these changes, the Scout group have created more opportunities for their young people to socialise, learn new skills, spend more time outdoors, and to nurture understanding around inclusiveness and accessibility.

With these improvements, the Scout group can also now hire out the building to other local groups, as well as for parties and events. By doing so, they will create an additional revenue stream for themselves, helping the group to become more self-sustainable.

These changes have empowered the group with a new energy, gaining an insight into the need and responsibility to be inclusive to all. They now feel a sense of ‘if we can achieve this, what else can we achieve’ and they are excited about future projects and new members.

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