Leaders of a scout group are celebrating after after being awarded two grants totalling over £5,000.

1st Wigton Baden-Powell Scouts have been awarded grants to buy equipment for children to use while face-to-face meetings are not possible.

Group leader Julie Bryceson said: “From the start of lockdown we have delivered online scouting – it isn’t the same as the real thing but we have made it as interesting as possible and we have the majority of children in the group logging on each week for activities.

“However, leaders felt it was beginning to feel a little stale. We wanted to offer more practical options too but did not have sufficient equipment available for every child to be able to take part.”

So Mrs Bryceson applied for two grants, from Cumbria Community Foundation’s Covid-19 fund and The Joyce Wilkinson Trust.

“I was delighted to hear we had been awarded £3,000 from the Covid-19 fund," Mrs Bryceson said. "This has enabled us to buy modelling clay, plaster of Paris, PVA glue and moulds for all 65 beavers in the group. We then bought compasses and maps for the cubs, gas stoves and canisters for the scouts and wood-burning stoves for the senior scouts.”

Parents are being asked to watch videos of how to use the stoves, after which they will be delivered to homes.

Mrs Bryceson hopes the scouts will be able to improve their cooking skills at home in preparation for Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions. Meanwhile, cubs will tackle the map reader badge and become proficient in using a compass. When meetings resume, the equipment will be returned to the group for use.

The Joyce Wilkinson Trust then gave a further £2,500 to buy scout handbooks and badges.

Mrs Bryceson said: “In addition to our four weekly Zoom meetings, we have offered a monthly activity for every member. We had 118 children camp at home in April, building dens, pitching tents and making fires, and all received a special badge. May saw 350 children and their families celebrate VE Day and again, a special badge was awarded to all who took part. June’s challenge was climbing Everest, with over 100 taking part, again with a special badge, and there will be another activity in July (it’s secret at the moment).

“The activities and badges are popular but with virtually no income, it was costing us hundreds of pounds every month. The grant money relieves pressure and allows us to have custom-made badges and have handbooks professionally printed and bound.

"We are extremely grateful for the funding; it has proved a huge morale booster to children and leaders.”