Scouts, Cubs and Beavers at 1st Winchester Scout Group now have a fantastic new hall in which to meet, thanks in part to a donation from a former Mayor of Winchester.

Cllr Eileen Berry official ‘opened’ the new folding wall in the hall, having made a donation from the Mayor’s Charity Fund in 2015 that met half the cost.

The wall is the latest addition to the 1st Winchester Group’s new headquarters, 1st Place. It means that all 180 children from Weeke, Harestock and Teg Down who regularly attend beavers, cubs and scouts meetings can benefit from separate activities in the same hall. The folding wall will also benefit other community users who can hire the hall at weekends; and the Little 1s Pre-School, which uses the building every day during the week in term time.

Bruce Martin, group scout leader, said: “This is the sort of improvement that makes a huge difference to the way we run our scouting activities. For instance, when we run our additional session for Cubs and Beavers with special educational needs, we can arrange an activity in the separate space so it is ready when we have finished our first game. We just open the wall and we’re ready to go!”

In a short ceremony at the end of a typically lively cub pack meeting on March 1, Councillor Berry cut a ribbon to mark the official unveiling of the sliding wall. She said she was delighted to see the way her donation had been used, particularly as improving facilities for young people in Winchester had been one of her most important aims as mayor. She thanked the cubs and leaders again for fundraising work they did for the charities she supported while she was Mayor, including collecting money on the High Street in Winchester.

“My goodness me, you haven’t half done some work here!” she said, of the fundraising and work by volunteers during the past four years that has helped to fund, build and equip the new building. “I’ve got nothing but praise for your leaders and parents, who have pushed so hard for this – and for you.”

Little 1 preschool, which runs during weekdays in term time has some vacancies. See for details.

To find out more about hiring 1st Place for events see, or email