You are here: Home Latest Ottery News Archived News Articles
PDF Print E-mail
News Article
Written by Al Findlay   
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 23:14

As the dust settles on two weekends of busy trade at the Ottery St Mary Scouts Jumble sale, Group Scout Leader John Green and the whole team have time to catch their breath and reflect on what has been another hugely successful event.

ScoutsSpread over two weekends at the end of January and beginning of February, the Ottery St Mary Scout Group Jumble sale attracts buyers from far and wide and everyone has an eye out for a bargain. Queues start forming more than ½ an hour before the doors open. It is the Scout group’s biggest fundraising even of the year, so it is all hands on deck to ensure that the event runs smoothly.

The jumble starts to be collected two weeks ahead of the event, with members of the Scout group and an army of helpers manning collection vans to scoop up donations from Ottery and West Hill. “As ever, we are deeply grateful to everyone who gave so generously to support our cause,” says John Green “and once again we had an eclectic mix of items from large items of furniture to a huge amount of bedding and soft furnishings. It never ceases to amaze me just how much the local community are prepared to donate to support the fundraising for the young people in the scout group.”

The event took up three venues in Ottery over the two weekends, with bargain hunters darting from the Coleridge playgroup, the Old Boy’s School and the Institute for books, clothing, electronic goods, games, toys, bric-a-brac and the excitement of the auction. Each stall is manned by Scout group supporters as well as by the young people themselves to help the eager customer’s part with their cash. “I love the Jumble sale” says Maddy a member of the Scout troop “you never know what you’re going to find there and I also really like to help out as the money we make is helping to pay for activities, like the 10 day camp I am attending to Switzerland in July.”

“As an organisation, the scout group has always tried to offer young people adventure and new experiences” says Scout Leader Chris Evans, “but these experiences come at a cost, so the fund raising undertaken by the whole group goes towards subsidising the activities and trips making them available to as many young people as possible” The effort that goes into the fundraising activities is not wasted on the scout group parents, many of whom participate in the jumble sale. “We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of leaders across all sections who are committed to providing a wide range of experiences” says Scout mum Lisa. “There are people involved with the jumble sale whose kids left the group years ago – but still they come back to help. They all appreciate how much the group does for the community.”

But, the Ottery Scout Group’s fund raising activities are not just for their own gain. “Scouting is also about helping your community and aside from things like the litter pick that our Beaver’s section ran earlier this year, we also help out with key events, such as Tar Barrels where we run the parking”, says John Green. This week, the Scout group were pleased to hand over a cheque for £3,098.28 to the Ottery St Mary Carnival Committee, the proceeds from the car parks run by the Ottery Scouts, Silver Band and Ottery Primary School PTA for the event.