Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Absail launches Scout Hall redevelopment fundraising drive

Explorer Scouts with family and friends ready to abseil down the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

Explorer Scouts with family and friends ready to abseil down the Europa Hotel in Belfast.

THERE was a hair-raising experience for members of First Hillsborough Scout Group recently as they abseiled down the front of Belfast's Europa Hotel to launch their fundraising campaign to rebuild Hillsborough Village Scout Hall.

From the comfort of the pavement on Great Victoria Street, family and friends watched the 15 volunteers safely scale down the front of the building, knowing that their efforts were going to contribute �2,500 towards the Scout Hall Redevelopment Fund.

Jessica Kidd, who has been involved with Hillsborough Scout Group for nearly 50 years recalled the bold decision back in the late 1970's to fund raise in order to purchase the current Scout Hall site. The new Scout Hall was, however, a second hand building.

With a life expectancy at that time of 25 years, it is now operating on borrowed time. Whilst still structurally intact, wear and tear has taken its toll. With over 100 young people using the hall every week the facilities fall well short of modern expectations, not to mention changing legislative parameters.

In 2007, the Centenary Year of Scouting, the current Scout Group Committee brought forward a vision to plan for the redevelopment of the existing site to provide more modern 'Fit for Purpose' facilities. The launch of this new fund raising campaign takes place exactly 25 years from the date when the existing hall was formally opened in April 1983. To find out more about Hillsborough Scout Hall redevelopment proposals or to pledge a donation please email

Ulster Star