Doncaster Scouts launch cash plea as energy crisis sees bills soar from £500 to £2,000

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Doncaster Scout group is going green to avoid closure – after energy bills rocketed from £500 to £2,000 a month.

Bosses of the 58th Doncaster Scout Group, which is based in Cantley and has its own self-funded headquarters has announced plans to go carbon neutral as the energy crisis but the future of the group at risk.

Group leader Lee Mulholland said: “The increase in our energy costs have risen on average from £500 to £2,000 per month which unfortunately means our current model is no longer sustainable and we face the very real prospect of closure, so we’ve come up with a plan to save our centre.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He added: “Over the last few years energy prices have rocketed, this has brought forward our initiative to become the first Scout group in the UK to go carbon neutral by using the energy we need as economically as possible, and reducing the energy required by the grid.”

Cantley Scouts has launched a £23,000 funding campaign to go green and stave off closure.Cantley Scouts has launched a £23,000 funding campaign to go green and stave off closure.
Cantley Scouts has launched a £23,000 funding campaign to go green and stave off closure.

Each week, the group supports 120 families with scouting sessions, along with being a home for over a dozen local groups proving a range of services and activities.

Added Mr Mulholland: “Each year we host hundreds of birthday parties for local children and are considered one of the greatest community facilities in the area.

“We are the first purpose-built scout hall to be constructed in the last 20 years in the city, and we did this by raising funds for nearly two decades with huge community support.

“Now more than ever we’re feeling the pinch.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Last year in winter our average energy bill was £500 per month.

"We rely on donations and hall hire and received no other funding to run our facility.

"We recently signed a fixed price deal with EDF which saw our bills double to £1,000 per month, however EDF have now pulled out of the contact and a new “deal” will see our electricity rates at a whopping 84 pence per unit, which equates to slightly under £2,000 per month.

“With this in mind, our expenditure is now massively over any income we receive, and our reserve funds are depleting rapidly.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said that a team of more than 30 volunteers have teamed up with a local green energy firm.

Mr Mulholland said: “We replace our heating system with an air source heat pump and solar panels which will see a significant reduction in our energy consumption, getting us closer to our net zero carbon project.

“Unfortunately, the first phase of this project comes in at £23,000, something we don’t have the funds for, so we’re reaching out to local businesses, grant schemes and the DMBC for assistance.

“We’ve spent 20 years raising funds to provide our amazing facility which is always packed with people and really is the beating heart of our large community. It would be such a shame to lose what we have all worked for over these years for something such as an electricity bill.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The second phase will see us use any additional electricity generated by the panels heat up our water system instead of re-selling back to the grid as the buy back rates are ever diminishing. It will also allow us to make savings so we can purchase a battery storage system to help store any power generated in the daytime for use throughout the night, and finally a bladeless roof mounted turbine to effectively achieve the project goal.

“The completion of this project will allow the Phoenix Centre and home to the 58th Doncaster Scout group to flourish for years to come. We have future plans to build an extension to store equipment, a plan to create a climbing tower for use by our members and public on open days, and a larger plan to acquire unused land adjacent to ours to start building an outdoor activity centre.

Anyone interested in donating funds can email [email protected] or visit for more details.

Related topics: