Scouts and guides from West Moor and Killingworth in North Tyneside have received a bundle of green gifts to help them keep warm in winter and enjoy the outdoors all summer thanks to Stagecoach North East.

3 rd Killingworth Scout Group and 1 st West Moor Girl Guides entered the local bus operator’s Green Santa competition for community groups across Newcastle. They submitted a winning response to the question ‘What could Stagecoach Green Santa give your community group to help the environment’ and won an eco prize of £250 to spend on ‘green’ gifts, which will benefit the adventurous youngsters.

The two groups, both run completely by volunteers, provide life skills and a range of adventurous activities for over 100 young people; from five to 25 years. Over three nights a week, they organise and run a varied programme of events at Olave Lodge on the border of Killingworth and West Moor, taking part in outdoor and indoor activities such as camping, first aid and hiking, to cooking and arts and crafts.

As a 1950s prefab building, Olave Lodge can be cold in the winter and very expensive to heat, so the groups asked Green Santa for some flat roof insulation to help keep the warmth in. This will help to reduce heating bills and the running costs of the building, as well as reduce the condensation which can affect the equipment. It will also leave more community funds for fun activities and subsidised camp trips for the 100 scouts and guides.

The scout and guide groups purchased some solar powered security lights, to improve the lighting around the grounds of Olave Lodge, allowing for more outside activities for the youngsters and ensuring their safety. In addition, the groups also benefitted from a number of wind-up eco torches for night hikes, camping and outdoor events.

Sam Mace, Cub Scout Leader, 3 rd Killingworth Scout Group, said: “3 rd Killingworth Scout Group moved into Olave Lodge, the home of 1 st West Moor Girl Guides, in January 2016.

Stagecoach North East’s eco grant has enabled both groups to work together to resolve some of the problems with Olave Lodge. At the same time, it has allowed them both to save funds so they can continue to provide a range of fun and adventurous activities for their members. Hopefully, Stagecoach North East’s eco grant is the start of many good things to come for the joint venture of both groups.”

George Docherty, a Stagecoach North East bus driver at Newcastle’s Slatyford depot went along to meet the scouts and guides and see what they had bought with their prize money. He said: “As part of the Stagecoach Green Santa competition, the groups put forward an impressive entry with innovative and useful eco friendly presents to benefit the environment and the local scout and guide community, and their prize is well deserved. I hope that they have lots of fun over the summer using the torches and solar powered lights, and will be more comfortable in the winter thanks to the insulation.”

For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com