SCOUTS have been keeping busy despite Covid-19 lockdown thanks to funding from a government organisation.

Youngsters at Acle Scout Group have not been able to attend their weekly meetings in recent months, but funding from Great Aycliffe and Middridge Area Action Partnership (AAP) has ensured the scouts have access to activity packs at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Before lockdown, the group’s beaver, cub and scout sections would usually meet in Aycliffe Village Hall every week to enjoy a variety of trips and activities.

The Northern Echo:

Leaders of the group applied for a grant through Durham County Council’s AAP Covid-19 fund with hopes of keeping the excitement of scouting alive during lockdown.

The team received £2,000 to help them to provide activity packs to their members, aged five to 16.

The packs are age-appropriate and tailored to each child, aiming to help the youngsters remain engaged and inspired while still adhering to Government guidance.

As well as information to support children’s emotional wellbeing, the packs provide youngsters with fun ideas and activities.

The Northern Echo:

Margaret Lenahan, leader of Acle Scouts, said: “This funding has provided much-needed activities for our scouts and their families, which they have been able to enjoy safely at home.

“The children have been kept busy making cookies, pizzas, chalk art and balloon art, as well as pebble painting, hula hooping, skipping, and creating edible hanging baskets.

“The full group also walked 3,000 miles in one week for their daily exercise.

“We really have achieved all we wanted and more with this project and are looking forward to getting back to our weekly sessions once it is safe to do so and building on the skills the children have learned through the activity packs.”

The Northern Echo:

Earlier this year, the council provided each of its 14 AAPs with an additional £100,000 to assist projects and provide support during the pandemic.

The £1.4m was further boosted with an extra £100,000 for countywide projects, while local members have been given more flexibility with their neighbourhood budgets.

Acle Scouts Group is one of the many community organisations across the county to have benefited.

The Northern Echo:

Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for communities and local partnerships, said: “Keeping children entertained can be tricky at the best of times, but the lockdown and social distancing has made it even more challenging.

“It has been wonderful to hear about the fun and safe activities Acle Scout Group has been up to during this time.

“This is a fantastic example of a project that has made a big difference to the lives of County Durham families, and we are proud to have supported it.”

To find out more about the work of County Durham’s AAPs and the funding available visit