Scouts provide help with cycling event transport and a Fresh Start cafe

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The Craigalmond District Explorer Scouts and leaders supported the Ride to the Sun cycling event in June 2022. It also acted as a fundraiser. Read on for more.

Ride to the Sun is an unsupported event, more along the lines of an Audax event, than a swanky sportive. What does this mean? Well there was no signs, no sweeper vehicles and no official organisation as such. Each participant had to take responsibility for themself, their bike and own safety. The relaxed and friendly vibe is one of the highlights for all the participants and numbers have grown each year since the first event in 2015.

Running the Bike Transport and Fresh Start café was an amazing team effort from over 70 individuals across Cramond, Graeme Allen, Pink Panthers and Queensferry Explorer Units, the District Explorer team and local friends of Scouting spanning some six months of planning and taking bookings leading up Ride To The  Sun Weekend in June 2022.

Many cyclists made a point of stopping to say what a great job the team did, and how much easier and enjoyable it made taking part in Ride To The Sun. Most people with a connection to Ride To The Sun feel it is that little bit different and special. The team not only helped 300 cyclists take part in a special cycle event but also played a major part in helping raise over £2,700 funds for 
Fresh Start to help those who are homeless make a home and a new life for themselves, as well as raising funds to help 30 Explorer Scouts and Leaders Scouting locally to take part in the Blair Atholl Jamborette, the World Scout Jamboree in 2023 and Kajo 2022 in Finland, as well as providing much-needed funds to develop the local Scout programme for Explorers and Scouts.

Feedback from customers

Customers have given us fantastic feedback with 84% rating the service as outstanding and with many positive comments:

  • * From check-in on the day through to tea first thing in the morning I was struck by the care, consideration, and willingness to help by all scouts and helpers. * The much younger than I showed maturity beyond their years, truly humbling
  • * The transport was run impressively efficiently.  I was super happy with your organisation!
  • * At all times they were helpful, cheerful, and made my life a great deal easier and felt totally confident my bike and myself, were in good hands. I would have no hesitation in recommending or using their service again. Thank you and well-done guys …you did yourselves proud.  (Ex-Royal Marines)
  • * I thought it was faultless. Extraordinarily efficient and well organised.

Fresh Start – helping the homeless in our communities settle into new homes

As well as raising funds for Scouting, the team also volunteer to help run the Café to raise £2,700 which Fresh Start will use to support over 2,000 people each year. Jenn McQuistan, Corporate Partnership Officer from Fresh Start gave us this feedback:

“All the Scouts volunteers (leaders, young people and parents) were absolutely brilliant and such a fantastic help on the night. We literally couldn’t pull the café off without the help of the Scout volunteers, particularly on the scale that it now is, so please pass on a big thank you from everyone here to all who helped on the night and of course for the amazing organisation in the run-up to the event.”

Fresh Start relies on the support of individuals and community groups, like the Scouts, to provide time, funds and goods to help deliver their services. There are many ways to get involved – for more information, please visit Fresh Start’s website.  Through your help Fresh Start can make a real difference to someone’s life, helping someone settle in their home and gain the skills and confidence to move forward with their life.

Thanks to those who helped:

The Scout Transport Service is only possible with the incredibly generous support of the following companies, and we would like to recognise and thank them and their staff:

* Tesco Davidson Mains – for use of their car park
* Tesco, Co-op Food and Hayton Coultard/ARR CRAIB – for providing drivers and lorries for bike transport

We thank all those who helped make the Scout Transport and Ride to the Sun such a success in so many different ways.  Thank you again for a brilliant job and for creating such a positive reputation for Explorer Scout.

David & Miriam Newton,
Scout Bike Transport Service,
Craigalmond District Explorer Scouts

Volunteer opportunity available

If you enjoy reading this then please get in touch to find out how you can become an adult volunteer. It’s so rewarding for you in so many ways. You’ll only know if you try. You can work directly with the young people or more behind the scenes in whatever flexible role suits you in time, skill and space. You don’t have to have had any prior Scouting experience, you just need to want to do good, and help others.  If you believe in this as a set of values then this is a great opportunity for you. What’s not to like!  Please email us for an informal, no obligation, chat.