Moroccan Fun And Mountain Climbing To Help Fund Shaftesbury Guides’ Hall

Casablanca comes to Coppice Street on Friday when Shaftesbury’s Girl Guides host a Moroccan themed evening at the Football Club as a final fundraiser for their new hall. Alfred met the event organisers.

Planning permission for the Guides’ own space, a single-storey extension to Lindlar Hall, was granted in 2017. The unit will provide a permanent home for girl guiding in the town and will be used for four meetings each week, each lasting around two hours.

The new building is almost complete, but the project team needs to bring in £10,000 to finish the work. Tawny Owl, Vikki Warner, is looking forward to using the new facility. “It’ll give us a base for all of the girls in Shaftesbury. We have just under 100 regulars aged between 5 and 18 years of age. We do various activities with them. It’ll give us a home where we can store our kit, including our tents and somewhere where we can hold unit meetings.”

Yaz Ride (left) and Vikki Warner

Currently, the girls move around different locations. “We use Lindlar Hall, next to where the new building is going to be. We also meet at Shaftesbury Primary School and the Abbey School. We are all spread out,” said Vikki, adding that the new facility will be ready in the New Year. “We’re hoping by January. We just need the finishing touches done.” The project’s costs were estimated at around £70,000 and the girls and their supporters have been busy fundraising. “It’s been a lot of hard work,” she said.

Yaz Ride was a Brownie in Shaftesbury 20 years ago. Now she occasionally volunteers as a unit leader. Yaz has inspired Friday’s Moroccan themed event because she is embarking on a money-raising mission to that country. “I am climbing Mount Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It is the tallest peak in North Africa and I’m doing it to raise money for the Girl Guiding Hall,” said Yaz.

It will be a long climb between the 7th and 11th of November. “It’ll be three days to get to the top,” said Yaz. She will be camping out in a tent on the mountain. “In sub zero temperatures,” she added. “It’s going to be a very extreme physical challenge. The mountain is 5500m high,” said Yaz with some pride.

I asked Yaz whether she has been practicing on Gold Hill. “I wish I could say yes but I have not,” was her honest response. “I’ve done a little bit of climbing in the past including ice climbing so that will prepare me for the sub-zero temperatures,” she said.

Yaz is undertaking the challenge as part of a group. “There are four of us doing this. We are a group of friends who are looking to have a really good experience and hopefully raise the money for the Guides.” Yaz was asked to road test the trip by tour guides assessing its potential and thought that the challenge offered the perfect opportunity to raise cash for a Shaftesbury good cause.

If you want to support her fundraising you’re invited to attend the Moroccan themed evening at Shaftesbury Football Club on Friday. “It’s £5 per ticket for an adult and children are free. We’re going to do some games and activities for adults and children and there will be a raffle. Also, we’re having fancy dress with a prize for the best,” she said. And she promises Moroccan themed food and snacks. “Plenty of hummus,” Yaz said.

The event on Friday 4th October runs from 6pm to 9pm at Shaftesbury Football Club. You can help online at Justgiving.com/Crowdfunding/MoroccanMayhem.