The Guide Headquarters in Westoe Road, South Shields, is preparing to welcome the public back after volunteers brought the building back to life.
The HQ dates back to the late 1960s, when a group of South Shields Guide Leaders got together to create a fundraising committee to find and purchase a building in South Shields that could be used by Girl Guiding in the town and the wider community, as a meeting place where community groups could have fun, learn new skills and make friends.
The building in Westoe Road was chosen, and opened in 1971 as a girlguiding HQ.
But in recent years the building had fallen into a state of poor repair, and required a lot of improvement work.
A committee was set up to restore the building, and members Gail Maxwell, Wendy Pringle, Sheena Kaupa and Kathryn Kaupa have spent the last two years getting it back into shape.
Gail said: “Many groups have used it ever since but sadly the building had fallen in to disrepair in the 2000s and a committee has set about bringing the building back to life so that Girl Guiding and the wider South Shields community could benefit from using it again.”
Some of the renovation work in the building includes a ramp outside to ensure accessible entry, removal of bow window and replacement with new window and fascia, new front and rear doors and new carpets throughout.
The public are invited to come along for the grand opening this Saturday, between 1pm – 4pm, to take a look at the completed refurbishment and see what the building has to offer which can be rented out for events, birthday, groups and more.
Gail added: “The fruits of the many hours of labour can be seen, as well as the chance to grab a cuppa and see the Division Challenge entries from South Shields Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.
“2021 would have marked 50 years since the building was officially opened, by Mrs. Betty Clay, Baden Powell’s daughter, making it a double celebration to mark the refurbishment and Golden Anniversary (plus 1 year!) for this community building."