TWO Newbury Scout groups have been left reeling after experiencing the financial repercussion of Brexit.
The 2nd Newbury Scout Group, which had teamed up with 1st Wash Common group, has seen its hard-earned savings lose value after the pound dropped to record levels following the UK vote to leave the EU.
Now the groups have had to find emergency funds for their trip to Norway, which they leave for next Wednesday.
They had raised around £3,000 for 26 Scouts and seven leaders, with the youngsters contributing most of the funding themselves.
Scout leader at 2nd Newbury, Lara Desroche, said: “We were going well. We were on budget and then they said we are pulling out of Europe and we lost £650 overnight.”
Accommodation costs soared while the exchange rate for the Norwegian krone dropped from 12.25 to 10.80.
Mrs Desroche said that around £850 had been lost in exchanging the money.
“It was just shocking. It’s just heartbreaking when you have worked so hard. You can’t account for us pulling out of the EU,” she said.
“It’s not something in your thought process. It has stabilised a bit now that a new Prime Minister is in place. If we had gone at Easter, then we would have been fine.”
The Scouts have managed to recover some funds thanks to Newbury Round Table but Mrs Deroche said that the trip is about £500 short.
She added that many of the Scouts attended St Bartholomew’s School, where pupils voted to remain in the EU in their own referendum. “They now know it’s affected them. They are the young people who are growing up today and it’s personally affecting them.”
Mrs Desroche said she thought that the UK would not vote to leave and that many people had been focusing on the wider impact of Brexit.
“I just hadn’t considered the implications,” she said. “I certainly wasn’t thinking about our summer camp when they were talking about referendums.”
If you would like to help the Brexit-stricken Scouts email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/2ndnewburyscoutgroup