Future of 4th Lossiemouth Company Boys Brigade in "jeopardy" with no immediate home for group
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A MORAY boys' brigade's future is in jeopardy due to difficulty finding a home, the company's captain has said.
4th Lossiemouth Company Boys' Brigade is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year – but captain James Allan has warned the future could be in doubt if no home can be found for the group and its 70 members.
With the company set to start meeting again on October 28, Moray Council is not currently allowing the company to meet at their usual home at Hythehill Primary School due to the number of external visitors to schools being restricted for pupil safety.
Mr Allan, who is also president of Boys Brigade North of Scotland, said this is "really unfair" and pointed out that the rules are different for groups in Aberdeenshire.
"Aberdeenshire Council and many other local authorities in Scotland have let groups back into their schools," he said.
"Companies that have not been able to get back into schools have been in churches – but that isn't an option for us here with the churches not back themselves.
"At first the council said we could start outside but it was too cold, so I said we would start in late October. Now that is in doubt.
"It's really unfair as Moray has the fewest coronavirus cases outside of Orkney and Shetland so we have been really good. Risk assessments, logs and safety measures are all in place and it's shame we are not sure when we can get back.
"There is absolutely a worry about our future. We are the biggest and most successful battalion in Moray and it would be a great loss to our community if we had to fold after 30 years.
"It's a worry that we can't get anywhere to go. The longer it takes people the more chance there is of people getting into other things. We have to try to get back to some normality."
However, Moray Council said it is their priority to keep children and school staff safe from the spread of coronavirus.
A spokesperson said: “The phased re-opening of our community facilities started on September 14, in-line with Covid-19 safety measures, the majority of which can now be booked online.
“The number of external visitors to schools is being restricted to keep our children and staff as safe as possible from the potential spread of coronavirus.
"An enhanced cleaning programme is in operation in our schools and we are currently considering how cleaning and risks assessments could be further enhanced, prior to any reintroduction of external lets to our school buildings.”
Thankfully for the company, interest is not yet weaning – with 25 of the company's members having just joined up after fliers were spread around by schools in Lossie.
Mr Allan thanked the schools, and the community at large, for their help and asked any venue able to host them to get in touch.
He added: "The schools were really good with us and did a lot to help, and the community has been supporting us well.
"We are trying loads of places. If anyone knows anywhere – even if its temporary – that is available on a Wednesday night between 5pm and 9.30pm please let us know."