CASH recovered from criminals has helped a Scout group rise from the ashes.
Saltney Ferry Scout and Guide Group was heartbroken when its old scout hut was devastated by a blaze in June 2012.
The group moved to a new home earlier this year and funds recovered from criminals have now paid for new equipment.
The Your Community, Your Choice initiative – or Participatory Budgeting Grant Scheme – set up by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Winston Roddick, North Wales Police and the North Wales Police and Community Trust provided £3,000 to help equip the new premises.
The scheme allows the public to vote for which projects to support and is partly funded by money recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act using cash seized from offenders.
Group Scout leader Rob Benyon said the money provided equipment which increased the many activities Scouts allowed youngsters to do.
“The commissioner is seeing just a selection of activities today, but they’ve just been camping in Scotland – raft building, climbing, hiking, orienteering,” he said.
Mr Benyon said things were definitely on the up for the group.
“We lost an awful lot of things in the fire but as a building, this is far better than what we had before,” he added. “It was a difficult couple of years and we’ve done an awful lot of fundraising – it cost £110,000 just to get set up here.”
Now the £3,000 has allowed the group to replace crucial kit such as ropes and tents.
Explorer Libby Kent, 14, from Saltney Ferry, who has been a regular member since she was eight, said: “We get to do lots of great activities. Before I started Scouts I’d never gone kayaking before and I went and did it and I got my One Star qualification.”
Mr Roddick said: “It was sheer enjoyment to see such good use being made of the money.
“Imagine this neighbourhood without a place of this kind and children without much to do or just staying in and watching television or playing with their machines. Here, they’re making really constructive use of their time and developing their imaginations.
“With the wonderful adults who are dedicated to caring for them and bringing them on, it’s a model of its kind.
“Isn’t it wonderful to think criminals don’t profit from crime if we can get our hands on the money and that we can turn it to good use in the community.”
PCSO Dan Hughes said: “The group provides a brilliant resource really because more than 130 people attend this scout group, the Brownies, the Beavers, the Explorers and the Cubs as well.”
Saltney Town Council also supported the group after the fire and Mayor of Saltney Cllr Alan Evans said: “They’ve risen from the ashes.
“I’m over the moon that part of the money the group has received is seized from the proceeds of crime. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocket.”
Local Flintshire members Cllr Richard Lloyd and Cllr Veronica Gay also attended the event.