YOUNGSTERS in Tewkesbury are set to learn safe canoeing techniques following a donation from a local housebuilder.

The 1st Tewkesbury Boys’ Brigade has been awarded £1,000 by Persimmon Homes South Midlands’ Community Champions initiative which match-funds groups and charities who are already fundraising.

The donation will be going towards three new canoes plus paddles, dry bags and safety equipment.

The group, which is entirely self-funded, provides challenging and rewarding activities for five- to 18-year-olds, while also supporting community events and charities.

Andrew Baldwin, captain of the 1st Tewkesbury Boys’ Brigade, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the donation from Persimmon Homes.

“The canoes will initially be used by the Gold Duke of Edinburgh group for training for their practise and assessment expedition. After this we will be using the canoes to teach younger members river safety.

“We have more than 70 members and a very active calendar of events, so there will be lots of opportunities to use the canoes in the future.

“Six of our senior members have been fundraising for the canoes and thanks to Persimmon’s donation we can finally make the purchase.”

Carol Selway, head of sales at Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said the Community Champions initiative is a great way of supporting people across every city, town and village where the company builds.

She said: “Our sister company, Charles Church, is currently building in Tewkesbury at Alderton Grange so we were delighted to receive the application from the Boys’ Brigade.”

The Persimmon Community Champions is a national programme where charities and groups can apply for funding up to the value of £1,000 to match money they have already raised themselves.

“We’ve made it really simple to apply for funding, and we’re urging groups and charities to apply for next month’s donation by completing an online form at www.persimmonhomes.com/charity,” she said.

Persimmon South Midlands is building in Bishops Cleeve and Pershore and has developments across Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.