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JOHN ROSS JR JOINS WALTON FIRS IN 75TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

22/10/2013
By John Ross Jr

As part of its community programme, Scottish smoked salmon producer, John Ross Jr, is helping Walton Firs in Cobham, Surrey, to celebrate 75 years of supporting Scouts and Girl Guides, Surrey schools and youth centres this autumn.

To celebrate over seven decades of making its 28-acre activity centre available to young people, Walton Firs has launched its special ‘Diamond’ anniversary programme of events. The programme will take place until November 2014 and include a charity clay pigeon shoot, which is organised by John Ross Jr’s Chairman and Walton Firs Patron, Andrew Leigh.

Walton Firs was first purchased in 1939 for Scouting and then opened in 1943 by Olave, Lady Baden Powell, wife of the Founder of the Scout and Girl Guide movements. Since then the site, which provides outdoor adventure activities for people of all ages and includes the largest artificial caving complex in Surrey, has welcomed over tens of thousands of young people annually through its gates and raised over £800,000 in order to keep the activity centre open, maintained and staffed.

Andrew Leigh, Chief Executive of John Ross Jr and a Walton Firs Patron and fundraiser, comments: “I have fond memories of visiting Walton Firs as a child so I’m delighted that the site not only continues to be an inspiration for young children throughout Surrey but that it is getting better and better year on year. In an age where children can often be easily distracted by technology Walton Firs provides a beacon where they can enjoy the splendour of the outdoors, make friends and have fun. The team at Walton Firs work tirelessly to make the centre what it is so on behalf of all of the fundraisers, the patrons and the Surrey community, I’d like to congratulate them on their success and thank them for their dedication.”

Run by volunteers as part of The Walton Firs Foundation, the site faced closure in 2008 when developers wanted to buy the land. A Surrey-wide campaign and a series of high-profile fundraising events raised the £800,000 required to retain and develop the site and ensure that Lady Baden-Powell’s legacy continues to live on.

Deborah Wolford, Administrative Officer at Walton Firs, adds: “Everyone at Walton Firs is immensely proud to be celebrating 75 years of providing a magical outdoor environment for young people throughout Surrey. We’re also delighted to be able to play a role in ensuring that Lady Baden Powell’s vision can continue to flourish in her absence and that her legacy can live on. The Surrey community has a huge part to play in Walton Firs’ 75th anniversary for without their support the site would not be what it is today. For that we are eternally grateful and we hope that we can continue to play a role in shaping the memories of young people throughout the region.”

For more information on Walton Firs visit www.waltonfirs.co.uk or contact 01932 863243. 

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