The 8th Hartlepool Boys Brigade, who had called Westbourne home for 87 years.
Boys Brigade are one of the biggest Christian Youth Organisations in the UK & Republic of Ireland.
We have faith in young people and provide opportunities for children and young people to learn, grow and discover in a safe, fun and caring environment.
There’s something for every young person whether it’s camping or kayaking, first aid or five a side, music or crafts. Members develop skills, build confidence, make friends, take responsibility and are encouraged to make a real difference in their communities. with the help of volunteer leaders who give their time so generously to the organisation.
The Boys’ Brigade Motto is: ‘Sure & Steadfast’
The motto is taken from the bible, the book of Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 19.
The building remains in Methodist Circuit ownership and is now a joint project, with the Boys’ Brigade in day-to-day management, now provides a community venue for organisations and groups who primarily have a young people, or health related focus. There is a vision and a plan for the future, with an extension and new carparking on the drawing board.
The Defib Story
In March 2021, the boys of the 8 th Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade, based at six8nine, were challenged to walk, virtually, from Lands End to John O’Groats, which is approximately 1.7millon steps. The event was sponsored and hoped to raise £1000 towards a Public Access Defibrillator for the outside of six8nine. We knew it was a big ask but had faith in our young people.
After just 2 weeks, they had smashed the target distance, so we raised the bar and asked for a return journey to be included. Not only did they smash this, but they also walked enough to get back to Hartlepool as well. In the end, just over 4 million steps were walked and £1600 raised.
Skip forward to the summer, and the town heard of the sudden death of Danny Shurmer, a keen and otherwise healthy sportsman. His family and friends, devastated by his death, set out to provide defibrillators across the town, with their DS43 group, and that is when the idea of a joint project was formed.
October 2021, we watched as the new defibrillator, in a secure case, was fitted to the outside of our building. It was an emotional day, not just in recognition of the achievement of the young people for their community, but also in meeting Danny’s parents for the official installation.
Within an hour of it being placed, the machine went live on the 999 system, meaning North East Ambulance Service, are now ready to direct people to its location whenever then need arises.
We genuinely hope it is a huge waste of money, but do so knowing that if the need arises, the steps of the boys, and the collaboration between the BB, DS43 group and six8nine will be there to try to make a difference.