Published: 10:16, 08 August 2019
| Updated: 10:55, 08 August 2019
The trip of a lifetime for 200 Scouts - which was thrown into doubt following the collapse of a travel firm - was allowed to go ahead as planned after another coach operator stepped in to save the day.
Among its customers were the Kent Scouts, who had booked return transport for their expedition to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland as long as two years ago.
In doing so, they paid the company almost £20,000, which they were unable to get back, and tried to find another operator to salvage the trip, but all were proving to be far too expensive to be viable.
Then the Gillingham-based Kings Ferry Group stepped in, calculated the costs, and contributed a significant donation towards the group's budget to support the youngsters in continuing the trip.
The Scouts departed from Maidstone this week for the expedition, during which they'll enjoy activities such as canyoning, tabogganing, rowing, alpine swimming and of course plenty of campfire sing-songs with fellow youngsters from other countries.
Kandersteg Unit Leader, Cath Kirkpatrick said, “Without the generosity of The Kings Ferry Group this trip would not be happening.
"It would have been devastating for the young people and leaders after two years of planning and preparation.
"We can’t thank them enough for enabling us to go ahead and give our Scouts the adventure of a lifetime."
Group Sales and Marketing Director Carl O’Neill of The Kings Ferry Group added: “Following my initial conversation with the Kent Scouts we were devastated to hear of the situation that our local Scouts group were in and wanted to support in providing a safe and reliable journey for their expedition.
"One of our core values as a business is to support our local community and I held a meeting with the executive team to look at how we could support the group in ensuring that the tip to Switzerland would still go ahead.
"The donation was just a small token towards enabling the trip to happen and we are proud to have been able to help out and provide the service for the group.“