Shere Swimming Pool Club AGM and Update (this will also appear in the Shere Parish Magazine)
We were able to report a very good year for the pool at our AGM on 21 October. No major operational problems were encountered and very good water quality was maintained throughout the swimming season. Health and Safety was further enhanced, including attendance at a comprehensive Managing Safety Course.
Following successful conversion for the club to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in August, a new Constitution was ratified, as well as transfer of all the club assets to the CIO. Charitable status should now enable us shortly to be able to obtain Gift Aid on fundraising donations, following completion of registration with HMRC.
Sufficient funds have now been raised, totalling £170,000, to be able to commence work on the first stage of the pool enhancement, Stage A ‘Upgrade to the pool pipework and systems’. At the time of the AGM we were still debating the optimum choice of pool infill material and preferred supplier, but these have now been finalised and ratified at our recent Trustees Meeting, on 13 November.
The good news is that we have decided to fully tile the interior of the pool, which will provide a more attractive and much more sustainable long-term solution. Eliminating the need to repaint every year and minimising ongoing maintenance costs is considered to justify the only slightly higher costs. Pool Plant Experts (PPE) has been selected as the main contractor and they aim to start work at the beginning of December, in order that we can have the upgraded pool ready to use by next May.
This will now cost £143,000, leaving £27,000 left to contribute to the funds required for Stage B. ‘Changing room replacement and access for people with disabilities’. The aim is very much to retain the look and character of the existing changing rooms. We now need to renew our planning permission and obtain revised quotes from local builders. We estimate that this will cost around £72,000 or more, leaving at least £45,000 still to be raised. Given the timing and funding constraints, it would not now be practicable for this work to be commenced until after the 2020 swimming season, next October.
Once that had been fully funded, we would also like to replace use of the gas boilers, for heating the pool, with an air source heat pump or similar more environmentally friendly approach and substantially reduce the carbon footprint of the pool. This in the early stages of evaluation but might cost up to a further £15,000, increasing the total amount still to be raised to around £60,000.
We have several grant applications still being considered for approval, but there will be a continuing need to seek donations from members and other local people and businesses, over the next few months. All future support in fundraising and provision of donations will therefore be very gratefully received. Many thanks to the committee and many other volunteers who have helped run the pool so successfully this year and to all who have supported our fundraising efforts to date.
Chairman. David Roe
Sponsored Swim and Pool Closure for the season
On Sunday 22 September Peaslake School families and friends are coming together with members of Shere Swimming Pool to raise money for both the school and the pool’s refurbishment.
Starting at 6am, come rain or shine, our goal is to swim the length of the English Channel - all 32km in the outdoor pool!
The 1,667 lengths will be tackled by all ages and everyone involved is invited to celebrate with a glass of (French) wine once we hit the Continent!
The day will be split into half hour slots and you can spread out your lengths over the course of the day. You can decide how many lengths and what time you would like to swim.
Regular swimmers – why not consider contributing to this challenge with your daily swim?
If you’d like to join in please contact Maite Cicognini (maitecicognini[at]yahoo.co.uk ) or add your name to the sheet in the signing-in room.
And if you don't fancy swimming then please support these worthwhile causes by donating via https://www.gofundme.com/f/maria039s-campaign-for-the-peaslake-schools-trust
For more details please see https://sherepool.org.uk/assets/documents/sponsoredswim
Whilst this event is taking place, a section of the pool will be cordoned off for the participants.
A reminder that the pool closes at the end of September. The heating will be switched off on Monday 30 September although the filtration etc will be left on for 2 extra days if you still wish to swim.
(an edited version of this item appears in the September edition of Shere Parish Magazine)
Shere Swimming Pool Club has recently learned that it has been successful in its application to Sport England and has been awarded a grant of of £75,000. This goes a considerable way towards meeting the fundraising target for upgrade of the pool and plant room systems. Funds pledged and available now total £167,000 against a reduced budget of £203,000, leaving a further £36,000 to be procured. It is possible that the shortfall might be further reduced once competitive quotes are obtained from suppliers for revised plans to provide access for people with disabilities and enhance the changing rooms. The club has been successful in gaining approval from the Charities Commission to convert to become a charity, which will help in fundraising and in obtaining gift aid in relation to donations. We have also had an excellent response to our survey of members, which should provide useful evidence to support further grant applications. So thanks to all members who have completed the survey, as well as to those who have already pledged their donations in support of helping to meet our fundraising target. We are very much still interested in hearing from other members, as well as local businesses and individuals who would be willing to make a contribution to solving the remaining fundraising shortfall, so that we can go ahead with the project in good time for next season. You can find pledge forms to complete at our website www.sherepool.org.uk on the home page.
David Roe Chairman
The following email has been sent to all members for whom we hold a valid email address:
The recent hot weather has resulted in large numbers of people using the pool. Sadly we have had a number of complaints from some members regarding the flaunting of the club rules by other users, some of whom have been acting in a dangerous and anti-social manner.
In particular, rules for safe use of the pool which are often not being followed are:
• There can be NO MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE IN THE POOL at any one time.
• Children MUST be supervised WITHIN THE POOL COMPOUND by adults in line with the following ratios:
Children under 5 years 1 to 1
Children 5 – 10 years 1 supervisor to 2 children
Children 11 to 18 A maximum of 6 children to 1 adult
Young persons under 16 who cannot swim one width MUST be accompanied IN THE WATER by a known
• Pool users MUST NOT BEHAVE IN AN ANTI-SOCIAL OR DANGEROUS MANNER within the pool compound
which includes the following:
No throwing of any item
• All members and guests MUST BE SIGNED IN. All guests MUST BE PAID FOR.
Do not let anyone else in other than family members or guests, even if they claim they have forgotten/mislaid/broken their card. If they are friends of yours you may of course sign them in as guests upon payment of the guest fee. However, they remain your responsibility and must leave when you do.
All members will have read and agreed to abide by the Club rules as part of the terms and conditions of becoming a member. For health and safety reasons it is essential that all members and their guests abide by these rules. Anyone caught disobeying the Club rules will be suspended. This may also result in having their membership terminated, in serious cases. It is everyone’s duty to report incidents involving flaunting of the rules by others at the pool to a member of the committee – in the interests of ensuring health and safety.
Lastly, can I remind everyone that the pool is run entirely by volunteers. The Committee and Plant Room operatives give up much of their time to ensure that all members can enjoy the use of the swimming pool. Without all their hard work the pool would have to close. We therefore expect that Committee members doing their duty, including in enforcing the rules for use of the pool, will be treated with courtesy and respect. Any rudeness or abuse will not be tolerated and could also result in suspension of membership.
If members wish to comment or report instances of flaunting of the rules they can do so by responding in confidence to this email.
Many thanks for your support and help in ensuring that we can all continue to enjoy using the pool safely over the next couple of months.
Steve Moggs, Health & Safety Manager (health-and-safety[at]sherepool.org.uk )
If you did not receive this email and wish to receive updates on the pool, please send your email address to: sherepool[at]gmail.com
The following summary of the EGM also appears in the July edition of Shere Parish magazine:
The Extraordinary General Meeting of Shere Swimming Pool Club, which took place on 12 June, achieved several important outcomes.
Firstly, there was overwhelming support from members in recognising the need for the pool upgrade and endorsing the plant room systems upgrade plan.
Action has been taken to find ways to reduce what has been recognised as a high budget, and it is now anticipated that some material reductions can be confirmed shortly.
There was also strong support from those present for the broader community Vision developed and for the club to convert to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This will now proceed to completion as quickly as possible. More grant funding applications are now being made, but we cannot be certain what proportion of the additional funds required can be raised through this avenue, and it will take some months until the outcomes are known. Members were therefore supportive of the fundraising strategy also addressing the need to raise donations from local businesses and individuals, including members. The plan is now to obtain pledges from people to offer what contributions they can. Amounts to be donated will be confirmed once we are clearer on the extent of grant funding available, and collected once charitable status has been obtained, so as to procure additional funding through gift aid.
Much more help and support is now needed from members to engage with their networks to encourage businesses and individuals they know who might be well-placed to make donations to pledge to do so. The fundraising programme needs to accelerate considerably, if the full funding required is to be obtained in time to commence implementation of the upgrade plan in October. A form is available (please click here) on the website for members and others to pledge contributions and offer other support. Anyone with ideas on whom we might approach and able to provide assistance in running the promotional fundraising campaign should contact myself as chairman. Many thanks.
David Roe, Chairman, Shere Swimming Pool Club: chairman[at]sherepool.org.uk
The following is being sent to all members:
Shere Swimming Pool Club is run by the community for the community, on behalf of Shere Parish Council. Whilst the basic pool structure has now been confirmed as sound, much of the supporting infrastructure, such as the water treatment plant, is in urgent need of upgrading, as it is not fully effective and does not meet latest health and safety standards. Although additional checks are currently being performed to ensure that the water is always safe to swim in, this is inefficient and onerous for the volunteer members who run the pool, so not sustainable.
The revised upgrade plan now produced includes replacement of pipework, filters and pumps, as well as additional skimmers, to speed up the water flow considerably and facilitate chemical chlorine dosing. In addition, the plant room will be extended or replaced, there will be improved access and rebuilding of the changing rooms. A budget of £252,000 has been prepared, of which £60,000 is already available from the club’s own resources and £20,000 has been offered by Shere Parish Council. This leaves an ambitious £172,000 to be raised through grants and donations, in time to commence the upgrade in October, so that the pool can be upgraded by the start of the 2020 swimming season. Additional fundraising is now in progress and there is no time to lose.
Building on advice received from the Parish Council solicitors, it is now also proposed that the club convert to become a Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO) in support of these initiatives. This will convey benefits for membership and operating for the benefit of the whole local community, fundraising, and management, including limited liability. In particular, it should be easier to raise funding through grants and there should be a significant financial benefit from being able to obtain gift aid on donations. The pool management committee wishes to explain the proposals to members and to obtain their support for the changes.
In order to better meet the criteria to obtain grants from sporting bodies, as well as to become a CIO, it is also necessary for the club to commit to an expanded Vision of its role in the local community, the core elements of which have been formulated, for discussion. A key theme is enabling greater participation in swimming at the pool from within the local community, including from the local schools, those needing to swim to become fitter and through providing access to and special changing facilities for those with disabilities.
Group swimming involving the schools and other interested local organisations would need to be scheduled in off-peak periods, to minimize the impact on existing individual and family members. At one stage it was thought that it might be necessary to reduce the maximum depth of the pool from 1.5 to 1.2 metres, to satisfy the schools’ insurance requirements and enable them to use it. Members have expressed concerns about reducing the depth but, following advice, this action no longer seems to be necessary.
It is now planned that a minimal amount of concrete will be added to the deep end of the pool, but this will simply be to enable the depth in the shallow end to be increased back to what it has been previously, whilst ensuring that the maximum depth at the deep end does not exceed 1.5 metres.
The management committee would also like to further explain the plans and obtain support for the expanded Vision from members. It has therefore been decided to convene a members’ Extraordinary General Meeting to debate and gain approval for all these new proposals. This has been scheduled for Wednesday 12 June at 8 pm, to be held at Tanyard Hall in Gomshall.
Obtaining sufficient additional funding from grant funding agencies alone to meet the full budget requirements cannot by any means be guaranteed, in the current adverse charity funding climate, with diminishing funds available and the strict funding criteria which such agencies apply. A broader fundraising programme will therefore be initiated, to raise additional funds from local businesses and individuals, including members.
It is therefore proposed that the launch of a programme to elicit wider financial support will be combined with the consultation on the vision and charity conversion. The meeting will therefore be open for anyone else interested in potentially contributing to funding to attend, as well as any other interested non-members.
Members of the club obtain substantial physical and mental well-being benefits through swimming in this unique, outdoor heated community swimming facility. If the pool has to close for health and safety reasons then these benefits and a great community asset will be lost. The need to procure the additional funding required is therefore urgent and financial support from whatever sources can be identified will be very welcome.
To discuss further in advance of the meeting please contact David Roe, Chairman, Shere Swimming Pool Club: chairman[at]sherepool.org.uk
The following update was published in the March edition of Shere Parish Magazine:
We are aiming to reopen the pool on May 5th but if there is any change to this plan a message will be posted here on the website and at the swimming pool. The season will run from May 5th until the end of September. Following detailed analysis of the requirements to upgrade the pool plant room systems, it has been decided not to undertake any preliminary work before the reopening date. It may not now be necessary to reduce the water depth and we will need to undertake substantial fundraising before the budget for the whole project can be fully met. We now hope to start the upgrade work in October, members will be informed and consulted on developments over the coming months.
The following update on progress will also be found in the next edition of the Shere Parish Magazine:
The proposed approach to upgrading the plant room systems and pipework was confirmed by the Swimming Pool Club Committee on 9 January, and the same evening discussed at the Shere Parish Council Meeting.
This approach foresees levelling the pool to a depth of 1.2 metres maximum, alongside revising all the pipework, and introducing more skimmers, all being undertaken as an integrated Phase 1, hopefully before re-opening the pool in May. Prior to this a structural engineer will check that the pool structure can bear the weight of the concrete to be introduced to level the base, as well as help further confirm that the structure of the pool itself can be relied on for the future. Extension of the plant room and introduction of the new filters and pumps would then proceed in October, as Phase 2, following the end of the 2019 swimming season. An evaluation of tender responses from prospective suppliers has been undertaken, a preferred supplier proposed and overall costs negotiated for the two phases.
A further meeting has now been organised with the Parish Council, to discuss the overall approach and proposals in more detail, in light of the new situation, and how this can best be funded.
It is hoped that there should be sufficient funding available to proceed with Phase One. However, there will be a need to raise up to an additional £70,000 approximately to pay for Phase 2, before this can commence. Given the difficulties and long timeframes associated with relying solely on applications for sporting grants, it is therefore proposed that a broader fundraising exercise be mounted soon, which will include seeking contributions from local individual benefactors and charities. If anyone knows of organisations or individuals who might be willing to help fund the initiative, we would be very pleased to hear from them.
David Roe. Chairman