09:00AM, Monday 28 October 2019
A £1,000 donation from the Louis Baylis Trust will be spent on the refurbishment of a popular community pool.
Polehampton Swimming Pool is a 25 metre open-air heated pool set in the grounds of Polehampton CE Junior School in Kibblewhite Crescent.
It is run by volunteers of Polehampton Swimming Association for people in the local area from May to September – including for school swimming lessons.
Membership costs £45 per household for the whole season which allows families to attend Saturday morning sessions from 10am-noon.
It also covers children who want to frolic on weekdays – the pool is open for two hours in the afternoon every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
There are also adult evening sessions and early bird adult sessions, sessions for over 55s, and for members of Berkshire Vision – which supports visually impaired children and adults.
Lesley Jarvis, 68, has been chairman of the pool for 10 years and is supervisor of the Saturday family sessions.
She said: “We all do it for love. We love to see kids enjoying themselves.”
Hotter summers have seen the pool grow in popularity, and although the volunteers are coping with increased numbers, pool equipment needs to be upgraded.
Lesley, who lives in Whistley Green, said: “We need to bring it up to industry standard, we’re 50 years old and while we’re working really well, we are so popular we need a faster turn around of water.”
The association has been saving money from membership over the years, but it is donations like those from the Louis Baylis Trust which has helped the fundraising refurbishment target hit £60,000.
“The more money we get, the more that we can do,” said Lesley. “We were hoping to have done it this year, but unfortunately we’ve had to wait.”
The association had leased the land the pool is on from Wokingham Borough council, but as and when the school becomes an academy as part of the Keys Academy Trust, the leaseholder will be the Diocese of Oxford.
She said: “They have reassured us they will give us a new lease on similar terms as before but it’s not until August.”
The association hopes to carry out the work in September next year.
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