Following much discussion (via Zoom and on poolside and with someone who is qualified to do the appropriate Risk Assessments) taking into account guidance from Royal Life Saving Society and Swim England, we have made the difficult and painful decision for Shoalstone Pool to remain closed this season.
There are many reasons
Our primary concern was for the health & safety and wellbeing of the lifeguards and possible volunteers (we would need more than usual to manage the extra risks) and the possible implications of controlling people if a lot turned up. Social distancing restrictions have also prevented us from undertaking any preparatory work (it takes at least 3 weeks to get the pool ready from a standing start) and we still do not have any definitive date from the Government to make that start. And the guidance might very well change. We would also only be able to offer a limited, socially restricted programme to a smaller number of swimmers and restrict families and children to one part of the pool.
This is contrary to how Shoalstone is generally used – for fun rather than serious swimming. Ultimately, it will not be financially viable to open for the short amount of time that would be available to us between potential opening and our usual early-September closure. Our income is considerably reduced and we have projected a gap of £25k. Thank you for your interest in working with us to offer a new activity to the pool.
I will be in contact next year. I hope we will have a fantastic season next year to make up for this one.
Rosemary Clarke Volunteer Company Secretary for Shoalstone Pool C.I.C.