Newsletter - July 2020
As we enter summer, and what would have been our busiest period of the year, this is not the newsletter we thought we would be writing. The Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had a huge impact upon our plans to open the pool this year. As of the beginning of June we are still not able to confirm an opening date for the pool but rest assured the team are working hard in the background.
Every single one of us has felt the impact of lockdown. Our team has continued to work where they can. We’ve embraced Zoom for our regular meetings. We’ve successfully applied for emergency financial support and we’ve worked hard on a plan to open the pool as soon as it is safe to do so.
Covid19 meant that we had to take the hard decision to formally close the pool. The loss of railings in a storm and damage to the decking area rendered parts of the surrounding area unsafe. Many will have noticed that we’ve had to fence off the area. This has been done with heavy heart, but stringent insurance requirements coupled with an assessment of potential risks mean we must take every action possible to prevent access when it is closed. As such we believe it to be a sensible use of resources. Let’s hope that we’ll be able to remove it very soon.
Opening and Painting
The pool will open when we can satisfy a number of key criteria; firstly we must provide a safe working environment for the lifeguard team, then make the surrounding area safe for the general public ensuring that we can operate within new guidelines relating to Covid19. All of these are being dealt with by our committed team of volunteer directors. We have a detailed plan to accelerate opening as soon as conditions allow.
Many of you have asked about painting the pool area and why we have not done this in recent good weather. Unfortunately we are still bound by social distancing guidelines and concerns over the safety of our volunteers. Firstly we must make the area safe and our caretaker, Roy, is beavering away on fixing a list of critical issues to be addressed. Then we need to ensure that we can create a safe system of work for volunteers, addressing issues such as social distancing, use of shared areas and equipment and contact with the general public. Like everything else, painting has become a little more complicated. As soon as we are comfortable that we can achieve it safely we will rally our volunteers and spring into action
We’re always keen to hear from you on any matter concerning the pool be it fundraising ideas, offers for help or anything that we may not have thought of. Please feel free to get in touch via our email address email@example.com or phone Dave on 07799 414702.
Committee Matters Q2 2020
Despite the issues with Covid19 we haven’t lost sight of our determination to implement the strategy we consulted upon earlier this year. We’re excited to announce that we’ve ratified our ten year strategy document and will be publishing this soon in its final form. One area we committed to was improving our digital presence and we’re pleased to launch an improved website that has been developed by one of our volunteers https://shoalstonepool.com.
The strategy work has been allocated across the Directors of Shoalstone Pool Community Interest Company who are beavering away on detailed plans to secure the pool’s future. This includes an exciting initiative to improve access for disabled people to the pool and surrounding area. We’ve been working with Torbay Council experts and plan to make improvements once we have navigated the Covid crisis (likely to be late 2020). Specifically, this includes better signage for guiding disabled people to the pool area and handrails to help them down sloped areas.
Another key area that has been addressed is the recruitment of a full-time operations manager. Our Directors are constantly pulled in many directions from managing the day-to-day operations to seeking grants and donations. We want to focus our management team on the future development of the pool and need to relieve them of the burden of operational management. The only way to do this is to recruit a permanent staff member to oversee and run the pool. This needs commitment in terms of funding and longevity. We need the position to be funded for at least 3 years. Therefore, we’ve set ourselves an ambitious target of £150,000 to cover this position over that time period. A job specification has been developed and we’re pulling together a series of strands to seek funding. This will be a significant milestone for the pool and will amplify the attention we can give to its maintenance and onward development.
We’ve pushed ahead with our plans to install a webcam and this should be live in July opening up the pool to “virtual visitors” wherever they are in the world. As soon as it is ready we’ll add a link from our website. We’re also progressing a number of pressing infrastructure issues that need attention. We commissioned a local contractor to plug and secure a small breach that had opened under one of the sea walls. Our caretaker is working hard to repair holes in the decking area and then replace railings that were damaged in recent storms.
Fundraising and The Friends
Sadly the Friends of Shoalstone Pool have had to cancel all of their planned fundraising events for the foreseeable future. As a result we are ever more reliant upon your donations
Shoalstone Pool, Berry Head Road, Brixham,TQ5 9FT
We are always keen to hear your views and feedback. If you have something to tell us please do get in touch. New Volunteers are always welcome. We’re busy maintaining and improving the pool all year round.