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Total raised so far £9,432
+ est. £523.50
FAVERSHAM POOLS PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
A trip down memory lane
Picture this - it’s 1957, Elvis is on the radio, and we are living in an era where community spirit is at an all-time high, especially here in Faversham. For almost 80 years - dating back to 1878, the community of Faversham had dreamt of having a local swimming pool, but for a long time, lack of funding prevented this dream becoming a reality. Then, in 1957 the people of Faversham decided they would come together to fundraise for what we know now as Faversham Pools. A successful fundraising campaign ensued, which included the Scouts collecting ‘A Mile of Pennies’ (a lot of money back then), generous donations from local businesses and a gift of land from local benefactor Leslie Smith, paved the way for the pool to finally open in 1964. Thanks to the people of Faversham, the pool quickly became a much-loved community hub and remains that way today.
As the years have progressed, and with the ongoing support of the community and Swale Borough Council, Faversham Pools expanded by opening the children’s outdoor pool, followed by the indoor pools in the 1990’s. In 2016, the Pools were awarded charity status. Our core values have always remained the same- developing our charity and facility to benefit our community and make them proud while ensuring swimming is affordable, safe, and accessible to all.
Understandably, people tend to think a facility such as the Pools is owned by the council, however, behind the scenes, there is a dedicated fundraising department, raising money for anything from new swim toys, boilers to keep the water warm, future proofing the pool and making positive changes towards reducing our carbon footprint.
What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose.’ (Helen Keller)
For many, it is difficult to think Faversham without having a fond memory attached to days at the Pools. Think about it - how many times have you enjoyed the outdoor pool in the summer? Maybe you learnt to swim here, or your children have lessons at the Swim School. Have you ever been daring enough to jump off the top diving board? Have you braved the outdoor pool in the winter months?
The prime location, in the heart of Faversham acts as a catalyst to so much more by supporting fitness, wellbeing, mental health and providing vital life skills to local residents. In the last year, the Pools have delivered 12,950 swimming lessons to pupils of all ages and abilities and, are proud to be a base for 25 local schools. In addition, the Pools are an important community asset and currently provides over 40 local people with jobs. We are proud to be Swale’s top tourist attraction and in 2019 we were recognised in the ‘UK’s Top Ten Lidos’. Each year, thousands of swimmers enjoy the facilities at Faversham Pools, increasing footfall to the town which is an added value to other local businesses. During the summer months, the outdoor pools and rapids are enjoyed by visitor’s county wide. People travel from near and far to experience the uniqueness of the outdoor diving boards- the UK’s only remaining outdoor pool to have split level 1m, 3m and 5m.
Our vision for the future
To sustain the future of Faversham Pools and continue to bring value to the community, we must improve our facilities. It’s been almost 30 years since any major refurbishment works took place, and as a result, the current offering is aged and in poor state of repair.
Like we did back then, we have a dream. Over the next 5 years, we intend to completely overhaul the entire facility. The plans include
- replacing all lockers.
- a new floor in the changing rooms.
- extensive refurbishment of the 'Changing Village.'
- fixing the temperamental showers.
- replacing the floor around the rapids to compliment the floor around the outdoor pool.
- making greater use of our ‘dry side’ by installing Pool Huts that can be rented out to offer a seaside experience, without having to go to the coast.
- ongoing carbon reduction projects
So far, we have secured some funding to help us replace the flooring around the outside pool, to replace old, broken lockers and for several carbon footprint reduction projects.
Our vision is ambitious - but not unrealistic. Limited funding resources did not stop us before. We have turned a dream into reality in the past, and we are determined to do it again.
We are calling on the local community, to revive that community spirit we saw almost 65 years ago and to become part of the Pools history. If you can, we urge you to support our fundraising efforts. Together, we can generate more community-based tourism and create an even greater sense of connectedness in the town of Faversham.
The positive ripple effect the development the Pools will have on other local businesses will be invaluable.
The legacy of Faversham Pools is the community we serve. Now is the time for us to ensure our place in the community and keep the people of Faversham swimming locally, for generations to come.
We would love for you to be part of our story. To find out more about how you can get involved contact [email protected]
Who are we?
Faversham Pools is a registered charity and multi-pool complex in the heart of Faversham's town centre. We are the only outdoor pool in Kent to open year-round for family swimming in the summer and cold-water swimming throughout the winter. Each year, thousands of swimmers enjoy the facilities at Faversham Pools which include a 25m indoor pool, jacuzzi and slide, and a heated 33m outdoor pool with diving boards, heated fun pool and rapids. People travel from near and far to experience the uniqueness of our outdoor diving boards- the UK’s only remaining outdoor pool to have split level 1m, 3m and 5m.
The Pools are used by 25 local schools to deliver the national swimming curriculum. We have our own inhouse Swim School offering up to 500 lessons each week to children and adults, teaching them a vital life skill. Organisations supporting adults and children with disabilities travel from across Kent to use our accessible facilities. A variety of classes welcome swimmers of all ages, from just a few months old to elderly people learning to swim for the first time. Faversham Swimming Club is based at the Pools and supports over 300 members aged from 5-85, and we also host Swale Tri Club – the first dedicated triathlon club in Swale to introduce Triathlon and Duathlons to both junior and adult members. The Pools are Faversham’s biggest tourist attraction and have approximately 250,000 visits each year. In addition to the leisure opportunities we provide, we are also an important local employer and provide employment and training opportunities to local people.
How you can play your part
There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.
1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!
4. If you want to run your own fundraiser to support us, maybe a sponsored activity or similar, use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!