Volunteers at Eden’s community- run outdoor swimming pools have been busy preparing for the 2020 swimming season, with improved facilities for everyone to enjoy. But it’s not just about clean, inviting, accessible swimming facilities, these charities also need volunteers to help keep everything going, and lifeguards to help ensure swimmers safety.
Lazonby has the lifeguards they need for this year, whilst Askham, Greystoke and Shap swimming pools are currently recruiting. Linda Collison from Askham Pool described their preparations: “We are so lucky to have this community asset on our doorstep. I cannot think of a better way to spend time – swimming in the open air, meeting with friends and meeting all the visitors from far and wide. By becoming more closely involved with volunteering at the pool, I suddenly realised how much work our volunteers put in.”
“As soon as January arrives preparations have to be made for the summer season. Have we organised all the repairs and updates needed? How many of our lifeguards are going to come back for another season; how many do we need to recruit; is the training organised? Have we got some volunteers to help clean and paint the pool and smarten up the changing rooms?
“As the opening of the pool draws nearer and it’s filled with water, the anticipation of balmy summer days is the reward. A lovely clean, warm pool busy with lots of children playing and splashing; the adult only sessions – time for a gossip and counting lengths; the weekly aquafit class for ladies (and the odd gent), ice cream sales booming and our wonderful lifeguard team watching over us to keep us safe.”
“Being a lifeguard is not just a great job opportunity, it brings valuable life skills. All lifeguards at the pools complete a week-long training course when they begin their role, including first aid instruction and how to perform CPR.
“Whilst thankfully emergency incidents are rare, we were all reminded of the importance of having trained lifeguards at the pool last year when 18 year old Declan Sutcliffe, one of our lifeguards, used his training to perform CPR on a four year old girl who had jumped into the pool without her armbands on. His quick action helped saved her life.”
“Applicants need to be 16 years of age or over, but we’re encouraging people of all ages to apply, not just the young ones! Having a range of ages and availability means we could be open more during term time.”
Luke Pattinson currently chairs the Shap Pool Committee and has himself been a lifeguard at the pool. He said “It’s a great job for the summer, building your communication skills through meeting a variety of people who travel from all over. Here at Shap you get to lifeguard the highest open air pool in England!”
“Over the last few years the pool has been renovated to be a great asset to Shap. The committee work tirelessly throughout the year but without people willing to volunteer to do key roles such as the treasurer, a team to cover the water/chemical maintenance, covering the shop etc. then we will not be able to open in 2020.”
Moira Dudson, volunteer with Greystoke pool described improvements there “Our cafe and changing rooms have been undergoing a transformation over the winter following a £150,000 fund raising effort by the pool committee, volunteers and locals. A brand new cafe and changing rooms will replace the old ones which were over 40 years old!”
“We have been very lucky last season to grow our pool of volunteers, who help maintain the pool, fund raise and vitally help run the cafe admissions while we are open. Without them the pool simply wouldn’t open. Full support and training is given to anyone who can spare an hour or two to help out.”
“Our lifeguards continue to keep our pool safe year on year, and with shifts to suit, competitive rates of pay and continual professional development offered not only so pool users feel safe, but our lifeguards have the confidence and training to deal with a busy pool day in day out. We are looking forward to another great season ahead in 2020 and are excited to share the new facilities with everyone”
To find out more about lifeguard and volunteer opportunities at the pools please contact: Askham pool by Email: [email protected]; Greystoke pool on Tel: 07970709653, Email: [email protected]; Shap pool on Tel: 07512466172, Email: [email protected] or find them on Facebook.