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Helping Farnborough Fins renovate their much loved community swimming pool

Posted in: Foundation

How Anna Strong helped to save a pool under threat of closure to provide swimming lessons for all.

I have been an Engage Mutual customer for four and a half years, having chosen to take my daughter’s Child Trust Fund with Engage. I am extremely passionate about teaching children to swim at a young age so Farnborough Fins instantly entered my mind when I received a leaflet telling me about the Community Awards.

Farnborough Fins has been serving the local community in Surrey since 1998. Over 1,200 children swim at the not-for-profit pool every week, including six local schools. Our team at the pool holds a strong passion for teaching essential life-saving skills so that anyone who has learned to swim here will be able to assist anyone they may see struggling in the water.

Having served us fantastically since 1998, it was no surprise that the building and pool was falling apart and in desperate need of repair. We also wanted to provide pool access for swimmers with severe disabilities.

"The swimming pool has been brilliant throughout its life but it was in desperate need of replacing."

If we hadn’t have secured funding through the Foundation, the pool would have had to close in July 2014. The Community Award will allow us to develop a brand new building, complete with rubberised safety flooring around the pool. This will provide a safer and more hygienic changing environment for those using the facilities.

In addition, the Community Award will allow us to install a disabled hoist to enable children and adults with disabilities to enjoy Farnborough Fins.

Getting people together for support has been great for team morale – once we got going it almost became addictive! The whole community really got behind our cause and we were overwhelmed by the response we received.

"When I applied for the Community Award I never dreamed we would win, we really can’t thank the Foundation enough!"

Going through this process has really put Farnborough Fins on the radar. Everyone now knows about us and what we’re trying to achieve and as a result, we have had so many other grant streams opening up to us.

The Foundation really is hitting everyone with a double whammy. If you manage to win some money, that’s fantastic. But even if you don’t, it will really push your project in to the forefront of everyone’s agenda. It’s a brilliant thing to do.