The town’s most popular tourist attraction has suffered a further setback as the second lockdown has forced another temporary closure. The charity relies on donations and income from users to restore funds lost from the Covid shutdown, and to make much-needed improvements. But the charity is fighting to stay afloat after its long six-month closure, and now will close for at least the rest of the month.
This autumn, the charity is launching a new campaign to help raise funds to secure its future, and needs your help. Back in the 1960s, the people of Faversham came together to build an outdoor swimming pool in the heart of the town. They raised funds by collecting a mile of pennies – quite a sum in those days!
Over half a century later, the Pools aim to raise almost £70,000 by making a virtual mile of £1 coins. Funds raised from the Mile of Pounds appeal will help the charity to survive through the winter with continuing restrictions and lockdowns, as well as planning for a brighter future.
The appeal is inviting people to donate what they can to the campaign. The easiest way to add your ‘pound’ to the mile is by texting FAVERSHAM to 70085, which will donate £1.
Alternatively the charity’s campaign page is https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/mileofpounds.
Chairman Geoff Wade: ‘Feedback from our swimmers has been overwhelmingly positive. People are so happy to get back in the water. We’ve worked hard to offer safe, socially-distanced swimming for as many people as possible. But this second lockdown has come at the worst possible time for us. Because our capacity is restricted by industry and government guidance, we have actually made a loss every day we have been open. We are inviting people to donate £1 – or more, if they can afford it – to help us stay afloat while we are closed to the public.’
The Pools team is committed to providing affordable, accessible swimming facilities to the local community. In recent months, to reflect the challenging climate, the charity has been generously supported by Swale Borough Council and donations from individuals. But, in such unprecedented times, the Pools need even more support.
‘We had planned a stall in Faversham Market, with a collection box and the chance to hear from our swimmers’, comments Vice-Chairman Mike Henderson. ‘Events have rather overtaken us, but we hope people will be able to donate virtually until we are able to meet in person again’.
‘We have had some incredible support already – the Castle Pub in Oare has donated an incredible £700, and David Wilson Homes £500. A local school is organising a socially-distanced sports event to raise funds. Individuals have also been extremely generous, with one benefactor committing £1000 to kickstart the fundraising, and numerous other smaller donations. We are grateful for each and every one of them’.
If your business or community group would like to support the Pools please check out www.favershampools.com/support/ or contact Marylka Gowlland, Pools Development Manager by email at email@example.com.