Take a Dip and Support Your Local Community Outdoor Pools This Summer

Local outdoor pools across Devon are encouraging communities to use their wonderful swimming facilities, helping them to stay afloat.

Swimming is one of the most accessible activities to support an active and healthy lifestyle. Community outdoor pools across Devon have opened their doors for the season, welcoming back members of their community. Faced with an uncertain future, local people are being asked to jump in and support these wonderful swimming facilities, helping them to stay afloat.

Devon has one of the highest proportions of people who swim regularly – residents are twice as likely to regularly swim in an outdoor pool, compared to the rest of England. Our county has 16 outdoor community run pools, the second highest number in the country.

Often run by volunteers as part of small charities, the community pools require the support and goodwill of local people to help look after them.

Hannah Worth, Director at Active Devon said:

“Our community outdoor pools have a long history and cultural importance to Devon. These facilities are a real cornerstone of enabling local communities to access inclusive physical activity opportunities, especially in more rural areas of our county.

“We have been supporting a consortium of community run, single site, outdoor swimming pools over the past six months. It has been in response to risk of closure, de-commissioning of community run pools in light of the pandemic impact and current energy costs. These pools often go under the radar as they have transferred to community ownership from local authority.

“Our work has been about connection, advocacy, lobbying, and looking for strengths and opportunities we can help develop as a result of coming together. Devon is the second highest county nationally in terms of the number of community run outdoor swimming pools and lidos. We have recently been successful in receiving Sport England funding for nine pools to provide free learn to swim and pool access for low income families and people struggling as a result of the rising cost of living, which will be available this summer.

“The best way to support community pools is to use them and keep on swimming! There are always opportunities to volunteer, whether on the desk, becoming a lifeguard, or to offer help with fundraising. These are also great first steps for anyone keen on a career in sport and leisure. The pools will always support with training.

“We would encourage everyone to make use of both the local authority and community run swimming pool facilities. Swim at one of the open-air pools in Devon this summer and enjoy the facilities, whether it’s a family swim or aqua aerobics. The personal benefits will be two-fold, your own physical and mental health alongside knowing that the more usage and community support there is, the greater the likelihood these pools will survive and have a long-term future.”

If you are interested in volunteering and want to find out more, please contact your local pool.