Moordown St Johns C of E Primary School has held a grand opening for its impressive newly refurbished swimming pool, after it received a donation from the Churchill Foundation. Staff and pupils welcomed the Mayor and Mayoress of Bournemouth, along with other members of the local community, to a fun ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this month.
The improvements needed to give the pool a new lease of life and keep it open were made possible thanks to a host of fundraising initiatives. One parent Alex Berry, a Graphic Designer at Churchill Retirement Living’s head office in Ringwood, appealed to the Churchill Foundation for help through its Small Grants Programme, and secured a £1,000 contribution to support the fundraising efforts.
Pupils also held a swimathon where they covered a distance “four times across the English Channel”, and two members of staff took part in a sponsored skydive. Another school parent Wayne Barker designed an impressive mural made up of children’s handprints in the shape of a giant whale, which adorns the new shallow end wall and entrance foyer.
The money raised by the Churchill Foundation and others has meant the pool can be entirely re-laid and deepened, so that children of all ages at the school can now use it and there are no more safety concerns from chipped and broken tiles. The pool is now fit once again not just for Moordown school pupils to enjoy, but also for other local primary schools, swimming groups and clubs to continue using it regularly.
Churchill Retirement Living’s Alex Berry said: “I was delighted that the Churchill Foundation was able to contribute towards the school swimming pool project which will benefit both my daughters and thousands of other local children. It was an honour to attend the opening ceremony and it really brought home to me how much the community has put into keeping the pool going over the years, so I’m really proud to have been a part of that.”
Spencer McCarthy, Churchill Retirement Living’s Chairman & CEO, added: “Churchill Retirement Living is well known for its charity work and giving something back is a fundamental part of what we believe in, so we are very pleased to have supported this project.”
Since it was originally built by Moordown school staff and parents in the 1960s, the pool has helped around half a million youngsters learn to swim. Now thanks to the efforts of pupils, staff and parents, and a little help from the Churchill Foundation, it will benefit many more people in years to come.