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Community Foundation gives £22,000 to pool access ramp

Vive La Vallette receives financial boost from Guernsey Community Foundation

Vive La Vallette LBG has received a sizable donation from Guernsey Community Foundation (The Foundation) to go towards its accessibility pathway development at the Bathing Pools.

 

After a joint approach from Vive La Vallette and Guernsey Disability Swimming, the Foundation has donated £22,000 towards the costs of building an assisted pathway for wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility. The pathway will connect the new facilities at the Bathing Pools to the Ladies Pool.

 

Vive La Vallette needs £150,000 to build the pathway and instal a disabled lift in the community café. Thanks to the Foundation and Friends of Vive La Vallette, £50,000 has been raised so far.

 

Helen Bonner-Morgan, Community Lead for Vive La Vallette, said, “I’m so grateful that the Foundation has helped us to kickstart this appeal, and hope that others will follow suit and support this great community initiative. Having access for everybody to the site has always been a priority.  We want to ensure that as many people as possible can engage with all areas and in turn be a part of a thriving place for interaction and connection.”

 

The lift will connect the café to the upper pavilion level. An existing incline will flow from the road to a newly levelled walkway, providing access to the changing rooms and onwards to the swimming pools.  Vive La Vallette plans to purchase transfer equipment and a marine grade wet/dry submersible wheelchair for those people who need it.

 

“This project has been a wonderful example of private, charitable and public partnership.

Thanks to donations from grant givers, individuals, businesses and the States of Guernsey’s support, the Pools are ready for a new era for families, friends and the whole community to enjoy,” said Mrs Bonner-Morgan.

 

These new facilities will benefit those who may currently be prevented from accessing the pool, including parents with pushchairs and prams, swimmers with a disability, visitors of restricted mobility who cannot use the existing steps, and older people who prefer to walk on a flat surface with a handrail.

 

Fiona Bateson, Chair of the Foundation’s grants panel, said; “Guernsey’s Bathing Pools are an institution and this is an amazing project that will benefit so many people. The Foundation had already given £25,000 towards the cost of building the new premises, and was very happy to make a further donation towards this specific appeal. We hope many others will be encouraged to get involved.”

 

To help reach the fundraising target, Vive La Vallette and Guernsey Disability Swimming has set up the “Sea Donkey 24 Hour Swim Challenge”. On Saturday 20 August, Adrian Sarchet (a.k.a. the Sea Donkey) will spend 24 hours swimming laps of the Ladies Pool. He aims to swim 41 miles, the equivalent of swimming from England to France and back.

 

Organisers are encouraging corporates, social teams, and individuals to swim alongside, and in support of, the Sea Donkey for one-hour slots during this 24-hour challenge. Registration for this event is now open and further details can be obtained by visiting the Vive La Valette website www.thebathingpools.com. Spaces are limited, so early entry is recommended via Race Nation:

https://race-nation.co.uk/register/vive-la-vallette/sea-donkey-24-hour-swim-challenge

The Foundation's Grants Programme gives over £400,000 a year to charities and not-for-profits. Applications, which should be for a minimum of £5,000, are accepted all year round. More details, including an application form, can be found on www.foundation.gg. For more information, email grants@foundation.gg or call the Foundation on 259523.

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