Monday, 20 September 2021

Lido appeal hits £20,000

A £200,000 appeal for a new swimming pool in Wargrave has reached a tenth of its

A £200,000 appeal for a new swimming pool in Wargrave has reached a tenth of its target in a year.

The 25m heated outdoor pool is earmarked to be built at the site of the new Robert Piggott infant and junior schools in the village.

Organisers of the Wargrave Lido Fund are holding a series of events to raise money.

The latest event was a sponsored swim which took place at Polehampton swimming pool on Saturday, September 5.

More than 120 people, some as young as six, swam a total of 7,550 lengths. Several entrants swam more than 200 lengths each.

The event raised more than £2,500. Fund-raiser Liz Deacon said: “People were given a slot to swim in but it was soon clear that most were going to keep on swimming for as long as they could. Their determination, energy and attitude was simply incredible.

“We very quickly swam the equivalent of the Channel but support was so strong that the swimmers kept on going, raising more money.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere and we are already being asked when the next swimathon is.”

Dozens of supporters cheered on the swimmers from the poolside and there was a barbecue, refreshments and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses including the Wargrave Dental Clinic and the Antes Chocolate Factory.

Previous events included a bingo night at the Woodclyffe Hall in High Street in March and an auction of a 2m high velvet chair in June.

The chair, which was made specially by A Stitch in Twine in High Street, Wargrave, was on display during the Wargrave village festival and locals could bid in person or by email.

Last summer Wargrave resident Hannah Young raised more than £12,000 with a Channel swim.

Mrs Young, who lives in High Street, Wargrave, with her husband Paul and two children, said: “The appeal has been going for just over a year, since my Channel swim.

“We are almost halfway to our first target of £50,000, after which we can look at applying for funds from Sport England, which might provide the rest.

“It’s still our first hope to build the pool at the new schools but we are waiting a final decision from Wokingham Borough Council about this site.

“In the meantime we will be holding some more fund-raising events in the spring. The support from the community has been brilliant. The swimathon was really busy and everyone had a great time.”

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