Astley Community Activity and Sporting Centre Charity
Astley Community Activity & Sporting Centre is relatively new community group set up to improve the sporting facilities and increase the amount of use by the community. The facilities are located within the site of AstleyCommunityHigh School. Our group operates from AstleyCommunityHigh School.
The facility benefits from a swimming pool with a separate gated entrance to the school which will enable us to open up the pool during the daytime, evening and weekends, a sports hall, gym and fitness area and is currently underused by the community.
Our overall aim is to increase the use of the pool and sporting facilities making it more accessible to the local community by providing a high quality affordable local service for people wishing to swim and offer a programme of recreation, education and fitness.
The pool is situated in Seaton Delaval which is part of SeatonValley. Seaton Valley does not have a dedicated sports centre and access to sports centres outside the area can be difficult due to poor public transport which is very limited especially in the evening. Although a sports centre would be favourable we realise that this is not realistic and is why we feel that by developing our existing facilities and opening them up to the wider community this will provide the SeatonValley community with an affordable facility they can access and enjoy.
We have worked with Community and VoluntaryActionBlythValley who has given us support and advice to help develop our group and project.
We have overcome many obstacles but feel we have achieved and learnt a lot in a short time. Our project has been ambitious but as we are approaching the project in manageable sections it is helping us to achieve our long term goal.
We have formalised our group and we are now a registered charity (1147190). The group has a dedicated management committee made up of local residents and school representatives. We currently have 4 trustees. Our group are all volunteers with no paid staff but have been lucky to benefit from full backing and support financially and administratively from the school and the Community Education Department.
At the moment the pool is used by the community for specific organised activities including aqua zumba, aqua fit, scuba diving, swimming lessons and hired by community groups. Our aim is to extend the pool opening hours, introduce public sessions, increasing swimming lessons, courses and private hire to generate further income becoming self-sustaining.
We began with Phase 1 which was to refurbish the swimming pool changing rooms and poolside. This was a very exciting and ambitious project. Consultation with the local people indicated that due to the state of general disrepair of the pool they were unhappy about using it but if they were ‘nicer’ they would definitely use the facility particularly because it was local. An application was made to the Sita Trust and we found out in February 2012 we had been successful. Applications were also made to a number of different funders with which, we were also very successful. The funders and school contribution ensured there was enough money to enable us to complete the refurbishment. Two of our local Councillors, Cllr Margaret Richards and Cllr Bobby Nixon gave the charity £7,500 each, which made it possible for us to refurbish the poolside with ‘wet walling’ to replace the cracked and broken tiles. Further contribution from the school replaced the pool liner. We now have an amazing facility. Our official opening ceremony on Wednesday 27th November was really well attended with many of the funders present.
Grateful thanks must go to the following:
Sita Trust: £52,000
Cllr Bobby Nixon: £7,500
Cllr Margaret Richards: £7,500
R W Mann Trust: £1,000
Garfield Weston Foundation: £3,000
Sir James Knott Trust: £3,000
Joicey Trust: £2,000
Rothley Trust: £750
Hadrian Trust: £1,000
Northumberland Mark Masonry: £250
Astley Community High School
We were given a grand total of £78,000 towards the project.
Thanks go to AstleyCommunityHigh School for their contribution financially and in kind. A huge thank you also goes to CVABlythValley for the support received through Seaton Valley Fairshares.
Our long term aim is to develop all the sporting facilities.