Frequently Asked Questions - Coronavirus closure
Q: When will the pools open again?
A: The outdoor pool will remain closed this year, and we plan to be back better than ever in summer 2021. With the restrictions on numbers and group lessons – so necessary for everyone’s safety – it was financially unviable for us to open this summer. Each pool has to have a minimum level of staffing and, with limited numbers in the pool, we would make a loss if we were to open under the current restrictions.
The indoor pool will not open before September at the earliest - we’re still exploring exactly when will be the best time for us to open. At every stage we are following government and Swim England advice and will work hard over the summer to review our procedures and enhance your experience.
Q: I don't understand - why can't you reopen when the government says it's possible?
A: Reopening under the current restrictions would mean that the pool would not cover the considerable costs of operating, even if the outdoor pool season was extended into the autumn. Social and physical distancing requirements means that fewer swimmers would be allowed in at once. We won't have school groups in during the summer, and need to work with schools to understand their needs once they go back in September. And normal lessons will be affected by the need to keep a distance from one another. All of these will severely restrict our income, but our fixed outgoings would remain the same.
Q: How can I find out the latest news about reopening?
A: You’ll find all the latest info on social media and here on our website. Click here to sign up to our mailing list to hear the latest updates and all reopening info straight into your inbox.
Q: Why does it cost so much to run the pools when they’re closed?
A: Pools are very expensive to run. A tiny skeleton team and running the heating, lighting, water and circulation system as low as is possible still costs money – and we can’t simply turn the pool ‘off’ – you have to keep it going at a low level to preserve the tiles, building and water quality. With all costs minimised this still totals thousands of pounds every month.
Q: I have a party, private hire or lesson booked – what should I do?
A: All events before we reopen will be postponed to a date that suits you. You will be contacted over the summer to discuss your booking. Lessons will resume once we reopen and you will be informed nearer the time. If your group lessons are with Dolphin Swim School you should direct all questions to them. If you have any enquiries in the meantime please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What about my season ticket?
A: Our season ticket holders are very important to us and we will make sure that you don’t miss out. Once we reopen, we will make sure that all new season tickets are extended by the period that you missed out on during our closure.
Q: Why are you staying closed when other pools are opening?
A: Every pool is making decisions on their own financial status. Our complex is very unusual in that we have an indoor and outdoor pool, and are run by an independent charity rather than a council, or a larger leisure group. We have to make the decisions that are right for our individual circumstances and that safeguard our long-term future.
Q: Could you not just open the outdoor pool?
The outdoor pool is more expensive to run than the indoor. We need a minimum level of lifeguards to ensure everyone’s safety, and the pool is larger and more costly to heat. We did seriously explore this as an option but the risks of sustained bad weather, meaning fewer swimmers, plus the increased costs showed us it was a financially risky decision. Current guidelines from Swim England also suggest that we would not be able to incorporate 'fun' inflatable family swim sessions as we need to adhere to social distancing guidelines in the pool, so our usual summer family swimmers would find a very different experience while these guidelines are in place.
Q: Who makes the decision about when the pools open?
A: As a charity we are governed by a board of trustees who work with management staff to take key decisions. We’re informed by national guidance from Swim England, the government and the RLSS, as well as talking to industry experts and our peers. We know that gyms & indoor pools can start to reopen from 25 July and will work towards our reopening at the right time for us after that.
Q: If the pools are a charity where does your funding come from?
A: The majority of our income comes from admissions and lessons. Hires, schools, Faversham Swimming Club and other events make up the next largest proportion. We receive an annual grant from Swale Borough Council, and we also fundraise throughout the year for special projects, capital investments and new programmes of activity.
Q: What are you doing to secure more funding?
A: We’re exploring any and all options for fundraising. We have made use of the government’s funding opportunities for staff retention and are exploring other government options. Our fundraiser focuses on finding new funding opportunities. Our public appeal has raised almost £5000 since we have been closed, which is incredible. We are enormously grateful for both your donations and your enthusiasm and if you have any ideas please do contact email@example.com directly.
Q: How can I help?
A: Sign up to our mailing list so we can contact you directly when we have news and updates. We want to involve as many pool users as possible in the reopening process. By signing up to the mailing list you may be invited to share your thoughts and feedback on our new programme.
The best way you can help us now is to join our very special group of Friends of Faversham Pools, giving you access to special events and behind-the-scenes news for an annual donation, or make a donation to our reopening appeal.