Back in the autumn of 2013, a group of committed Lido swimmers held an initial meeting to discuss setting up a user group under the banner Friends of Charlton Lido; lots more expressed an interest but weren’t able to attend the meeting. The consensus both of those who attended the meeting and of those responding via the Charlton Champion website was that a group would be beneficial. However, at that time there weren’t enough people able to commit to getting it off the ground, and there was a hope that the full reopening of the Lido with the new gym and café would increase usage and address many of the concerns that were being expressed at the time.
Three years on it is clear that many of the same issues still continue to surface on a regular basis, so perhaps the time is now right to return to the proposal of establishing a Friends group to try to find a constructive way of tackling these. Informal conversations in the pool and the changing rooms suggest that lots of regulars would support the idea – so let’s try and make it happen!
Back in 2013 the initial meeting considered the following possible Friends group objectives:
- to provide a forum to give GLL (aka Better) user feedback
- to represent the interests of users of the lido and related facilities
- to help build links between GLL and the local community
- to campaign to secure the long term future of the lido in the interests of swimmers.
Are these still the priorities? Are there others that need to be added? How could a Friends group help GLL to promote and market the Lido more effectively? How could it help to build a community of users, perhaps through organising events to draw more people in? Some of the other London lidos are very successful at this – could we usefully create links with them?
It’s always difficult to find a time for a meeting that suits everyone, so as a way of trying to get something off the ground let’s have two: one on a weekday morning and one either on a weekday evening or at a weekend. The aim of both would be to gauge the level of interest in being part of and if possible helping to organise a Friends’ group, to agree what its aims should be and to gather feedback about people’s main issues and suggestions.
If you support this idea and would like to be involved (even just by receiving updates), please register your interest by emailing Rosemary Leeke at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get back to you with some suggested meeting dates and a venue.