Friends of Charlton Lido got off to a very positive start with a series of well-attended introductory meetings during February. There was general agreement that although the group did not need to adopt a formal structure at present, its objectives could be summarised in the following four points:
- To provide a forum to give GLL (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 all users.
People are very strongly committed to the Lido, value it highly and are keen to support its ongoing development in order to safeguard what is acknowledged to be a costly facility to maintain. The improved opening hours this winter have been very much appreciated, and there is strong support for the current pattern to be replicated next winter, and for additional hours to be offered when the levels of usage make this financially viable.
Lots of ideas were put forward for events and activities which could be used to help promote the lido more widely, both to the local community and to the wider community of swimmers. Members indicated that they would be willing to work with the lido to enable some of these to take place, and an informal exploratory conversation has already taken place with the centre manager to see what might be possible.
Improving communication between Better and members remains a priority which the Friends group hopes to tackle, and it was agreed to set up a Facebook page to complement the website and Twitter feed. We will try to use these to communicate information about events that are taking place as well as providing links to other swimming groups and events.
People put forward a number of potential improvements to the facilities that they would like to see. The café is important for lots of people, and seen at present as a very under-used resource. Whilst acknowledging the difficulties caused by the only access being from poolside, there would be strong support for any initiatives that could increase opening hours, particularly in the winter months.
Other ‘wish list’ items are the provision of a large clock on the end wall, clearly visible from the pool, a costume spinner – and some better weather protection for the lifeguards during the winter (London Fields has some rather natty Perspex cabins). Ideas for additional activities included more Swim Doctor sessions, aqua aerobics sessions, poolside pre-swim yoga and the return of a 6:30 early opening once a week during the summer.
Those of us who attended the meetings enjoyed the opportunity to meet fellow swimmers and to share ideas about making an already great local resource even better. We’re not planning to meet frequently, but are keen to keep the communication going. If you’d like to join the mailing list to be kept informed of future meetings and events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customer Forum – Wednesday 1 March at 6.30 pm at the Lido
There are still a few spaces for centre members at the next customer forum meeting. If you would like to attend, please email email@example.com to request a place.