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Rougham Church of England Primary School launches campaign to raise £50k to bring swimming pool back into use



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A school is ‘desperately’ trying to raise a ‘huge’ £50,000 to refurbish its swimming pool that has been leaking vast amounts of water.

The outdoor pool at Rougham Church of England Primary School, near Bury St Edmunds, is used for children’s swimming lessons and is also enjoyed by the community, but it is out of operation this year as extensive work is required.

It was installed about 50 years ago, sponsored by a local family who wanted to ensure the children could learn to swim, said school office manager Emma Thurlow.

Rougham C of E Primary School headteacher Clare Clark. Picture: Mecha Morton
Rougham C of E Primary School headteacher Clare Clark. Picture: Mecha Morton

She said the pool had been used ever since, apart from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but last year it came to light it was leaking huge amounts of water.

There is an overall fundraising target of £50,000, with more than £5,000 raised so far thanks to events organised by the school’s PTA, including a Father’s Day breakfast, and other donations.

Headteacher Clare Clark said: “It’s a huge amount [to raise]. We are absolutely determined to do it and all the parents are behind it.

“It’s just such a fantastic asset for our school and the local community as well; it’s not just from an educational point of view with the importance of learning to swim. It’s a place the community can come together and families can spend time together.”

The outdoor swimming pool at Rougham Primary is leaking water and there is a fundraising campaign to raise £50,000 to repair it. The pool is used by the school and local community. Picture: Mecha Morton
The outdoor swimming pool at Rougham Primary is leaking water and there is a fundraising campaign to raise £50,000 to repair it. The pool is used by the school and local community. Picture: Mecha Morton

She added: “So many primary schools have lost their pools and we have managed to keep ours going purely with support from the parents and local community. We are really hoping they can come together for us this time as well.”

The heated pool - which is normally in operation from May half-term to September - is also used by children attending holiday club sessions run by Acorns & Woodlands pre-school, and can be hired out by the community.

Mrs Thurlow said alternative provision had been made for Rougham Primary children to have swimming lessons.

“We are desperately trying to raise the funds to get it back up and running for next summer,” she said. “We have an excellent PTA and great community who have all been really supportive in the past.”

Rougham Primary headteacher Clare Clark said they were 'absolutely determined' to raise the funds needed. Picture: Mecha Morton
Rougham Primary headteacher Clare Clark said they were 'absolutely determined' to raise the funds needed. Picture: Mecha Morton

PTA chairwoman Ann Crowe said PTA events this year were focused on the pool appeal, with hopes high for money raised from the school fair on July 15.

She said: "People have been so generous. The Father's Day breakfast just blew us away. We served 167 breakfasts."

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/FixourPool.

The JustGiving target is £30,000, with donations coming in from elsewhere too.