Bramley Baths pays tribute to retiring board member Caroline Gruen

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Bramley Baths held a special celebration to mark the outstanding contributions of long-standing board member Caroline Gruen, who has been a stalwart of Bramley Baths since it became community led back in 2013. Bramley Baths trustee and WLD community reporter Julie Badon reports:

We are rightly proud of the incredible journey that Bramley Baths has made over the last 11 years. Moving from a pool no longer viable, that was being shut down by Leeds City Council, to a thriving social enterprise organisation that is far more than a pool.

A big part of that journey has been maintaining a close working relationship with Leeds City Council through Caroline Gruen, who retired as a councillor earlier this month.

It is clear that she used her skills well with the original working party, who initially had some reservations about involving the council on the Board.

However it didn’t take long before they saw the great value she added by supporting positive consultation with the community, appropriately fighting the corner for the Baths and listening carefully to what staff and trustees were saying to ensure that we could grow and develop well.

So it was very fitting to hold a special celebration to thank Caroline Gruen for all her hard work and wish her a long and happy retirement. She also received a special painting of the Baths by artist in residence, Linda Roberts.

David Wilford, CEO at the Baths, said: “We feel a great sense of loss with Caroline leaving, as she was a great supporter and challenger who was ever-present and a great contributor to the board as vice chair.

“She kept her finger on the pulse of the Baths and understood every detail. Caroline was personally a great support to me over the past four years and will be greatly missed. We have an able replacement in Cllr Tom Hinchcliffe, who has been shadowing since late last year.”

Chair Nicholas Quin added: “Caroline has made an outstanding contribution to the Baths and to Bramley.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the Baths wouldn’t be what it is today – a health and wellbeing hub serving the whole community – without Caroline’s insight, commitment and thoughtful leadership since it was threatened with closure in 2010. A huge thanks goes to Caroline from the whole team at the Baths.” 

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