Support from the community of Bramley has helped pull historic Bramley Baths through the Coronavirus pandemic, the Baths’ AGM heard last night, writes John Baron.
Chair John Battle said that the whole community had rallied around the community led facility and paid tribute to everyone who had supported the social enterprise during the pandemic. Mr Battle said:
“I’d like to thank the whole Baths team – our staff, trustees and supporters – who have made sure that the Baths is still going through the worst of the pandemic. We can look to the future with confidence.
“Sadly we have seen other organisations going to the wall during this pandemic but we are still standing. Since the Baths became community led in 2013, Bramley’s community have proved that they can save and successfully run a major service and come through the worst epidemic to hit Britain in 100 years.
“We are currently on with remedial repairs and redecorating the building, as well as planning how we can be a key centre in Bramley post-Covid. Bramley Baths is looking to the future with confidence.”
During the pandemic the local community has rallied by joining the Friends of Bramley Baths scheme, buying T-shirts, supporting staff fundraisers, continuing to pay memberships and donating unused swimming lessons. The Baths has also managed to secure a number of grants to help support it.
Mr Battle also paid tribute to the work of new chief executive David Wilford, who joined the Baths in July. Mr Battle added: “David came in at a time of intense pressure on our organisation and he has brought us much-needed stability.”
David Wilford, Chief Executive, said:
“I’d like to thank our staff for their support during these difficult times and also everyone who has supported us by becoming Friends or continuing to pay their memberships. It shows how important this lifeline facility is to the people of Bramley.”
Mr Wilford also thanked the organisations who supported the Baths with lifeline grants, including Power to Change, Sport England, Leeds City Council, National Lottery, European Social Fund and the Bramley & Stanningley councillors.
The AGM – which was held via Zoom and also featured a dry synchronised swimming performance by the Bramley Mermaids group – comes as the Baths prepares to re-open after the latest lockdown on Wednesday, 3 December.
Safety measures put in place include a booking system, reduced pool capacity, social distancing markings, a one-way system, fully trained staff and a comprehensive cleaning regime to ensure the facilities are Covid safe.