Keep Our Centre Afloat – a Leisure crowdfunding project in Dalton In Furness by Friends Of Dalton Leisure Centre

by crypto journalist

OUR STORY: 

The only Not-for-profit Charity run facility in the UK 

Reg Charity No 509901

Many will remember that the Centre was built on the fund raising of the town many over 35 years ago, with the townspeople rallying around to build it for the benefit of all. From this the Centre has played a part in most of our lives either as children, parents or grandparents.

Since it was built the Climate control system is now in need of replacement and without it, we are in danger of closing. Over the past few years, it has had to have urgent constant repairs which is draining funds away from improving other facilities.

BUT … when we can replace it will free up a huge area to develop for a new access friendly and spacious gym, and create space for a new children’s play area to support young families in early swimming and play time.

Plus, we will befit from an environmentally friendly, cost efficient system that will help prices stay the lowest in the Country and as such enable access to all.

Why we need to keep our centre afloat:

Since being built, Dalton Leisure Centre has taught thousands of children & adults to swim and build physical and mental strength & is so valuable to the community. 

We are the sole provider of swimming for over 15 schools in the area. including Sandside School for children with disabilities or severe learning difficulties. 

Dalton Leisure Centre has provided more than just swimming over the years. we also provide:

The centre has supported many who have gone onto represent their county and Country from swimmers to ladies’ football players playing for England. But of course, it’s the community that gets the most from our facility by us offering a variety of classes to suit every capability from beginners to advanced athletes.  

We have been the lead official Spinning centre for over 15 years in the area. Since we began, we have been providing careers for young fitness professionals, with the united aim of helping the community battle obesity, improve fitness and fight personal mental health struggles. 

We do this by offering a relaxed but enjoyable atmosphere, our staff going the extra mile for our customers with the aim to help people overcome their setbacks.

Community Hub

We have provided a community hub for the local public and neighbouring towns, that is inclusive to everyone! 

Our centre supports mental health charities SAFA, HAWC, CMHT where we will be supporting them with joint fund raising and awareness.

We know the benefits of mental health & fitness but our aspiration is to go further and bring in a new art exhibition area to our communal lounge and bistro café – totally unique and will blend sports with arts and bring it all together holistically under the one roof. 

We pride ourselves on creating a true community facility where every person is welcome irrespective of ability or age – we just want them to be the very best they can be. 

The Support

The support of the Centre staff, Friends of Dalton Leisure Centre, Dalton Community Action Group, local and County Council development teams as well as our local MP has brought us all together in seeing a bright new future for the Centre.

This includes our staff who have grown and developed during this lockdown in respect to uniting behind our fundraising and their desire and will to keep the centre open for another 35yrs is humbling and welcome. 

COVID-19 EFFECTS ON US

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, most schools have had to stop coming to our centre. The spread of the virus has also impacted our group lessons as well as our swimming opportunities. Following government guidance, we had to drop our numbers by half. Instructors could no longer teach to the full capacity due to potential transfer of Covid-19. The team have had to adapt and teach from a distance, unable to offer visual guidance, which has affected some children’s learning.

March 2020 hit Dalton Leisure Centre very hard. We kicked the year off with 2 very successful months, gaining momentum for us to thrive. Unfortunately, when the first Covid-19 lockdown happened, we lost £250,000 in income due to being closed throughout. We were thankfully saved by grants from the government. 

As a not-for-profit charity run centre without that support it would have been unlikely, we would have reopened. 

However, when we did finally re-open the rules hit us harder than expected. The swimming pool brings in the main income to our centre. We had to lower classes and pool bather loads, dropping from 55 people maximum to 30. Just losing 25 people per session has had a major impact on our centre. When added to the constant increase of cleaning chemicals required for additional disinfecting routines put in place since covid-19, we were working twice as hard, yet still falling short every day. 

Our Gyms have also been Limited to 4 per room, for 45 minutes. This allows 15 minutes for it to be deep cleaned after each use, ensuring our members are safe when they enter, and when the next group of 4 come in for their session. 

The Studio classes went from 100% capacity to 50% due to the limited amount of people we could have in each class following the guidelines. In a working week we supply a range of 55 classes which are at full capacity with the odd space rarely available. This again has made a damaging hole in our income, causing further struggle and worries.

KEEP OUR CENTRE AFLOAT 1614025474_dlc_freinds.pngPROJECT

We need your support – CROWDFUNDING

Our crowdfunding project  ‘Keep us Afloat’ includes some amazing rewards and sponsorship opportunities such as:

Our aim is to raise over £20,000 within 6 weeks, and if we hit this target, potentially external donors will reward us with £10,000, which will be added to our overall target of £30,000+

Remember, this is a ‘Not for Profit Charity’ run facility with no direct funding from the Council or Government, so it really is a true independent community hub. By acting now we can ensure the centre is here for the next 50 years.

We are asking you to rise up and help

KEEP OUR CENTRE AFLOAT.

This content was originally published here.

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