For more information please contact:
Ros Brousson – general enquiries
Peter Smith – for reporting faults or damage
The 2023 season
We have got some problems with the pool at the moment and are working very hard to solve them, so with many apologies, we haven’t opened up the bookings page yet, or set a time to hand out the keys. When we can we will email all members with an update and full information.
For community use
The pool may be used out of school hours between the following times:
During the school holidays.
- Weekdays – 10am to 8pm
- Weekends – 10am to 8pm.
- Towards the end of the summer with shorter daylight hours, the pool will close at 7pm, and booking sessions will therefore change accordingly.
During term time:
- Weekdays – 5pm to 8pm
- Weekends – 10am initially to 8pm, then close at 7pm when daylight hours are shorter.
- Use for community members after the beginning of the autumn term will depend on the water temperature which begins to fall quite rapidly in September, and with shorter daylight hours the pool will close earlier – this is all weather dependent, so times and dates will be confirmed at the time.
Training Course dates for 2023
Six sessions for up to 12 people were held during April and May so that everyone could get their key by the time that the pool opens in early June.
Unfortunately we cannot put on any more resuscitation courses later in the summer for anyone who missed them.
Click the button below to be taken to the pool membership booking site.
N.B. Tickets for training and membership go live on Saturday March 25th at 9:00am
Preparing and running the pool – 2023 Season
All the maintenance and servicing of equipment will be done ready for the 2023 season, but leaving the final checks on water quality and temperature until a definite date is known.
The water temperature must be above 21′ (the standard minimum temperature) and certainly by June, our weather improves enough to reach this in normal years. The water quality is sampled by Harris Pools (Torquay) who service all our pool equipment, and the new automatic dosing system continually monitors ph & Chlorine levels & adds the purification liquids as and when required to ensure that the pool is always safe and clean for everyone to use. Peter Smith, and Pete Wade will continue to monitor everything; the pool will be checked daily, and Ph & Chlorine levels recorded.
All Health and Safety risk assessments have been carried out by the parish council in order to run the pool for community use, and these can be downloaded from the Parish Council Documents on our parish council page
Once the pool is open the solar panels make a large contribution to the water temperature keeping it regularly at 21′ and over, so the pool can remain open for the summer. (Typical summer time temperatures 23 to 25C.)
As with last year, we also hope to keep the pool open for another few weeks after the beginning of the Autumn term….. temperatures in the autumn permitting.
Opening and closing dates, and further information will be published here on the website, and on the Aveton Gifford Facebook page, and information sent to the School and the Hive for parent members.
Information on pool membership, resuscitation courses and annual fees
AVETON GIFFORD PARISH COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP CONDITIONS FOR USE OF COMMUNITY SWIMMING POOL
There are unavoidable circumstances this year which have meant that expenses for the cost of training sessions and hall rental costs as well as the normal running costs, in particular electricity prices to run the equipment, have had to be factored in to the membership fees. Unfortunately this has meant that the annual fee has to cover all of these, and will have to remain the same.
Please note – Keyholders/ Community Pool Members can only be adults living in the parish, or the adult family members of children attending either the primary school or preschool. Membership can only be given to full-time residents.
Payment of £71.85 (includes £1.85 booking fee) will buy Household Community Pool Membership; this will give you one pool key issued for the current year, + resuscitation training for yourself, with the option to book a place for one extra accompanying adult for no additional cost, + annual subscription to use the community pool out of school hours, and during the holidays (see Opening Times section above) for the season. This is the membership that you will need to bring children under 18 to swim.
Payment of £41.40 (includes £1.40 booking fee) will buy Single Community Pool Membership for one adult only, without children; to cover one pool key, + resuscitation training, + annual subscription to use the pool (see Opening Times section above for times). In the past there has been a bit of confusion with this membership, this is a single person membership, unfortunately we cannot offer reduced fees for only one parent with children.
The resuscitation training is only valid for the current year, and so all keyholders/accompanying adults will need a refresher each year before keys will be issued. It must be stressed that this pool is not life-guarded. For this reason, the safety of your family members in the water, or on the pool-side, relies on your ability to resuscitate, or your capability to deal with an accident should it happen.*
The ONLY training course accepted for membership is the one that is provided by the parish council. This covers the additional required *wetside resuscitation which is not included in many other courses, including some First Aid courses, or Heartstart defibrillator courses. ( * Recovery and resuscitation from a possible drowning incident)
The EXCEPTIONS for memberships without the AG training course will only be for those users who already have a current (to cover the season) Emergency First Aid at Work certificate, or a First Aid at Work certificate, WHICH COVERS WETSIDE RESUSCITATION TRAINING. This certificate must include the following “In accordance with Health & Safety ( First Aid ) Regulations 1981 accepted practice, or syllabus”, and must be agreed with Ros Brousson first before paying for your membership.
We have a set number of memberships which we have learned by experience gives us a safe number of users, so we cannot safely issue more keys/memberships. This means that once the training courses are fully booked, and we have accepted H&S Wetside trained memberships we can’t take any more. Also, with apologies, we have to restrict memberships to full-time residents only. Unfortunately because the pool is small, and demand for membership is so high, we have to take bookings for the training courses on a first come first served basis – you do need to make absolutely sure that you are going to be able to come on that/those date/s when you make the booking.
Please note – booking training course dates, and paying for memberships will be done at the same time, online only. The full membership fee must be paid in order to book your places on the training session, and it will be possible to book two different dates so that two accompanying adults can both get training without having to organise child care. There will be a small additional booking payment which covers your fees to the booking and payment companies
If you can’t attend, but haven’t cancelled your name/s on the booking page by 48 hours of that session, you will run the risk of forfeiting your membership fee, but in particular, you will have prevented someone else from taking your place. Refunds will only be available in the event of illness or bereavement. **
There will be six training dates, with a maximum of 12 people at each session, and places are always taken up quickly. However in past years, there have always been spaces that have become available for a variety of reasons, sometimes at short notice. There will be an additional category on the booking form which will enable people to go on a waiting list, and be notified of a place in time to be able to take it up.
In previous years keys have been given out to keyholders at the end of the training sessions. This year keys will be handed to keyholders once an opening date can be confirmed, and they have signed to agree to the online pool terms and conditions. Arrangements for this will be publicised beforehand on the AG Facebook page, through the school and on this website page.
(**All membership fees go towards pool running costs. The parish council takes on the payment for our qualified instructor, and the hire of the hall for his training sessions. We try to keep fees for members down as much as possible, but we rely on your membership payments to cover these costs, so in turn, we do need to rely on your commitment to cancel your booking if need be in time for someone else to take up the place – each keyholder place on a course left empty because of late cancelling, has meant £70 less to run the pool, so that is why we have taken the decision for non-refundable payments if a cancelled place cannot be re-booked in time. We particularly miss the welcome contribution from the generous Swoosh fundraisers which made such a difference to our ability to run the pool, so the full quota of funds from memberships is particularly important.)
All members will be asked to sign an online agreement that they have read these rules and the mandatory safety conditions below, and will abide by them, and that they have attended one of the approved courses. All of this is necessary for the parish council to be able to run the pool safely and for all the members to be able to use it safely and above all to enjoy their swims there.
In past years there have been very few times when there have been any problems at all, but the parish council does reserve the right to withdraw any membership where there has been a serious safety or behaviour breach; the keyholder will be asked to return their key immediately with no refund of fees, and all members of the keyholders household will be unable to use the pool for the remainder of the season.
Membership is subject to the following conditions:
1. Keyholders can only be adults living in the parish, or the adult family members of children attending either the primary school or preschool. Membership can only be given to full-time residents. Family membership includes the Keyholders household members, and a possible additional adult Community Pool Member. Single pool membership is for one adult only with no children – this isn’t a family membership for one parent.
2. Guests; Up to four visiting guests will be allowed this year, but adult to child ratios must be always be observed please for both your own household swims, and also when taking extra guests.
- Adult to child ratios must always be adhered to when using the pool.
- All children under 18 must be accompanied by a Community Pool Member (someone who has done the approved resuscitation course).
- For children under 8 years of age there must be one adult over 18 at or in the pool for every two children.
3. The Keyholder must be present at the pool whilst his/her household is at the pool. This person must please sign the register in the First Aid room on each visit to the pool. We need this info to count the numbers for pool use in order to set the automatic doser and filtration.
4. The CP Member must have undergone the Aveton Gifford session of resuscitation training for that year, or hold a current Emergency First Aid at Work or First Aid at Work qualification which covers WETSIDE training – recovery and resuscitation in possible drowning situations (Please check your qualification with a committee member first to avoid disappointment.) No other resuscitation courses and First Aid qualifications will be valid for this membership.
5. For obvious safety reasons you must not lend your key to anyone else. Accidents, however unusual, do happen, and they will not have gone through the appropriate resuscitation training. This could invalidate your membership.
6. We have been asked that users please still use measures for Covid hygiene this year, so bring your own supply of hand gel and/or wipes. Please be careful when disposing of wipes, they can easily block pool filters, so please take used ones home with you.
7. Please will all swimmers wear appropriate swimwear, in particular swim nappies for very young children.
8. Swimming aids such as arm rings are permitted, but not the use of air beds (lilos), fins, snorkels.
9. The pool arrangement with the school specifies that nobody may use the school playground, play equipment, or adventure area, or enter any part of the school premises. This also includes using their floats and other pool equipment which is used during teaching sessions – quite a lot of it has been damaged in past years by using it to play with after school hours.
10. For consideration of other users, and for the volunteers who daily maintain the pool for your use, please keep the pool and pool side clean and tidy, and please take all your belongings including litter (especially wipes which can blow into the pool and block filters) with you when leaving. There is no paid cleaner to clean any of these areas, everything is done with volunteers – and they frequently have to clear up, usually litter and clothing, but, on infrequent occasions, even dirty nappies or even sick or poo. (A mop, bucket, gloves and cleaning materials are kept in the First Aid/signing in room if needed). If we find we have to employ a regular cleaner, unfortunately, this would mean that the membership fee would have to go up to pay for it.
11. No food and drinks (apart from bottled water only) are permitted in any of the pool area. (Not even crisps or sweets please – we want no mice, and particularly no rats to be attracted by crumbs, wrappers, or the remnants of a picnic, and rat wee is a particular health hazzard)
12. The pool cover must be replaced over the water when you leave the pool if no one else is present, regardless of time of day, because this keeps the water temperature constant.
13. The pool gate must be locked on leaving the pool – for obvious safety reasons, but also as part of our agreement with the school.
14. No pets are allowed into any of the school grounds or in pool area.
15. PLEASE NOTE – Please use the pool with consideration for everyone else. Continually excessively noisy play, or rowdy and antisocial behaviour spoils the enjoyment for other users, and it’s very unpleasant for neighbours, particularly if they hear it day after day – nobody minds the normal noise of fun from the pool, but we don’t want to have to limit its use at all because the noise level or language has become unacceptable, so for the sake of other more considerate users, your membership will have to be terminated.
16. Aveton Gifford Parish Council, Aveton Gifford Primary School, and the PTFA accept no responsibility for loss or damage to personal property.
17. All persons use the pool at their own risk; please read and abide by the safety conditions below. Aveton Gifford Parish Council, Aveton Gifford Primary School, and the PTFA accept no responsibility for death or injury to any person.
18. The parish council reserves the right to withdraw any membership on breach of serious safety conditions, or unacceptable antisocial behaviour.
Mandatory conditions for the safety of all pool users:
1. The pool may only be used out of school hours between the following times:
- During summer term time: weekdays – 5pm to 9pm ; weekends – 10am to 9pm.
- During the school holidays: weekdays – 9am to 9pm ; weekends – 10am to 9pm.
- During autumn term time: because daylight hours are reduced at this time of year, for safety reasons, the pool will close earlier.
2. The gate to the pool area must be locked by the last members to use the pool.
3. This pool is not life guarded.
4. A rescue pole is kept on the wall of the changing room.
5. The CP Member must have a mobile phone with them whilst at the pool.
6. All children under 18 must be accompanied by a CP Member. For children under 8 years of age there must be one adult over 18 at or in the pool for every two children.
7. No more than 15 people should be in the water at any one time.
8. No person should use the pool on their own in case of accidents.
9. Alcohol and smoking is not permitted at the pool and no inebriated person may use the pool – for obvious safety reasons.
10. The pool is under 1.3 m deep in all areas – diving or jumping into the pool, and running alongside the pool are all prohibited, again for safety reasons.
The First Pool
Living so close to the river and the sea it’s essential that our children learn to swim, and for many years swimming lessons have been an important part of the school curriculum. There wasn’t a public pool in Kingsbridge until the 1990’s, but there has been a pool here at Aveton Gifford Primary School for over 50 years. The first pool was built in 1965 in part of the playground by the original school buildings for the princely sum of £600! £250 of this came from Government funding, but the remaining £350 came from local donations – the Parochial Church Council gave half the proceeds of their Summer Fete, the Cricket Club held a barn dance and gave half the proceeds from that, and the rest came in from voluntary subscriptions.
The first pool was a raised wooden tank-like structure with a liner and a ladder to get in and out, and although it was very small it was just big enough for lessons and for children to swim a length without their feet touching the bottom. It was even big enough for an annual swimming sports day with races, although parents coming to watch did get fairly wet as well!
The New Pool
By 1991 the pool had served the school very well in the 26 years since it was built but it was requiring quite a lot of annual maintenance, often undertaken by parents, also the original school building was about to undergo major work which would double its size and encroach on the site of the pool. It was obvious to Tony Bishop, the headmaster, that it needed to be replaced elsewhere with something more up-to-date. He enlisted the support of the school governors and the PTA, and over the next couple of years some land behind the school was acquired, funding was negotiated, and the new pool was built, mainly by a group of parents led by Paul Holmes who was PTA chairman at the time.
The intention right from the start was that this new pool would be for the use of the whole community, and it has been supported by our residents and our school PTFA ever since; once it was opened on a lovely sunny afternoon in June 1993 by local TV celebrity Ron Bendall, many more of our children have learned to swim in it in the summer term, and it has been used in the evenings and during the summer holidays by local residents. For a small place we have been really lucky to have the pool, and one of the best sounds in the village during summer months is the sound of children’s voices really enjoying themselves!
The pool here measures 12m x 5m, and is 0.8 deep at the shallow end sloping to 1.2m at the deep end – large enough for school swimming lessons, and also for use by the community during non-school hours and holidays.
Our community pool
In 2011 our primary school in the village became a member of a co-operative Federation. After several years the managers considered closing the pool down altogether, and possibly re-purposing the space, but at this point the parish council stepped in to negotiate a lease. The original 7 year lease (renewed for a further 10 years in 2022), has enabled the pool to be run by the community rather than the school for the use of residents in the parish, or families who don’t live in the parish but whose children go to either the primary school or the Hive pre-school. An agreement with the Federation allows the school to use it for lessons as it always has during term time. This arrangement has worked well, and it does mean that many of our children now leave the primary school here able to swim, an essential life skill for all of them living so close to the river and the coast.
After paying for the legal fees involved in setting up the first lease, the parish council oversaw the initial repairs and improvements, principally to the filtration system and to the solar panels which provide heating to the water. This ensures that the pool is now much warmer than in previous years, regularly in the lower 20 degrees range, often much higher during heat waves, and is enough to keep it open for an extra month during part of the autumn term as well. However it’s an expensive business for a small parish council to cover annual running costs and maintenance, to replace outworn equipment, and fund our annual resuscitation courses – the pool must cover its own running costs, but we have found ourselves completely dependent on extra fund-raising to keep the pool up to date and in good and safe condition. There have been additional expenses in the last two years; renewing the 10 year lease, and several new introductions necessary to comply with updated health and safety requirements with new equipment and extra water quality testing and recording.
Tony Porter generously gave a large proportion of the proceeds of the 2015 Classic Car Show to pay for an automatic dosing system which tests the water throughout the day, and administers the right amounts of pool chemicals to keep the pH levels correct and the water safe and clean.
There have been many other improvements as well, and necessary replacement of various bits of the original equipment that have reached the end of their days. The parish council was particularly grateful for the very generous input from the Outdoor Swimming Society’s Bantham Swoosh fundraising swimmers since 2016 which enabled us to make these repairs, especially those requiring speedy attention during the season so that the pool didn’t need to be out of use for any longer than strictly necessary in such a short summer season. Without the generosity of those donations from Swoosh swimmers, it would have been well-nigh impossible to be able to run and maintain the pool for the community during those years, with increasingly drastic reductions in education budgets, and the limited funds available for small parish councils
Since 2022 the charity Level Water has taken on the event mamagement for the Swoosh.