spear was commissioned by Faversham Pools to explore stakeholder, customer and potential customer perceptions of Faversham Pools and attitudes to swimming to further community engagement. The research evaluation comprise surveys and interview with customers, potential customers and wider stakeholders to address an overarching research question: how can we maximise individual, group and community engagement with Faversham Pools?
Faversham Pools faced a challenging funding landscape with potential cutbacks from Swale Borough Council and with increased cost pressures, swimming pools are left vulnerable to closure of reduced service. Sport England announced the Government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund to provide local authorities with a support package for public swimming pools. Faversham Pools has generated income through a successful crowdfunding campaign and secured grants for new lockers.
Ensuring services are appealing, relevant and accessible is key to engaging the community and to the sustainability of Faversham Pools. This research explores the community’s needs, perceptions and expectations in order to inform provision and maximise engagement with Faversham Pools.
- For many customers, Faversham Pools has been a constant in their life from their own childhood pool to the one they share with their children
- Faversham Pools acts as a community hub; it is an important part of the local community which customers want to support
- Staff at Faversham Pools are seen as supportive, friendly, helpful, caring, passionate about the pool and part of the local community
- The outdoor pool is a unique asset and a motivator for current customers. Potential customers note they would use it in the summer over their usual pool
- Customers praise the locker refurbishment but feel showers and changing rooms need updating alongside better accessibility to these areas and the pool for disabled customers
- Cost is noted as a barrier to swimming anywhere. Views are mixed regarding Faversham Pools’ value for money, and the cost of parking is seen as a barrier
Date: 15th April 2023
Client: Faversham Pools
“I’ve swam here for many years and believe the staff and trustees make a massive contribution to it being a successful enterprise. I’ve been a beneficiary of their hard work and I’m very grateful” – Customer