Dads step out to fund swimming pool works

PUBLISHED: 01:01 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:46 10 June 2010

A GROUP of 15 Budleigh Salterton dads recently pulled on their walking shoes and stepped out to raise funds for St Peter's Primary School swimming pool. Andrew Cotton, of Granary Lane, organised the cliff top walk from Sidmouth to Budleigh in aid of the W

A GROUP of 15 Budleigh Salterton dads recently pulled on their walking shoes and stepped out to raise funds for St Peter's Primary School swimming pool.Andrew Cotton, of Granary Lane, organised the cliff top walk from Sidmouth to Budleigh in aid of the Warm Wish Swimming Pool fund - a legacy set up in memory of his mum, Pat Cotton, who died in 2002.Mr Cotton, 36, and the 14 other dads' efforts raised more than £1,200 to help build new brick changing facilities.Dad to Finlay, two, who attends swimming lessons at the school pool, Mr Cotton is following in the footsteps of his mother, Pat, who used to help with swimming at the school and whose wish it was that the pool should be heated."When she died, there was between £2,000 and £3,000 in donations, which was raised by people instead of giving flowers. We used that money to heat the pool," said Mr Cotton. "I wanted to get my mates together to raise a bit of money for the changing rooms."We walked from Sidmouth to Otterton, through East Budleigh and back to Budleigh. It took around seven hours because we kept stopping at pubs!"The pool is really important to the town. We live by the sea and it's important that young kids learn to swim. Obviously they are going to spend their childhood on the beach with their mates so it's good to have the skill."At the end of the walk, the group headed to The Feathers pub where John and Joan Salt laid on a buffet and skittles match."It was a great end to a great day," added Mr Cotton.As well as St Peter's pupils, youngsters living locally also use the pool and benefit from swimming lessons run by qualified instructors.It is also open to the general public during Gala Week. While the pool is now heated the "garden shed" changing facilities need updating.The pool appeal is ongoing until enough has been raised to build the changing facilities. Donations are welcome and can be sent to the school marked 'Warm Wish Appeal'. More information: contact the school on (01395) 443167.

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