School launches fundraising campaign to improve pool

Gary Dobel project leader for the warmwish appeal at the St Peters primary school swimming pool. Pho

Gary Dobel project leader for the warmwish appeal at the St Peters primary school swimming pool. Photo by Terry Ife ref exb 8446-47-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

A major fundraising appeal is underway to improve a swimming pool where Budleigh people have been learning to swim for generations.

The pool at St Peter’s C of E Primary School has been in place for decades, and is still well used, with 260 pupils from St Peter’s and Drake’s and Otterton schools using it for swimming lessons every week during summer, plus around 100 a week taking part in Swimtime lessons and 200 a week enjoying fun swims.

However, the polytunnel cover over the pool is now 22 years old, and in need of replacement, as it is not as weather proof as it used to be.

Because of this, the Warm Wish group, which raised funds for the pool, intends to replace it with a new cover, in the same style but made from aluminium and polycarbonate, which it says will be more efficient and retain more heat.

The group says this could allow the swimming season to be extended, and pupils from other school, which have expressed an interest, to have lessons there.

However, it must first raise around £35,000 to cover the cost.

Warm wish committee member Gary Dobel said: “The cover is at the end of its days. If it is not replaced then everything we are offering will come to a stop.

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“We learned to swim here, and can see it’s such an important thing, having the opportunity to learn to swim with the sea on our doorstep.

“Parents can bring their children to school, have them learn to swim, and then take them down the beach.”

Warm Wish is looking at several sources to raise funds, including teaming up with the St Peter’s School Association, running a swimathon at a Leisure East Devon pool, and approaching local organisations, as well as inviting past pupils and local people to contribute.

To donate, or find out more, contact Warm Wish through the school office, or email