Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Everyone agrees swimming is good exercise; it strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves joint mobility and flexibility. It gives a sense of wellbeing - water massages the skin, releasing endorphins. It is open to all with no barriers due to health, weight, age or ability. But most importantly, swimming is a life-saving skill, ready to be used, if, and when needed.

Yet Moseley Road Baths - the only Grade II* listed swimming pool still operating as a public pool - could close in March 2018, leaving the community, located in an area with mortality rates higher than the Birmingham average and life expectancy rates that are much worse than the rest of the city, without a well-being hub at its centre. A local landmark, it is well-used by the local community for swimming, water activities such as ‘Young Aquatics’; local schools and private swimming clubs also hire the pool.

A vociferous community campaign led to the Council granting a reprieve and MRB CIC has been given 9 months to develop a workable model for swimming, enabling it to take over operational responsibility for water activity from April 2018.

Our programme, ‘Swimming for the Future’ is central to helping secure the Baths’ longer term future and will:
 Recruit a team of women new to volunteering to become involved, encouraging some to become Trustees;
 Train a group of women, new to swimming, to help us provide cover for public swim sessions;
 Deliver ‘women’ and ‘women and children only’ swimming to meet key community needs
 Ensure a well-used, much-loved community pool remains open.

The course will run for 4 weeks and we want to run 2 courses, one in January 2018 and one in March 2018. Each course will train 8 women in:
 Royal Life Saving Society accredited lifeguard qualification
 Level 1 Amateur Swimming Association swim teacher accredited qualification
 Operational skills e.g. customer service skills, Health and Safety, etc.
 Community business skills - managing community buildings, finances, etc. for Trustees - MRB CIC is currently in the process of registering as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

This course will enable more women to fulfil their potential by:
 Helping address issues of community importance
 Understanding that their own agency can help create positive changes in their community
 Enabling participants to access qualifications and gain experience not normally accessible or affordable, and for some provide job ready skills
 Ensuring that public swimming opportunities continue.

We are seeking £10,000 to cover costs for 8 women:
Volunteer recruitment costs = £320;
Swim training fees - £2,360 - £295 Lifeguard course p.p. + £2,400 - £300 Swim Teacher p.p.
Customer care training £1,000 - £25 p.p. x 5 sessions x 8 people
Community Business Training £2,000 - £50 p.p. x 5 sessions x 8 people
CPD monthly updates (mandatory) - £1,920 - £20 p.p. x 12 months x 8 people

We need 21 trained volunteers to cover the swim sessions between 6.00am and 9.00pm, 7 days per week.

The area does experience health inequalities. High levels of cardiovascular disease particularly affect the South Asian communities and these populations experience mortality rates higher than the Birmingham average; life expectancy rates are much worse than the rest of the city. Other residents experience unhealthy lifestyles owing to heavy Benefits dependency with drug/alcohol misuse.

Given these health statistics, it is critical that Moseley Road Baths CIC can continue to offer swimming at the pool, both as a preventative health measure but also as a well-being intervention.

Whilst MRB CIC fight to keep swmimming, a coalition of organisations - including MRB CIC, Friends of Moseley Road Baths and the National Trust - is seeking capital funds to deliver urgent repairs and develop a sustainable, long term plan for the building's use in the future.

Project Video

Moseley Road Baths Community Interest Company

Moment of Pride

People really care about the Baths and want to save them. There is a real sense of community, people are working together to help save those things that are really important to them and they recognise that the solution to keeping the Baths open will come from local people.

Location: Balsall Heath, Birmingham, United Kingdom