Why do we need to refurbish Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre?
With the Atlantic and Loch Nevis to the west, Loch Morar to the east and the Sound of Sleat to the north, the people of Mallaig and the wider community are almost completely surrounded by dangerous bodies of water. With this in mind, it was deemed critical that a swimming pool should be built to encourage all members of the community to learn how to swim.
Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre opened its doors to the public in 1993 and has since established itself as a real community enterprise with real community spirit, where countless adults and children have learnt to swim in the wonderful pool. Therefore, we’re really pleased to note that Mallaig Pool & Leisure has fulfilled its original purpose and our fantastic swimming coaches will continue to work with the community, helping them keep their heads above water.
Unfortunately, the Leisure Centre now has a new fish to fry! In the three decades since its grand opening, there has been a huge surge in the levels of obesity in the UK. Nearly two-thirds of men and women are now overweight and more than one in four do less than 30 minutes exercise a week.
The people of Mallaig and the wider community are not exempt from this epidemic and the Leisure Centre must now ensure that it is doing everything it can to support the community in being as fit and healthy as possible. Although our pool, gym and fitness classes are often busy and well attended, the Leisure Centre is dated and now needs to be transformed into a modern and dynamic leisure facility, which in turn, will encourage the community to use the Centre more.
We are currently campaigning for £1.1m worth of funding to reinvent and breathe new life into the Leisure Centre, making it more of a community hub than simply a place where you come to exercise. A new café with panoramic views of the Small Isles, a number of meeting and treatment rooms and a thorough refurbishment of exercise areas and equipment will hopefully inspire the community to use the facility as often as possible.
With help from local businesses, individuals and funding bodies, we are getting closer and closer to our target of £1.1m and every donation makes a huge difference. By visiting our JustGiving page you can track our progress, donate or even sign up to fundraise on our behalf.
Why not get involved
If you would like to make a donation towards the refurbishment project, you can do so in a number of ways:
- Direct bank transfer (sort code: 80-08-94 account number: 00416652)
- Cheque (made payable to Mallaig and District Swimming Pool Association)
- Text the code MDSPOO plus the amount you want to give e.g. MDSPOO£5 to 70070
If you're planning a sponsored walk, run, cycle, horse ride or any other activity that interests or excites you, we'd really appreciate it if you would use the opportunity to fundraise for us.
Take part in the Road to the Isles Half Marathon
All proceeds from the spectacular Road to the Isles Half Marathon, 10k, 5k and Walk on the Wild Side go directly into the Leisure Centre refurbishment pot. Find out more here.
Even though many us were a little cash strapped after the Christmas period, we still managed to raise over £70 in our wee blue pot at reception and were also delighted to receive a cheque from the Cub Post for £353.50. This money, as ever, will go towards our refurbishment fund so a big thank you to everybody who contributed to January’s £423.50 total!
You would think that December would be a month where people were conscious of tightening their belts and therefore we expected December’s fundraising total to be far lower than our average. Well, it turned out that we were drastically wrong!
December's 50:50 raffle, run by the Friends of the Swimming Pool, saw Alice MacNeil from Knoydart win 50% of the £1024 total, meaning we scooped the remaining £512.
Morar WRI were super kind and donated £50.
The good people of Acharacle brought up their little blue Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre collection tin, which was filled with £27.20.
All the Santa Dashers who braved the elements on their run from Morar to Mallaig raised £164.
Finally, a whopping £10,000 from Awards for All came our way!!
That’s a huge December total of £10,761.20 and we really couldn’t be more grateful! Thank you!
We didn’t think it was possible to even come close to October’s fundraising efforts, but once again November proved that the people of the area are a mega generous bunch!
The team at Arisaig Hotel hosted their first ever clothes swap shop on Thursday 17th and all donations on the night came directly to us. The kind people of Arisaig donated a total of £114.16 and walked away with bags upon bags of great clothes.
Even though the swimming pool was closed for the majority of November, our little blue charity box in our reception still managed to be filled with £77!
The Friends of Mallaig Swimming Pool’s ‘Hats, Gloves and Ties’ event on Saturday 19th proved to be a roaring success. All those delicious afternoon teas brought in a whopping total of just over £300 and everybody had a wonderful afternoon.
It wasn’t just local fundraising that was going on throughout November, we were also really grateful to receive a letter from the Green Business Fund saying that they were going to award us £10,000 to go towards purchasing energy saving equipment!
Altogether, just over £10,500 was raised in November. Thank you all very much!
This month, the lovely Feis na Mara organisers donated a huge £600 to go towards the Leisure Centre refurbishment programme on the condition that a member of the Leisure Centre team worked the bar over the weekend. Our Manager, Brian, stepped up to the challenge and served revellers drinks until 2am on both Friday and Saturday night. Good work Brian!
We received several personal donations throughout the month totalling £615. It’s wonderful to know that the future of the Leisure Centre means as much to you as it does to us.
We were also delighted to hear that October’s ‘Friends of Mallaig Swimming Pool – 500 Club’ winner, Dr Helen Palmer of Newcastle, donated her £200 winnings to the refurbishment programme! Helen and daughter, Chantelle, regularly use the swimming pool when they’re up at their holiday home in Mallaig and we’re really grateful for their support.
This month we were chosen as one of the Co-op’s ‘Local Causes’, which means that Co-op members can help to fundraise for the Leisure Centre refurbishment when they’re buying their groceries! If you’re a Co-op member, you can pick a cause (hopefully us) online or in the shop and from then on, every time you buy a Co-op branded product or service, 1% of the total will come directly to us
October has also been a great month for securing money from funding bodies. The Pebble Trust awarded us a £5,000 grant to go towards the refurbishment project. The Pebble Trust supports businesses across the Highlands and Islands and was established in 2014 with the vision of creating a more sustainable, equal and low-carbon society across Scotland.
Thank you all so much! We’re edging closer and closer to our target : )
September really has been a month of people power in the community.
Shaun Millar embarked on a mega mission to ascend the height of Mount Kilimanjaro on his bike by cycling from the Arisaig Hotel up to the top of Kinloid Hill as many times as it took. He totalled 134 miles and 19,449ft, raising a fantastic £816.
Helen Michie proved to be ultra selfless by implementing a ‘donations instead of presents’ rule at her birthday party. Not many people can say they’d do that! Helen’s birthday party guests gave generously and a total of £200 was raised.
You’ve all probably noticed our charity boxes dotted around the community. Well these little blue beauties helped raise £489.53 over the summer! Thank you to all the shops, cafes & hotels for allowing us to leave them on your counters and thank you also to everybody who has donated in this way, every penny counts and it really does add up.
Thank you all very much!
August has been a breakthrough month for the Leisure Centre with the Highland Council handing over a whopping £275,000 cheque to go towards the project. We are deeply grateful for this as it makes up almost one quarter of our £1.1m refurbishment target.
Also this month, the Mallaig Harbour Authority donated a huge £5,000 cheque!
Thank you for giving so generously.