FLAUTISTS with a sense of adventure who gave up their more traditional comfy performance chairs and music stands in favour of a swimming pool and a giant float have raised more than £2,000 for a cause close to their tutor’s heart.
Flute choir maestro Jen Bamford brought together around 20 musicians in the run up to Christmas for a live performance of music and Christmas carols in the water at Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool.
Using modern, plastic flutes, rather than their traditional nickel instruments – which would have been susceptible to chlorine damage – the musicians performed a repertoire of pieces with the assistance of concert-goers sat on poolside who joined in with the singing of the carols.
This week Jen revealed that after totting up all of the donations they had managed to raise £2060.50 for the Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool – more than double the amount raised during a previous concert in 2013.
She said: “It’s quite impressive, I am just so pleased with the support we have had, it has been overwhelming – all thanks to the effort of everyone involved and the generosity of families and friends. I am just delighted.”
Helping the fundraising along the way was Paul McCorry whose firm Intelligent Office agreed to match the fundraising if Paul got into the water himself alongside daughter Rosie who was performing. Happily he took the plunge which saw the fundraising break the £2,000 mark.
Jen, who ran the Swindon Young Musicians Flute choir for 14 years up until its closure a couple of years ago said she had been inspired to reunite some of her former players, along with youngsters who have joined her new flute choirs launched at New College this autumn for the event.
“I have been teaching almost 30 years and have had various groups along the way, so it was great to get some former players back to play in the pool,” she said. “Whilst they were still around before they went back to university I had some of them in rehearsals for a couple of weeks before they left Swindon again – they’re a great lot.”
She is currently running two choirs on a Monday evening at New College, with a session for beginners from 7pm until 8pm and a later session from 8pm until 9pm for more advanced players. Anyone wishing to join should call 07710774133 or email email@example.com.
A WARM pool which soothes aches and pains could be in danger of closing unless 500 heroes come forward to help keep it going.
The Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool is looking for 500 people to raise a minimum of £100 each this year and reach a target of £50,000.
The total will replace the money taken from the emergency reserve fund to help pay for urgent ventilation works which were completed earlier this year.
Assistant manager Jan Platt said: “When we had all the work done we were closed between December and February and we didn’t get as much funding as we would have liked.
“When we had the work done we had to ask the Charity Commission if we could use money from the emergency reserve fund. The only problem is that it has to be paid back.”
The money for the 500 heroes campaign can be raised in any way the fundraiser likes.
Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool launched a fundraising appeal in 2011 to raise in excess of £100,000 to pay for the ventilation improvements to be made.
After 18 months of fundraising, the pool closed in December to allow the first phase of work, which included a new ventilation system and a new boiler, to be carried out.
The second phase of the work will involve improvements to the changing room ceilings which have been damaged by the hot air, but the pool will not need to close for this.
Jan said the pool is not in immediate danger and she said it definitely would not be closing this year.
“We are hoping that maybe some companies would like to take us on board. We have got the Swimathon in July too,” she said. “We have got a couple of individuals running some small events as well.
“We really do need to have some big funders coming forward to help us out over the next couple of years, otherwise we could be in trouble.”
The Swimathon will take place on July 13.
To become one of the 500 heroes or to take part in the Swimathon phone Jan or Neil on 01793 496002.