Volunteers skip to it as they dig up hydrotherapy pool car park

Mayor of Peterborough Coun. John Fox and Mayoress Judy Fox with volunteers including staff from RAF Wittering starting work to improve the car park outside the hydrotherapy pool at Dogsthorpe. EMN-170915-140303009
Mayor of Peterborough Coun. John Fox and Mayoress Judy Fox with volunteers including staff from RAF Wittering starting work to improve the car park outside the hydrotherapy pool at Dogsthorpe. EMN-170915-140303009
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A three-day ‘Ground Force’ event to dig up the car park at St George’s Hydrotherapy Pool proved so popular that the volunteers ran out of skips a day early.

Such was the speed which the volunteers worked with that the two 40 foot skips were full up by the end of Saturday, meaning an unexpected rest day on the Sunday.

Progress at the hydrotherapy pool on the first afternoon. EMN-170916-174052009

Progress at the hydrotherapy pool on the first afternoon. EMN-170916-174052009

The good news, though, was that the ripping up of the car park in Dogsthorpe Road was by then nearly complete, allowing builders to come in and finish the job before relaying a new surface.

The overall saving from the good work of around 100 volunteers is expected to be between £15,000 and £20,000, a large amount considering Peterborough City Council has spent £45,000 to fix leaks, remove asbestos and carry out other minor refurbishments at the pool, which will re-open this month.

Bryan Tyler of Inspire Peterborough, the city’s disability sports charity which helped run the event, said: “It was brilliant. The money we save means we can use far more equipment,”

Bryan said the car park had turned into a “bit of a quagmire” with large plants and shrubs in the way. Once it is revamped the number of space will more than double to between 10 and 15.

Kieron Harrison, Bryan Tyler, Robert and Karen Oldale EMN-170916-174808009

Kieron Harrison, Bryan Tyler, Robert and Karen Oldale EMN-170916-174808009

One of the volunteers was Cllr Irene Walsh, council cabinet member for communities.

She said: “We were astounded by the amount of support we received. We filled two skips with rubble and made great progress, ready for the resurfacing works. This will result in users being able to access the pool more easily.

“I would like to thank all those who pledged their time, digging, shovelling and providing refreshments.

“Special thanks needs to be made to the Friends of St George’s Community Hydrotherapy Pool and RAF Wittering, who provided volunteers, and Serpentine Green who provided volunteers, paid for the skips, provided food for those helping and new signage for the pool.”