The Cleveland Pools Volunteer team has won the ‘Volunteers of the Year’ category at the Museums and Heritage Awards.
The accolade was presented to the team in London earlier this month (11th May) during an annual event that celebrates exceptional achievements in the heritage sector.
Built in 1815, the Grade 2* listed Cleveland Pools are the UK’s oldest surviving public outdoor swimming facility. Last used in the mid-1980s, a Trust was set up in 2003 by local residents to save the Pools, after they were listed for sale by the Council.
The award comes as an acknowledgement of the dedication of the Cleveland Pools volunteer group in recent times. Despite challenging circumstances, the large-scale team numbering more than 125 people, responded to the challenges of the pandemic with reduced site access, connected virtually, met outdoors, and developed creative ways to involve local people.
The judges praised the staff and volunteer teams who engaged a range of community groups, reaching out to many who would otherwise have been isolated, including those in care homes and youth groups.
In their appraisal, the Museums and Heritage award judges said, “This large-scale, cross-generational group of volunteers successfully reached diverse members of the wider community, managing to bring the joy of the pools to a much wider audience.”
Alice Le Page, Learning and Engagement Trustee, Cleveland Pools Trust, said, “Volunteers are the heart of the Cleveland Pools, a lifeline of energy running through our organisation, and this award is further testament to their incredible dedication. We are so proud the volunteer team has been recognised with such a prestigious award. Thank you to everyone who has given their time and knowledge to the Pools.”
Pictured above: (left to right) Sam Grief (Community Engagement and Volunteer Officer for Cleveland Pools Trust) and Alice Le Page (Learning and Engagement Trustee for Cleveland Pools)