The Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool are to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2018.
The Friends were given the prize in recognition of their work in ‘maintaining, enhancing and promoting the historic pool for our local community and visitors from the UK and abroad.’
Current Chairman Pete Hill said: ‘we are both honoured and humbled to win this prestigious award, which, for organisations, is the equivalent of the MBE for individuals. The present Friends’ committee was informed several weeks ago but sworn to secrecy on pain of forfeiting the Award!
‘However, this is an honour which is much more far-reaching than our Committee and Charity Trustees. It is an honour for every single volunteer who has given time, expertise and skills as well as blood, sweat and tears to ensure that our Pool is maintained to the highest standard, is promoted effectively and provides swimmers, sunbathers and spectators with the best possible summer lido experience.
‘It is also an award for Friends who are no longer with us, sadly too numerous to mention individually. However, without the foresight of our founder Alan Bain, the Friends would not exist, and neither would Stonehaven Open Air Pool.’
The Friends of the Pool was originally formed in the mid 1990s as a community pressure group to ensure the future of the Open Air Pool when it was threatened with closure by the – at that time – very new Aberdeenshire Council.
The Friends is now a registered charity (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) and works in close partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, which now acknowledges the Pool as one of the ‘jewels in the crown’ not only of Stonehaven, but also Aberdeenshire itself.
Cllr Wendy Agnew said: ‘At the opening of the pool this year I spoke to many people from Stonehaven and also visitors who like myself learnt to swim at the pool and shared our memories of the pool as we remembered it. The Chairman and the Friends of the Open Air Pool should be congratulated on all the work which has been completed over the many years since the Friends agreed to work with Aberdeenshire Council for the good of the Pool and its patrons .’
Stonehaven Open Air Pool is unique: the Olympic-size (50m) Pool is set within a beautiful Art Deco listed building and offers healthy fun for children of all ages, quiet sessions for adults and midnight swims in high season in its clean, filtered seawater heated to 29˚C (84˚F).
It opened for the 2018 season on Saturday 26 May and will be open daily until – and including – Sunday 2 September.