Category Archives: Uncategorized

Vote for us for the Aviva Community Fund

We have a project set up on the Aviva Community Fund page and would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to give us your vote: https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-1231

This is what we will be using funds for:

Our programme, ‘Swimming for the Future’ is central to helping secure the Baths’ longer term future and will:

  •  Recruit a team of women new to volunteering to become involved, encouraging some to become Trustees;
  •  Train a group of women, new to swimming, to help us provide cover for public swim sessions;
  •  Deliver ‘women’ and ‘women and children only’ swimming to meet key community needs
  • Ensure a well-used, much-loved community pool remains open.

The course will run for 4 weeks and we want to run 2 courses, one in January 2018 and one in March 2018. Each course will train 8 women in:

  • Royal Life Saving Society accredited lifeguard qualification
  • Level 1 Amateur Swimming Association swim teacher accredited qualification
  • Operational skills e.g. customer service skills, Health and Safety, etc.
  • Community business skills – managing community buildings, finances, etc. for Trustees – MRB CIC is currently in the process of registering as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

This course will enable more women to fulfil their potential by:

  • Helping address issues of community importance
  • Understanding that their own agency can help create positive changes in their community
  • Enabling participants to access qualifications and gain experience not normally accessible or affordable, and for some provide job ready skills
  • Ensuring that public swimming opportunities continue.

We are seeking £10,000 to cover costs for 8 women:

  • Volunteer recruitment costs = £320;
  • Swim training fees – £2,360 – £295 Lifeguard course p.p. + £2,400 – £300 Swim Teacher p.p.
  • Customer care training £1,000 – £25 p.p. x 5 sessions x 8 people
  • Community Business Training £2,000 – £50 p.p. x 5 sessions x 8 people
  • CPD monthly updates (mandatory) – £1,920 – £20 p.p. x 12 months x 8 people

We need 21 trained volunteers to cover the swim sessions between 6.00am and 9.00pm, 7 days per week.

The area does experience health inequalities. High levels of cardiovascular disease particularly affect the South Asian communities and these populations experience mortality rates higher than the Birmingham average; life expectancy rates are much worse than the rest of the city. Other residents experience unhealthy lifestyles owing to heavy Benefits dependency with drug/alcohol misuse.

Given these health statistics, it is critical that Moseley Road Baths CIC can continue to offer swimming at the pool, both as a preventative health measure but also as a well-being intervention.

Whilst MRB CIC fight to keep swimming, a coalition of organisations – including MRB CIC, Friends of Moseley Road Baths and the National Trust – is seeking capital funds to deliver urgent repairs and develop a sustainable, long term plan for the building’s use in the future.

So much to report…

There has been so much happening in the past few weeks that it’s hard to know where to begin!  We’ve been updating supporters over on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, but if Social Media isn’t you thing then there’s lots to report…

The biggest development has been the launch of our crowdfunder, which has been gathering real momentum since it launched earlier this month.  At the moment we have raised 57% of our target, a whopping £7,706 which is completely indicative of the passion our supporters have for swimming, our community and the building.  We always knew that you are a generous lot, but it’s been humbling to see the numbers steadily climb.

Today a new timetable comes into effect at Moseley Road Baths – unfortunately some sessions have been cut or shortened, so do have a look at our Timetable page and if you aren’t sure then ring ahead on 0121 464 0150 to check session times.

Meanwhile, a mob of un-named youths have been spotted outside the building, armed with…. litterpickers.  Over the weekend the group descended on the front of the Baths and proceeded to spend several hours doing an intensive clean of the facade.  Top work lads, it will be appreciated by swimmers, staff and passers by.

 

The Laundry Room hosted an event for Ort Gallery as part of Fierce Festival this weekend.  If you missed it you can view it here:

 

For a steady feed of archive and recent images do follow us on Social Media, for news and events updates sign up to our mailing list. Or, if you just prefer to check in from time to time, we’ll try to be more consistent with posting up here and all of our Instagram feed now appears on our Gallery page.

Can you help with a clean up?

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths coalition with the Action Group, National Trust, Historic England, World Monuments Fund and Birmingham City Council is in the process of producing a comprehensive business plan to aid the retention of swimming at the Baths after March 2018. This also involves instigating a fundraising strategy that will help develop the early stages of the swimming operation. 

The next event to be held at the Baths will be on Saturday 21st October 2017 as part of this years Fierce Festival – https://wearefierce.org/events/from-chibok-to-calais. The event will be staged in the Laundry Room situated at the top of the Baths building and will be free to attend. Access to this area is via two sets of steps behind the entrance to the Plant Room.

In preparation, we have arranged a weekend clean-up of this area (Saturday 30th September-Sunday 1st October – 9am-3pm). A skip will be hired to enable us to clear the debris that litters the floor in the Laundry Room, its adjacent office and by the water tank above. Most of the waste is light and liftable, but I would strongly recommend old clothes/overalls/gloves and sturdy shoes.  Dust masks and goggles will be provided, plus any other reasonable requests. (Apologies for the short notice – the skip hire took longer than expected through BCC.)

If you could offer some time to help, that would be greatly appreciated. Please email  Mark Gunton at events@friendsofmrb.co.uk

Heritage Open Day

Following Birmingham City Council’s decision to keep MRB open until March 2018, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths are able to organise another open day as part of Birmingham Heritage Week. We will be conducting guided tours and will also be recruiting volunteers to help progress this bright future for our globally recognized Grade II* listed building.

Come along on Saturday 9th September, 10am-4pm – there will be plenty of opportunity to learn about what is currently happening with the work to retain swimming at Moseley Road Baths and learn about the history of the building.

To book a tour ‘behind the scenes’, here or phone Mark Gunton on 07801 444 075.

#keepswimmingatmrb

On 1st February, Friends of Moseley Road Baths are starting a new campaign which will run throughout February to demonstrate community and public support for keeping swimming at Moseley Road Baths.

This draws together a number of strands:

  • The release of a new film produced in conjunction with the World Monuments Fund which invited individuals to come and share their memories and stories about the Baths.

  • A campaign by a Birmingham photographer showing local groups who came to Moseley Road Baths to demonstrate their support including:
    • Balsall Heath WI
    • Ort Gallery
    • Birmingham Bike Polo
    • Muslim Student House Mosque
    • Moseley Yoga
  • An invitation to members of the public to share their own pictures of them visiting the Baths using the hashtags #keepswimmingmrb and #moseleyroadbaths on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Details will be posted on the Friends of Moseley Road Baths website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information contact: Kat Pearson 07713141928, Kathryn.Pearson@mail.bcu.ac.uk or visit http://www.friendsofmrb.co.uk/

Interview with David Taberer

Just before Christmas we asked you to come along to the Baths on a Sunday morning to share your thoughts about the building. Today we learnt that one of our interviewees, David Taberer, passed away suddenly last week. David and his wife Linda had travelled all the way from Droitwich and were first in the queue to be interviewed. David was absolutely charming and so passionate about his old neighbourhood.

We are very pleased to share David’s interview with you all at this time. He grew up in Balsall Heath, and like so many of you on here grew up with the Baths as his playground (along with the bomb pecks!). He recalls friends diving from the Gala Pool balcony and getting a certificate for a quarter mile.

Why do you love Moseley Road Baths? Interviewees needed!

The World Monuments Fund have asked the Friends to produce a short video in which users and supporters of the baths talk about why Moseley Road Baths are important to them and why the building and the swimming baths should be saved.

As you probably know by now this year is the 10th anniversary of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths who have campaigned to keep the Baths open. The future of the Baths is now probably at a more critical stage than ever, with closure due to take place in June 2017. Sparkhill Baths is due to open then and so the continued existence of the baths needs a really sustained campaign over the coming months.

If you would like to be involved in a short interview then please come along on Sunday 18th December, 10-12 to say a few words on camera.

Pool of Memories – A Short Documentary

We’ve very happy to share this film from Johnathan Jules – Student Documentary Film Maker and Pool Lifeguard!  We think it brilliantly captures the beauty of the building and the issues it now faces.  Let us know your thoughts too!

Pool of Memories – A Short Documentary from Johnathan Jules on Vimeo.

Johnathan writes:

“I’m a 2016 BA (Hons) Media and Communications graduate. I aimed to produce a short documentary that explains what Moseley Road Swimming Baths means to people that have worked, swam, and grew up there and to listen to what they have to say about the Moseley Road Baths from their point of view. By doing this documentary I will be showing my own personal concern by creating this documentary to be part of the movement to keep the baths open but most importantly to share the connections of people past and present who have experienced the brilliance of being part of Moseley Road Baths.”

 

PRESS RELEASE: $15,000 cash boost for World Monuments Fund ‘Watch Day’

The continuing campaign to keep Moseley Road Baths open has received a cash boost.  A grant of $15,000 has been provided by American Express through the World Monuments Fund. The money will be used to promote the baths through various activities leading to a Watch Day. The day will include conducted tours of the building, including areas normally closed to the public.

Moseley Road Baths was chosen by The World Monuments Fund as one of fifty sites of international importance which are under threat in its 2016 Watch List. The WMF is providing advice and support to the Friends of Moseley Road Baths in their campaign to keep the Baths open.

The grant being announced today will enable the Friends to mount an open day to publicise their work and emphasise the importance of the Baths to the local community. As well as organising a Watch Day, the Friends hope to be able to use some of the cash to improve the appearance of the front of the building and provide a new sign outside so that people realise the Baths are still open.

Mr. Mark Gunton, Treasurer of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths said, ‘The WMF listing has already been hugely beneficial because it has brought the risk to this wonderfully historic building to an international audience. We have had several major organisations expressing an interest in helping us. Now the cash grant will enable us to mount a really impressive event in the building later this year.’

The Baths have been under threat of closure since 2013 but will remain in use until early 2017 when Birmingham City Council intends to close the doors for the last time.

*****

Links about the latest financial award:

https://www.wmf.org/press-release/american-express-partnership-world-monuments-fund-awards-1-million-grants-five-sites

https://www.wmf.org/fivetowatch