Jesmond Pool and Gym has been getting melodic this summer with a series of concerts to raise money for the Hospice.
May 2019, saw the 14th Jesmond Community Festival take place, with over 80 events taking place throughout the month, and into early June. The annual Festival aims to bring the community together and showcase the great range of community organisations and activities going on in the area.
Jesmond Pool is regarded as one of the most successful community-run swimming pools in the country, having been operating as a registered charity and social enterprise since it re-opened over 27 years ago. This year the Pool and Gym became the largest sponsor of the annual community festival and decided that its main contribution to the festival, a series of three musical evenings, should be organised to raise money for St Oswald’s Hospice.
Event organisers Les Hodgson and Len Young opted to support the Hospice this year after performing for the patients and staff at the Hospice.
Les Hodgson, who has been a supporter and user of Jesmond Pool for many years, said:
Len and I have been performing at St Oswald’s for the last 18 months. We love coming over, playing the piano and having a sing. To see the patients’ smiling faces and the staff joining in is great, and gives us loads of motivation to come back and perform.
We have been putting on concerts on behalf of Jesmond Pool, as part of Jesmond Festival, since 2012, and they just keep getting better. After performing in St Oswald’s we could see the difference it made, so we asked the pool trustees to agree that this year’s events should be held to support the Hospice. The Pool generously agreed to continue helping us organise the events, and once again the venues, which this year were the Royal Grammar School and the United Reformed Church, agreed to make their premises available free.
I’d particularly like to say a huge thank you to David Murray and Len Young, who have been involved in the concerts since the very beginning. As the concerts have evolved they have involved dozens of local, talented professional musicians gifting their time to perform. We really can’t thank the local community enough for their support for Jesmond Pool and Gym, and for the donations which this year they have given to help St Oswald’s Hospice.
Chris Clarke, Chair of Jesmond Community Leisure, the charitable company which runs Jesmond Pool and Gym, said:
Jesmond Pool has benefitted in the past from the concerts organised by Les and Len, and this year we couldn’t think of a better way of showing our support for the local community than by lending our support both to the Festival and to St Oswald’s.
Emily Corney, Fundraiser at St Oswald’s, added:
We’re delighted that Jesmond Pool decided to fundraise for the Hospice this year. It’s a lovely community pool that has expanded over the years to include two gyms, an activity room, sauna and spa facilities. We are delighted that they picked St Oswald’s as their chosen charity for this year’s series of concerts.
Raising over £1,160 for us, through three concerts, is an incredible achievement, and we can’t thank the leisure centre enough. As Les mentioned, so many people were involved and it’s lovely to see communities coming together to support local charities and causes. Thank you!