Clevedon Marine Lake is on its way to becoming the first dedicated accessible outdoor swim spot in the UK. Run by a charity, the tidal pool in North Somerset is about to get an accessible changing room and hoist, which will be free to book and use by people with disabilities.
Access for disabled people was always on the agenda for the founders of Clevedon Marine Lake’s charity, Marlens. Renovating the lake in 2015 using National Lottery Heritage funding, they installed ramps to the lakeside and smooth, concrete surrounds.
Now, the charity has gone to the next stage. In spring of last year, it secured a grant of £60k from North Somerset Council’s Great Lakes Project to build an accessible changing room and toilet, install a hoist and create a community and volunteer space and extra storage for the hoist. Winter swimmers at the lake also raised nearly £2.5k towards the hoist through a winter swim challenge.
“I have a son on the autism spectrum, so this project is very personal for me,” says trustee and project leader, Hilary Jenkins-Spangler. “I feel strongly about the importance of inclusion and accommodating those who are disabled. I want everyone to feel welcome at the lake.”
The accessible changing room and hoist will be ready to use from the beginning of June. To find out more, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website. Follow the lake on socials for the latest updates: @clevedonmarinelake