Dodd Group helps Grove Vale Primary School reopen its swimming pool

A Great Barr primary school has had its much-loved swimming pool re-opened thanks to children’s fundraising efforts and a generous donation from one of our contractors.

The swimming pool at Grove Vale Primary School in Monksfield Avenue, Great Barr was closed in late 2021 due to the building no longer being fit for purpose.

With the cost of essential maintenance far beyond their school’s budget, the enterprising staff and children of Grove Vale began campaigning to raise the money – including through a Crowdfunder campaign, bake sales, a disco, sponsored walks and a grant from Sport England.

Seeing that the school was close to reaching its initial £20,000 target, we contacted our contractor Dodd Group to see whether they could bridge the gap. Dodd Group is our mechanical and electrical engineering partner for public-sector projects in Sandwell, via the Constructing West Midlands Framework.

Matthew Lewis, Divisional Managing Director at Dodd Group, said the company was delighted to donate the remaining £3,000 to ensure the swimming pool could re-open.

“We know that the pool is a vital community asset – not just to the pupils of Grove Vale but to many more families in Great Barr,” he said. “Swimming is a vital survival skill, but it’s also about health and wellbeing, social connection and confidence, so we were only too happy to write that cheque and ensure Grove Vale could have its pool back.”

Children and adults standing poolside, smiling and waving colourful pool noodles
Children from Grove Vale Primary School celebrate by waving colourful pool noodles. They are pictured with [left] Councillor Simon Hackett (Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Children) and their headteacher Alison Connop. The person on the right is Garry Goodwin of Dodd Group. Photo credit: Andrew Roberts.

An important legacy

Alison Connop is headteacher at Grove Vale Primary School. She said the whole school community was grateful to everyone who supported the school’s fundraising efforts.

“Grove Vale and the local community cannot thank Dodd Group enough for their generous donation that supported our school to meet our target of £20,000. The kind donation has been gratefully received and our pupils and local families can now enjoy our wonderful swimming pool.”

Mrs Connop continued: “Swimming and water safety are important life skills and Dodd Group have positively contributed towards securing this important legacy for our school and local area. Thank you, Dodd Group.”

Councillor Simon Hackett is Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Education. He commended Dodd Group for its generosity and said this was a great example of social value at work.

“When awarding contracts, Sandwell Council buyers are encouraged to look beyond the basic scope and price of the work to seek suppliers that will give back to our communities, socially, environmentally or even – in the case of Dodd Group and Grove Vale Primary School – financially. We are delighted that children are able to resume their swimming lessons thanks to this generosity from a council contractor.

“A huge ‘well done’ to the children, staff and wider community too, who worked so hard to raise money for their swimming pool.”

At Urban Design and Building Services (UDBS) we’re so glad to have been able to connect Grove Vale Primary School with Dodd Group.  And this is the second time we’ve championed Dodd Group’s social value commitment this summer – read about other good work carried out by the company in Sandwell recently.

Thank you to the Express & Star for covering our story too.