A POPULAR leisure swimming pool has announced it will be cancelling some weekend sessions until the end of the season.

Brightlingsea Lido has experienced an extremely busy period in the past three weeks and due to staff sickness and absence on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14, a pre-booked private lunchtime session for a group of children with special needs had to be cancelled.

A spokesman for Brightlingsea Lido said managing demand whilst protecting paid staff and volunteers has been a difficult task.

He said: “Lifeguards must be able to take regular breaks to meet safety requirements; this is especially important during hot weather where sufficient time out of the sun is critical.

“Trustees are aware that some of the families travel large distances and recognise that change at short notice can be upsetting to the children involved.

“As we approach the end of the season we cannot guarantee that a similar situation will not arise again, potentially at short notice.

“We recognise that this has caused some upset to the families involved and we apologise for that, but we would rather give proper notice than disappoint at the last minute. Full refunds will, of course, be given.”

Mindful of their duty of care to both staff and customers, trustees have had to make the difficult decision to cancel similar lunchtime bookings over the next two weekends.

Brightlingsea Lido is committed to making its facilities accessible for all, as evidenced by previous works and the installation this year of a hoist and electronic changing bench on site.

The money to fund the additions to Brightlingsea Lido’s facilities have come courtesy of Colchester Catalyst Charity and the FSJ Trust.

Colchester Catalyst Charity, a grant-making trust which offers financial assistance for special medical or mobility equipment for individuals, donated £11,000 towards the project, whilst the FSJ Trust, which offers support to Essex-based projects, gave £1,000.

The spokesman added: “We will continue to work with partners and consultants to improve access and provide a safe and fully resourced swimming environment for all. Thanks for your understanding and continued support.”