Following the decision by the government on Thursday to enter Phase 1 following lockdown we have made the decision to reopen in a limited way. The timescale for this is still to be confirmed, but further information will be made available early next week.
Canoeing and swimming are now permitted activities, and while there are still a lot of restrictions in place we feel that Pinkston is in a unique position to facilitate activity within the government guidelines. On this basis we are excited to be tentatively looking at how we can best welcome you all back.
Initially we are proposing flat water park and play and swim sessions. These will be available under the following conditions
We will also be opening for organisations who can operate under the current government guidelines (e.g. rescue services). Please get in touch if this applies and you would like to make a booking.
Further information will be available on all of this early next week
Enjoy a sunny weekend, and hopefully we will see you before too long!
We have been successful in securing funding from the Andy Jackson fund for access to support the costs associated with reopening - a big thank you to the trustees of this fund for their support and belief in Pinkston.
Our Just Giving Campaign has reached a total of £3492 - thank you so much to everyone who has donated. Particular mention goes to Edinburgh Kayak Club and Monklands Canoe Club who have made generous donations from their clubs, but there are also so very many individuals who have supported the campaign - thank you to all of you. This campaign is still open for anyone who hasn't already done so and feels able to offer their support - https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Pinkstoncovid19?fbclid=IwAR1t6wRF193GMzHYFw5GN3WH0WYnz526FfDbxVLpJ10y5mWMboVQOS_6rWs
Thanks are also due to clubs who have pre-paid for sessions which is allowing us flexibility around expenditure as we move to be ready for re-opening.
We are awaiting decisions from The Fore RAFT fund (£5000), and the Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund (£25,000). Other applications are also underway.
Planning for reopening
As we start to look ahead I will be working on the booking system - all sessions at Pinkston have been cancelled since 20th March, and will continue to be cancelled until restrictions are lifted. However, the booking system had not been fully updated in relation to changes. I have started the process of working through these bookings and taking them out of the diary so that when we can reopen we will be doing so with a clean slate. Apologies to those account holders who are being/will be bombarded with booking updates. I plan to remove bookings until the summer. When the time comes to reopen I will make contact with users directly to rebook sessions subject to the new restrictions that will be in place.
Of course, none of us know yet exactly what is going to happen with reopening and what restrictions will be in place and for how long. However we have been looking at how to maintain social distancing when activity is resumed. The health and safety of all users and staff will remain the highest priority, but subject to appropriate guidelines we are looking at how we can reintroduce activities at Pinkston when the time is right.
Details still to be finalised, but this will include:
What can you do to help?
See you on the other side
For many of our regular users this time of lockdown will be one of frustrations, so we are thinking of you all as you face the challenges presented during this difficult time. At Pinkston we are mindful of the increased pressure that this situation is putting on so many, but also hopeful and looking to the future.
I have been brought back off furlough for a short time and we are lucky to have the ongoing support of Helen to keep the finances in order. The board have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that we are in a strong place to come out the other side of this crisis. We also have 3 new board members, who will be familiar faces to many of you. John Montgomery (Glasgow Kelvin College), Graham Swanson (Drumchapel and Clydebank), and Catherine Brown (CR Cats) have joined the existing board and are providing ongoing support . Some of you will already have spoken to them as part of this process.
A big thank you is due to everyone who has donated to our Just Giving Campaign, or has been in touch with messages of support, information, and suggestions. It has been amazing reminder of the strength of the paddling community, and how important Pinkston is to so many people - we are collecting stories about this, so please get in touch if you would like to share what Pinkston means to you.
Pinkston remains closed to all users, maintaining access only for those who have containers. I would please request that you do not try to access the changing and toilet facilities which are not currently being cleaned or maintained. Please take any rubbish home with you as we are no longer having our bins emptied. I would also request that you follow current social distancing guidance and recommendations that we all refrain from paddling. Activity is not currently permitted on the Pinkston basin.
There is one exception to accessing the water at Pinkston which has been approved by senior council officials and the Police; that is that the Outdoor Resource Centre can access the water at Pinkston. I don't expect that many of you will be there with the current restrictions in place, but if you happen to be accessing your containers and see someone on the water it is likely to be them. Please give them a cheery wave. The ORC works with some of the most vulnerable children in our society who may be living in unsafe environments or are accommodated. The effects of restricted activity on them will be felt more strongly than by many. I completely understand the frustration we are all feeling about not being able to participate in the activities that are so important to us but I'm sure you will agree that the impact this will have on these young people is an important one.
Funding for the period in which we are closed
What can you do to help?
It is a difficult time, but I am confident that as a community we can get through this. And I am sure all of you will be keen to get back on the water when restrictions are lifted - I look forward to seeing you then!