Project information

Sink or Swim

We need your help to raise £300,000 to keep the school pool open

Our swimming pool is in urgent need of renovation and modernisation to enable all the young deaf people at Mary Hare School to benefit, as well as local community groups. We also want to build additional sports changing rooms.

one year

Charity information: The Mary Hare Foundation

The Mary Hare Foundation logo
  • Need


    The main aim of this project is to ensure that young people have access to sports facilities to encourage them to participate regularly in sport for the social and health benefits they offer.

    As well as encouraging and supporting young people to participate in more sport, we want to enable the young deaf people at Mary Hare School to integrate with hearing children from the area through sport, to promote greater awareness of deafness in the local community.


    In the short-term Mary Hare proposes to carry out two main pieces of work to enable us to support the young people identified above:
    1. Erect a new cover for the pool, with a slightly larger footprint that will include a spectating area, disabled changing facilities and toilet, a small foyer and upgraded changing facilities.
    2. Build an additional set of changing facilities for ‘dry’ sports to enable dual use of the sports facilities at any time during the day, evenings and weekend.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To keep the swimming pool at Mary Hare School open


    » Raise the funds required to erect a new cover for the pool and improve the changing rooms

    What success will look like

    The pool is in real danger of being closed within the next three years if we do not carry out this work. If we are able to renovate it we will have achieved this aim.

    Aim 2

    To encourage local children to use the pool and integrate with the deaf pupils at Mary Hare School


    » Work with a local football club and scuba club to enable deaf children to participate in their activities

    What success will look like

    We want our pupils to be able to join in with sports clubs using our facilities and will monitor this activity once the renovation has been done.

    Aim 3

    Build new changing rooms for dry sports including gym, football and rugby


    » Raise £50,000 to build an additional set of changing rooms

    What success will look like

    The school only has one set of changing rooms (in the pool) so cannot have more than one sports activity at one time - when we can do so we will have achieved this aim

  • Impact


    The main long-term benefit will be to preserve and improve an essential facility at Mary Hare School - the only school of its kind in the UK for deaf children. We have a duty to maintain the facilities for future generations of deaf children, especially when other schools for the deaf have closed in the UK.

    We will also ensure that young people in Newbury can benefit from the sports facilities and mix with the deaf children at the school, to promote better understanding of deafness.


    Our greatest risk is that we do not raise adequate funds to carry our the work before the pool has to be closed down. The Mary Hare Governors would consider part-funding the project through a loan should this become a reality.


    Funders will receive a 3-monthly update on the progress of fundraising for the swimming pool and the anticipated start date for the building work to commence.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £300,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £85,000 Frame Supply and install new frame
      £27,000 Cladding cladding
      £50,000 Changing rooms refurb of existing changing rooms
      £54,000 Dry changing rooms new build dry side changing rooms
      £38,000 Foyer, seating & tiles new tiles around pool,build seating area, build foyer including accessible toilet and changing room
      £25,000 Solar thermal panels for frame
      £21,000 other groundworks, electrical & mechanical

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Thames Water £3,000 Guaranteed
    fundraising £47,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Mary Hare School is located near Newbury in Berkshire. The School caters for children from all over the UK.


    The deaf children attending Mary Hare School represent a large number of the most profoundly deaf young people in the UK. Deafness is a low incidence disability (around 400 profoundly deaf children are born ever year) - there are 240 children at Mary Hare School.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Mare Hare School was established in 1946 when Miss Mary Hare died. Mary Hare was a leading educationalist specialising in education deaf children through the use of spoken and written English throughout her lifetime, either at her own home or in a school in Sussex. Mary Hare School was established in her honour and continue on the experience and knowledge she brought to the education of deaf children.

    Mary Hare was found to be an Outstanding School by Ofsted in May 2014.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ian Frey

    Facilities and Estate Manager