Bake off at Leith Viccies raises much needed funds to support Edinburgh’s disadvantaged

Edinburgh Leisure | Monday 1st July 2024 2:54pm

Bake-Off success raises much-needed funds 

Customers at Leith Victoria Swim Centre celebrated the Victorian pool’s 125th anniversary on Friday, 28th June, with a Bake-Off, which raised over £375 much-needed funds for Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities programme.

Local businesses including Hobz Bakery, Krema Bakehouse, The Babyfaced Baker and The Pastry Section, staff and customers all embraced their inner Mary Berry to create some showstoppers, which were judged by Edinburgh Leisure’s previous Chief Executive, June Peebles, who retired in March 2024 after 38 years’ service with Edinburgh Leisure, along with Jen Holland, their new CEO, and one of Leith Victoria’s regular customers Christine Findlay, 71 years, who attends 19 classes a week at the Leith Viccies. Kerry Teakle, Edinburgh Leisure’s PR Officer, won the baking competition with her tried and tested Almond, Orange and Whisky cake.

The Bake-Off judging took place following a busy Aqua and yoga class earlier in the building when participants often congregate for a coffee and a blether after.

Brought up in the Colonies in Lochend Road, Christine Findlay, 71 Years, and one of the Bake-Off judges, has been using the centre since her childhood and continues to use Leith Victoria today. Christine said: “I’ve been using the centre for years.  Many people came for the hot baths, but we were lucky as we had a bath in our house, so didn’t need to use those facilities.

Christine, who still works as a carer attends 19 classes, six days a week at Leith Victoria. She used to swim seven days a week but now only swims on Fridays. And Christine explains why people keep coming back: “Viccies is a community. This is my second home, and everyone here is like your second family. I’ve made great friends and even go on holiday with people I’ve met here. I’ve been coming since my childhood and this continued when I had my family and I still come with my grandchildren today. Without this place, I don’t know what I’d do. We support each other through the good times and the bad.”

Louise Bathgate, Manager at Leith Victoria explained: “At 125 years old, Leith Victoria is rich in history, as well as holding a special place in so many people’s hearts locally with generations of families having learnt to swim here.

“The Bake-Off was a good excuse to have a celebration in honour of Viccies’ 125th  birthday and to raise much-needed funds for Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities programmes, which rely on external funding to make it happen.  The funds raised by this event, along with two other events that have been held at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre and Meadowbank Sports Centre in the last couple of months, have raised a grand total of over £750 to support disadvantaged people in our communities to improve their health and wellbeing.”

Edinburgh Leisure’s Active Communities supports 12,500 people annually who face the greatest barriers to get active – people affected by health conditions, inequalities, and poverty.  As a venue, Leith Victoria Swim Centre holds 23 Active Community classes each week and is one of Edinburgh Leisure’s busiest venues supporting hundreds of people in the local community.


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