Ruskin park pool set for renewal

volunteers clean paddling pool
The pool depends on the work of volunteers

Ruskin park’s paddling pool, closed for a year as a result of Covid and a broken pump, is set to reopen later this year.

Lambeth council are working with local volunteers, Denmark Hill estate agents Urban Village, and Friends of Ruskin Park to make the popular pool cleaner, safer and easier to maintain.

And more volunteers are being sought to help keep the pool going.

It opened in the 1920s and has been run by a “community partnership” since 2015 when the council said it did not have the funds to maintain it. 

A crowd-funder raised more than £15,000 to pay for chemicals, water, new pumps and paint, and the Ruskin Park mural was commissioned and paid for by Urban Village.

mural with crowd in front

For four years the pool was a popular community attraction from May through September.

Cllr Jim Dickson, council cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to our amazing Ruskin Park community for their hard work keeping the paddling pool going with very few resources over the past few years.”

Now the council is working with the community and Friends of Ruskin Park to renovate the pool, making it cleaner, safer and easier to maintain.

The cost is estimated at £100,000. About half has already been found in reserves from previous funds; donations from Friends of Ruskin Park; an application for community infrastructure levy funds; and a donation from Urban Village.

Lambeth council plans to cover most of the remainder, but Friends of Ruskin Park is asking the community to raise funds as well, and would like to hear from potential donors or anyone else who can help.

wading into a paddling pool to clean it

Work is due to start after September this year, but by adhering to government Covid guidelines and with weekly safety checks by the council, it is planned to open the pool before then with a reduced service.

It should be open on weekends from the spring bank holiday (31 May) to September, and possibly for a few additional days during the summer holidays.

“It’s great to see the community and the council working in partnership to bring the much loved Ruskin Park paddling pool back to life,” Cllr Dickson said.

“We look forward to use by families seven days a week in 2022.”

Without volunteers, who drain and clean the pool, while helping to maintain safe and healthy conditions, none of this will be possible.

To get involved and support the pool, email or

paddling pool with balloons on fence