Our swimming sessions are open to any trans, non-binary and gender-questioning people of all fitness levels. There's a relaxed atmosphere with no pressure to push yourself more than you want to, our focus is on meeting new people and having fun.
TEMPORARY SESSIONS AT ZEST
While Heeley Pool is closed for renovations we're running our replacement swimming sessions at the Zest Centre in Upperthorpe. They will run on Tuesday evenings from 8-9pm until early December.
We'll have private use of the pool during our booking, although at the start of the session there may still be some people getting changed from the previous public session. The changing room is gender neutral and consists of individual changing cubicles, so there shouldn't be too much interaction with previous attendees.
There are communal showers (also gender neutral) and gendered male / female toilets - these will be gender neutral during our booking. The changing room also has 4 disabled cubicles which have their own sink, shower and toilet within them.
There are lockers in the changing rooms which take padlocks, please bring your own padlock if you want to use a locker. Otherwise you can leave your belongings in your cubicle.
We will meet inside the main foyer of the building (to the left of the reception desk) from 7.45pm - look out for our committee members wearing orange Trans Active lanyards.
We can go into the changing rooms from 7.55pm. Our session finishes at 9pm and we need to be out of the changing rooms by 9.15pm to allow the venue staff to clean up.
There is ramped access into the building, through the main entrance and into the changing rooms, all with automatic doors. Within the changing rooms there is level access to the 4 individual disabled cubicles (each including a toilet and shower) and level access onto the poolside. There are steps up to the toilets, communal showers and other changing cubicles.
Entry into the pool is via a ramp, there is also a hoist to transfer people in and out of the pool and an electronic hoist to transfer from wheelchairs to the poolside chair. The pool temperature is around 30 degrees.
There is a small free car park nearby on Shipton Street. Zest is a 5 minute walk from Infirmary Road tram stop and nearby bus stops are on Upperthorpe Road (10a) and Infirmary Road (57/57a/81/82).
SESSIONS AT HEELEY POOL
You can attend the swimming sessions with a carer/essential companion if you require one. The companion doesn't have to be a trans or non-binary person, but will need to book an "Essential Companion" ticket after reading and agreeing to our Code of Conduct.
There is free parking next to the venue for people who are using the pool. There are bus stops within a 5 minute walk of the pool on Broadfield Road, Abbeydale Road and Chesterfield Road. If you're not sure how to get there, get in touch and we can advise.
The main entrance to the building has steps with no handrails. There is a step free entrance to the left hand side of the building with a buzzer to alert the pool staff so they can open the door. This leads into the gym and then into the main entrance where we meet before the swimming session.
There is an accessible toilet available in the gym but only standard toilets are available on the poolside. There are changing cubicles around the edge of the pool, including six double size family changing cubicles and one extra large disabled cubicle.
More detailed accessibility information about the pool can be found here. If there's anything you would like more information about just let us know.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE POOL
A member of the Trans Active committee (usually wearing an orange lanyard) will be present in the foyer to sign people in. They will usually wait around until about 12.05 for any latecomers, but if you arrive later than that we can sign you in after the session. You can ask the pool staff if you're not sure where to go.
We have private use of the pool area for the duration of our booking (12-1pm with 15 minutes after for getting changed). This means that the only people who will be present on the poolside besides the lifeguards will be people attending our session. We’ve been running sessions at Heeley Pool since 2015 and the staff are familiar with our group.
There are individual changing cubicles around the edge of the pool. There are "Male" and "Female" communal changing rooms with showers and toilets - for the duration of our booking these are gender neutral and you can use whichever one you feel most comfortable in.
IN THE POOL
You can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable as long as your bottom half is covered - anyone can swim topless if they wish, whatever their assigned sex at birth and whether or not they've had surgery. Please ensure that your clothing is safe to swim in, ie ideally made of swimsuit material and not too baggy or heavy once it's wet.
Please be mindful of leaving space for other pool users. We have people of all abilities and fitness levels attending who want different things from the session - some may want to spend an hour swimming lengths, others may want to float about and socialise.
You’re very welcome to bring floats, rings or other pool toys if you’d like, though you will need to bring your own pump for any inflatable items. Heeley Pool also has some floats that we can use, just ask the lifeguard if you’d like one.
AFTER THE SESSION
Our private booking lasts until 1.15pm when the next session starts. You don’t have to be done changing by then but be aware that members of the public will start using the changing rooms from that time.
If you don’t want to overlap with the public session and need longer than 15 minutes to get changed, you can go into the pool from 11.45am so you still get a full hour of swimming. Our committee members should be at the pool from 11.45 to sign you in first, but if not please make yourself known to them during or after the session so we can record your attendance.