MO CHAUDRY spells out Waterworld’s stance on British Naturism’s decision to hire the venue for a private event
Having arrived in the UK from Pakistan as a young boy, unable to speak a single word of English, I know precisely what it feels like to be discriminated against.
And that is why, throughout all my subsequent years in business, I have been determined to treat everyone equally, and fairly.
Much has been written over the past few weeks about British Naturism’s decision to hire Waterworld for a private evening swimming session.
We have been unjustly accused of encouraging paedophiles; far right protest group Britain First has been trying to whip up a frenzy by handing out inflammatory flyers; and some of our staff have even been subjected to unacceptable and unwarranted personal abuse.
So it’s time to set the record straight, and get this situation into perspective.
British Naturism is a perfectly law-abiding organisation which has been hiring our venue – and many similar sites across the UK – for private swimming events for more than 20 years.
In all of that time, the Waterworld sessions have passed off happily and peacefully, and we have never had any reasons for concern.
It’s important to point out that these events are completely private, and not open to anyone to simply walk in off the street.
They are restricted to the organisation’s members and pre-registered guests, and no children attend without parents or guardians.
I am not a naturist, but I fiercely defend the rights of those who choose to be.
It is not Waterworld’s role to be judge and jury on a matter where no laws of the land are being broken.
We hire out our venue to a wide range of different groups for private functions. All of these customers must provide proof of robust safeguarding policies, particularly around children and vulnerable adults, before a booking is accepted.
Why should I bow to pressure to stop a particular group of people from hiring our facilities, simply because they choose to pursue a different sort of lifestyle to my own?
I can assure everyone that we take our safeguarding and health and safety responsibilities very seriously at Waterworld, and pride ourselves on offering a safe environment for all users.
So we will not give way to this minority of scaremongering extremists who are seeking to sensationalise the British Naturism issue, by manufacturing a scandal which simply does not exist.
The morally right thing to do is for us to continue giving our full support to British Naturism, which has exactly the same rights to hire our facility as any other law-abiding organisation.
And that is precisely what we will do. British Naturism is welcome to continue hiring Waterworld outside public opening hours for its private events, for as long as it wishes to do so.
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