• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

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Samantha Corbett of Forest Hall Young Peoples Club with Jamilah Hassan of the Banks GroupSamantha Corbett of Forest Hall Young Peoples Club with Jamilah Hassan of the Banks Group

A North Tyneside sports club is ready to give visitors a warm welcome once again thanks to support from the community fund operated by North East property, energy and mining firm the Banks Group.

Forest Hall Young Peoples Club in East Palmersville hosts matches for more than 20 football teams from Forest Hall Football Club’s junior and senior sides, as well as the Forest Hall Dazzlers disability teams.

Over the winter, the boiler in the club’s sports pavilion had started to become increasingly unreliable and had begun to regularly switch itself off, leaving the pavilion’s bar and changing room areas without any heating.

But now, a £1,278 grant from the Banks Community Fund has enabled the club to commission local contractors Koziwarm Plumbing & Heating to install a new digitally controlled boiler and circuit board which has solved the problem.

It’s the third time that the club has received support from the Banks Community Fund, with a £5,000 grant provided in 2021 paying for a purpose-built new kitchen and serving window that increased the sports pavilion’s accessibility for people with disabilities, older visitors and community groups.

A £4,000 grant was also given in 2017 to pay for two new sets of seven and 11-a-side football goalposts that could be wheeled into places for training sessions and matches.

Alongside its footballing activities, Forest Hall Young Peoples Club is also home to a number of other sporting and community activities, including the Forest Hall Boxing Club, craft sessions, a games club and regular private functions.

And as well as being used to prepare and sell refreshments on match days, the club’s kitchen facilities are also regularly used to help young players and other visitors develop life skills by showing them how to prepare and cook meals.

Samantha Corbett, pavilion supervisor at Forest Hall Young Peoples Club, says: “Our sports pavilion is used by a wide cross-section of the local community, from the youngest of footballers right through to community groups for older people, and we try to provide a welcoming environment for all of them.

“The boiler had given us over a decade’s good service, but it has become increasingly temperamental over the last year, and we’ve sometimes found ourselves without any heating in the bar and changing areas, which is far from ideal in the colder months.

“With so many activities on site and so many demands on our budget, there’s never a shortage of things that we need to spend what money we have on, so having the Banks Group step up to support us once again has been a real godsend.

“The new boiler is working exactly as it should and we’re confident that, when the summer gives way to the autumn and winter, we’ll be able to keep all our visitors nice and warm.”

Jamilah Hassan, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “Forest Hall Young Peoples Club has a positive impact on the local community that goes well beyond its football pitches.

“We’re very pleased to be able to extend our support for this excellent organisation and to help it continue to offer the best possible facilities it can for local people.”

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.

Anyone from a community close to a Banks Group development who is interested in applying for funding from the Banks Community Fund should first contact the fund manager on 0191 378 6342 or via fundmanager@bankscommunityfund.org.uk before applying for a grant to check if their group or project is eligible.