Budding young footballers in Hartlepool have said a big thank you to UK Steel Enterprise for helping their Club to buy new balls and other much-needed equipment.

Gretton Crest Hartlepool Football Club is run by volunteers and gives 50 boys and girls, aged from just three to 11, the opportunity to train three times a week and play in Saturday matches.  

It relies almost totally on donations from local businesses and supporters so organisers were delighted when UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, stepped in and offered £300 from its Community Support Fund to buy equipment.

Gary Roberts of the Club, which trains at West View School, said: “We were badly in need of new equipment including balls, bibs, cones and sub suits.  Our aim is to give youngsters in this area of Hartlepool somewhere safe to go where they can learn sporting skills, make friends and enjoy playing as part of a team.

“We only ask for nominal fees from the members to make it affordable for everyone so we do rely heavily on donations and are very grateful for the help from UK Steel Enterprise. It isn’t always easy for parents to find the money for football boots, sports clothing or activities for their children so any support we get means a lot.”

Joan Cook of UK Steel Enterprise said: “It has been great to visit the Club for a training session and see just what a difference our support and the new equipment has made.  The volunteers at the Club do a fantastic job and this is exactly the type of project that our Community Support Fund was set up to help.

“UK Steel Enterprise is about supporting businesses with finance and premises but this Fund means that we can also play a part in helping to improve the quality of daily life for children and adults who live in our steel areas.”

Details of UK Steel Enterprise’s support for businesses and community projects from 01642 777 777 and www.uksteelenterprise.co.uk.  Gretton Crest Hartlepool FC is on 07539 322 036.