Support from one of the region’s largest housing associations has helped a cricket club bring the sport to local people with physical disabilities.
Willington Cricket Club has launched a new table cricket group designed to bring the game to anyone who would be otherwise be prevented from trying the sport. The club has been made possible thanks to funding from County Durham Housing Group.
The new group has already attracted more than a dozen members and has the support of a professional coach to help the players. It’s also on the lookout for more members to take part. Once up to speed, the new team will be playing at county-wide events and taking part in matches against other community groups.
The table cricket team will be fully integrated into Willington Cricket Club’s existing set-up, with clothing provided and access to club facilities.
County Durham Housing Group provided £500 to help with the creation of the new table cricket group through its ‘group grant’ community funding programme.
Andy Dickinson, Chairman of Willington Cricket Club said: “The idea was to expand the work we do in the community and get more people involved. It’s been a pretty quick turnaround. It’s taken about five or six weeks from having the initial idea, but it’s working really well. We’re hoping to expand the project further so that more groups can come and use the facilities we have here at Willington Cricket Club.”
County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “This is a great project that should bring a new sport and a host of other opportunities to everyone who is getting involved.
“It’s exactly the kind of project that our group grant programme was designed to support. It’s made a tangible impact to the local community straight away and is providing new facilities for the area.”
More than £50,000 has been allocated to community projects right across County Durham since group grant was launched in July 2017.
The scheme provides funds of up to £500 and is designed to help new groups take their first steps as well as supporting longstanding organisations. The application process has been kept deliberately simple and funding decisions are made monthly to ensure groups are not waiting for lengthy periods to find out if they have been successful.
Any community organisation, non-profit making group, charity or school is eligible for the scheme.