Water workers have been helping a Darlington sports club to improve their ground and take a step towards their goal of applying for Sport England funding.

Northumbrian Water has spent a total of six days at Darlington Railway Athletic & Social Club over the last couple of weeks, carrying out a number of different activities which will help to make the site more accessible to everyone.

More than 25 workers have built a new 200-metre, single track road and a 40-metre footpath, meaning those with mobility issues and parents with pushchairs now have easier access to the pitch to watch or play sport.

They've also improved the look of the site, tidying up the club, collecting litter, picking weeds and painting the pitch-side picket fence.  

Around £6,500 was donated in material and equipment costs towards carrying out this project, which wouldn’t have been possible without the manual labour from Northumbrian Water’s employees who supported it as part of the company’s Just an Hour volunteering scheme.

These major improvements will now help to support any application made by the club for investment from Sport England, which aims to bring communities together and get more people to play sport.

Keith Haslett, Water Director at Northumbrian Water, said: “We know how important the club is to the community and we felt this was a really important cause to support, not just because it will help improve accessibility at the club, but because they’re also really keen to apply for Sport England funding.

“I’m really proud of our people for volunteering and stepping up to this project. We’ve really enjoyed our time carrying out the work, but it makes it even more worthwhile when we see the smiles on the faces of everyone who uses the club.”

Carole Jackson, Project Coordinator at Darlington Railway Athletic & Social Club, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Northumbrian Water volunteers who have been instrumental in making this project happen, which has gone above and beyond anything the club could have expected.

“We are a charity sports club run by volunteers and therefore this work carried out by Northumbrian Water is of major benefit to the club for all the members and the local community.

“People with mobility issues can now easier access areas of the site to watch and participate in sport safely and we’re so grateful to Northumbrian Water for this.”

If you know of a local community or project in need, that could do with some support from Northumbrian Water’s Just an Hour volunteering scheme, please visit