With funding for grassroots football facing multi-million pound cuts, many local Clubs, which have long been underfunded and have recently lost large percentages of annual revenue due to Covid-19, continue to struggle to provide suitable facilities.
At Rainhill Rockets in Prescot, the donation of an unused sales cabin from housebuilder Bellway has provided a much needed lifeline, allowing the Club to move forward in terms of equality, hygiene and health and safety.
The Club has one concrete building at The Holt on Martin Close, which is the original changing rooms with showers and wc. It was built many years ago when football commonly was an adult male domain, and for many years has not been suitable for all players, including the junior teams, female players as well as those requiring wheelchair access.
In fact, the Club has not been able to appoint any female referees previously due to the absence of female changing rooms and toilet facilities, so Bellway’s sales cabin, which is now in position, will help address this.
Rainhill Rockets will immediately recycle the sales cabin and use it for storage, moving all equipment from the existing building into the container. In the space currently used for storage, it will then build a disabled access toilet and dedicated ladies changing room.
Using some funding secured from the Football Foundation, the Club will also update the existing building by painting throughout and introducing an epoxy floor, making the whole building easier to clean and more importantly, more hygienic in the current climate.
Nick McCoy, Chairman at Rainhill Rockets, says: “The delivery of the sales cabin from Bellway will allow the Club to advance and we are so grateful to them for their generous donation.
“Despite having already received planning permission for a container to be situated at the ground, we could no longer afford to buy one having lost 30% of our yearly income. With Bellway donating an unused sales cabin, we can continue with our plans to improve the facilities at the Club without any delay.”
Jenny Bell, sales director at Bellway, adds: “The last year has been difficult for many and the sense of community spirit has really come to the forefront. The sales cabin that was initially used at Scotchbarn Rise, our development of two, three and four bedroom homes in Whiston, was no longer in use and simply stored away.
“We are thrilled that it has been put to good use by Rainhill Rockets and can help a local football club progress, providing basic facilities that future proof the Club.”
Local company, Roadcraft Cranes, kindly lifted the container into place for free.