Norton Sports Charity provides facilities for a wide variety of community activities and the work on our main clubhouse is urgently needed to continue and expand these. Our social activities include all types of function such as local community groups, christenings, parties, funeral wakes, bingo and many more in addition to providing a home base for eight sports clubs. Approximately 100,000 visits are made to the site each year which both makes us a real centre for the local community and provides much needed income to run our 55 acres of sports facilities. Put simply, the entirety of our activities are in danger unless we can repair and improve the clubhouse.
Amongst the particular groups active at our premises we have the following:
Stockton Bereavement Group
Local Councillors Ward Surgeries
Norton Union Golf Society
Stockton Physically Handicapped Group
Durham County Rugby Referees
Crooksbarn Residents Association
Crooksbarn School PTA
Station Road Residents Association
St Josephs RC School PTA
Daisy Chain Autism Respite Charity
We are also the home to eight sports clubs including archery, athletics, bowls, cricket, football, hockey, squash and tennis all of whom use the clubhouse for a variety of purposes and therefore it is critical to their survival and success. These clubs have a particular focus on both junior players and family involvement and the social facilities provided through the clubhouse are essential to the success of this.
As part of a twenty year development programme to provide additional resources for our local community and to help ensure our sustainability, we are looking to improve our facilities for conferencing and meetings such that we can attract new organisations. Included within the organisations with which we are working are North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, our local autism respite centre and several local schools including some with special needs units.
The work required to the exterior of the building is essential in order to prevent deterioration to the fabric of the building which is a real risk at the moment. This would ultimately prove extremely expensive to put right so it needs addressing now. We also believe that a facelift for the building will help attract more visitors thereby increasing community use and revenues. Inside the building, full electrical testing is required and our toilet facilities are very old, not fit for purpose and need replacing. We also have some deterioration to walls and ceilings which require significant repair and extensive plaster work. This will prevent any further deterioration and make the facilities much more attractive to our visitors.
Norton Sports Charity has done a huge amount of work over recent years to help ensure its' sustainability. This has included a complete re-structuring of our organisation into a charitable company and an associated trading company which has allowed us to focus on what is required to maintain and develop our facilities. Our immediate priority has been to ensure the maintenance of our sports facilities which has included raising over £250,000 to replace our worn out artificial grass pitch and the clubhouse has now been agreed by the Charity Board of Directors as the next key item to be addressed. Whilst we do make some provision for maintenance of our buildings, unfortunately we have reached the point where the cost of the work needed exceeds the financial reserves available so we are seeking funding from a variety of sources including the Jewson Building Better Communities awards. Much of the work referred to above has been done by volunteers and we receive no external funding to support our day to day running costs so we are very much in to self-help.
We do believe that an award from Jewson would provide a much needed boost to our activities and encourage others to support us so we do hope that you can look favourably on our application.