Director and lead instructor Neil Capper said: “This award from Community Foundation for Calderdale means so much to the group.
“It has been a very turbulent 18 months for us.
“First, we had our usual training venue in North Halifax closed without warning, forcing a relocation with literally only a few hours’ notice and no assistance from the new landlords, then the pandemic hit, forcing our closure.
“Then, during the pandemic, some of our equipment which was still stored at the old training venue went missing, yet the landlord refused to accept any responsibility for this.
“This funding means we can continue to offer our services to all residents in Calderdale, regardless of their background, abilities, or financial standing.
“Like a lot of the smaller groups and individuals in the sporting sector, we have had no support during the pandemic.
“We have not qualified for any assistance offered, either by the government or administered by the council.
“We felt as though we had been abandoned and ignored, yet we have still been providing our services through online media such as Zoom.
“Ninety five per cent of our income is derived from our members.
“With the pandemic and lockdowns, we lost a significant amount of this but still had to maintain our insurances, DBS checks, registration fees and so on to continue the online sessions.
“The funds for this came from a small number of committed members who continued to pay their memberships, and, from our own pockets.
“We can now replace essential equipment which has deteriorated over lockdowns or is due to expire, such as our first aid equipment, and renew our insurances without having to worry about where the funds will be coming from.
“This ultimately means we can then direct the regular income from our members to replacing the equipment that went missing.
“We can also arrange for our new volunteers who will be joining us very soon to be vetted and arrange the appropriate training for them at no cost to themselves.
“Prior to lockdown, we were providing five local schools with after-school clubs for their pupils at no cost to either the school, the pupils or parents/guardians.
“This funding will ensure we are able to continue to offer these to schools within Calderdale, helping to keep our younger generation active.”