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Budding Beds soccer stars welcome cash for new kit

A football club that gives youngsters in three Bedfordshire villages an introduction to their favourite sport has been handed a £250 cash award from a local energy company.

From Press releases - 24 February 2014 12:00 AM

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A football club that gives youngsters in three Bedfordshire villages an introduction to their favourite sport has been handed a £250 cash award from a local energy company.

UK Power Networks donated the money to Derwent Lower FC as part of its Team Sport Awards programme. Under the scheme, employees nominate sports clubs and community groups they are connected with for a grant.

Adam Heley, who is an overhead linesman for the energy company and based in Bedford, put forward Derwent Lower FC, which was set up four years ago to help youngsters get a start on the football pitch.

Adam started helping out at the club when his son Ashley, six, joined a couple of years ago and is now so involved he is one of the coaches. Derwent Lower caters for four to nine-year-olds and Adam works with the year two team, which has become so popular it now runs two teams.

The club attracts children primarily from the villages of Lower Stondon, Henlow and Shillington and the money will go towards providing them with new equipment such as balls and training kit. The youngsters learn basic football skills and are given the opportunity to play in the Mid Bedfordshire Mini League.

Club Secretary Mark Burton said: “We provide a fun, learning environment where the main aim is learning to enjoy football while also improving individual skills and teamwork.

“I would like to thank UK Power Networks for their kind donation. It will go towards making sure the club maintains its FA Chartered Status by having suitable training equipment.”

Club members are also doing some “giving” themselves. Adam, Mark and parent Johnny Bhinder, whose son plays with Derwent Lower, will be doing the Three Peaks challenge in May to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

 Adam said: “When Ashley was a baby he was very poorly and it turned out he had a condition called duplex kidney, which affected his breathing. He was treated at Great Ormond Street, which was brilliant. It was a big part of our lives and we want to give something back.”

The three men will be joined by Adam’s brother-in-law David Neale when they attempt to climb three of Britain’s highest mountains, one after the other, within 24 hours. They hope to raise at least £3,000. To support them, go to https://www.justgiving.com/DLFCteam/.


UK Power Networks’ Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year nearly £10,000 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.