ON a sunny Thursday afternoon three volunteers are busy working on an old supermarket delivery van donated to their football club.

It will be used for storing football equipment and stands alongside a cabin gifted by a local haulage company, which will be revamped and used to serve post-match drinks and snacks.

“It’s fair to say things are run on a shoestring, here”, says volunteer Wayne Hunter.

While Mirehouse AFC may not benefit from big cash injections, it certainly isn’t short of hard-working volunteers.

Established in 1979, the club is self-funded and serves one of the most disadvantaged wards in Whitehaven. There are about 900 houses on the 09 side of Mirehouse alone.

Terry Smith, 63, who has lived on the Mirehouse estate all his life, began playing for the club when he was nine years old and has been involved ever since.

He now makes a lot of major decisions and oversees the day-to-day running of the club.

“I just love Mirehouse Football Club,” he says enthusiastically. “I like to see kids developing.”

Terry’s nephew, Paul Smith, 45, has been playing for Mirehouse AFC since he was 12.

When asked what he enjoys most, he said: “It’s the kids – they need something. It’s something I tried to get down here.”

The club’s junior section was only set up two years ago and already has 140 members.

Volunteer Steven McCourt, of Mirehouse, coaches the under 6s, 7s and 8s, alongside Scott Fisher. Steven said: “It’s brilliant. All the kids are fantastic. They love to play football.”

Initially starting with mixed teams, the club now has its own girls’ section following a rise in the number of girls who want to play.

Wayne Hunter, who volunteers for the first team, added: “It gets kids off the streets. A lot of them were at the top shops. They have got something to do.”

Stacey Fisher organises many of the club’s fundraising events and held a fun day earlier this month which raised £2,000.

The money will go towards vital drainage works on the pitch, which is often unusable in the winter months.

Mirehouse AFC thanked Tesco for donating the old delivery van and G&AM Lawson for the cabin.

Anyone who can help with funding opportunities, should contact Wayne Hunter on 07415738927.

To donate to the club, go to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stephen-fisher-958