A local netball team founded less than a year ago has been given a crucial funding boost thanks a housing developer with sites in East Lancashire.

The Hell's Belles Netball Club, based out of Darwen Vale High School, gives women of all ages the chance to play sport and improve their physical and mental fitness.

It was only created in Autumn last year and currently has players aged from 21 to 53 who love playing netball and being in a team.

The club is self-funded and reliant on donations to cover league subscriptions, equipment costs, and cover hire of the sports hall at Darwen Vale where the team trains and plays.

Barratt has a site - its Bernets Nook development in Brokenstone Road, Feniscowles - nearby and this sponsorship deal with Hell's Belles to provide the team with a new kit is the first part of its community outreach connected to the new estate.

Lancashire Telegraph: Claire Haworth, front, with her team mates in their new kitClaire Haworth, front, with her team mates in their new kit (Image: Barratt Homes)

Claire Haworth, founder of Hell’s Belles Netball Club, said: “Many of us haven’t played netball since we were at school.

"We knew we wouldn’t be great; we knew we’d have to take some defeats to get into our stride, but one thing we also knew was that we needed to have some time away from everyday life.

“As humans, we have an innate desire to socialise and playing a team sport is a perfect way to get fit and enjoy doing so in the process.

"We started our team journey as ‘friends’ and ‘friends of friends’ but have since developed a strong bond between every one of us.

“Our team has helped each other through challenging personal circumstances, shared joy in welcoming a baby and a new pregnancy, our children have made friends with each other and we now all have a support family outside of our direct family."

Not only has the sponsorship covered the cost of new uniforms for the team, it has also gone some way to cover other associated costs, Claire added.

“We used the donations to buy our new kit, paid the league subscriptions, bought a kit bag, ball, first aid items and also paid for sports hall hire for our training sessions.

“As Barratt Homes provided us with the funding to set ourselves up, it has provided us with the opportunity to bring a group of individuals together and become a close-knit team that has created lifelong friendships.”

Rhys Nicholson, managing director at Barratt Homes Manchester, said: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring Hell’s Belles’ new kits and give them the funding they needed to get started.

“We are committed to creating a positive impact on the surrounding areas in which we build and are pleased to contribute to help the club in its early stages.

"We are delighted to hear about the positive impact the club has had on its members, too.”

The Barratt site, Bernets Nook, is a 225 home development and a number of properties are still available to buy, with prices from £288,995 for a four-bedroom home.

More information is available from the Barratt website.