A POPULAR community sports club in Dursley has launched an urgent appeal to help keep its light and heating on amid rising costs. 

Dursley Rugby Club says it costs almost £10,000 a year to keep the lights and heating on in the clubhouse and changing rooms.

The club wants to put solar panels on the changing rooms roof this winter and install battery storage to reduce costs.

Members says having their own renewable energy source would reduce overheads dramatically meaning there would be more money available to put back into facilities.

The total cost of the panels, batteries and installation is £40,000 - with volunteers now appealing to the community to help with the last fundraising hurdle.

So far, the club has received £14,000 worth of grant funding from Magnox, Gloucestershire County Council and the Luke Wheaton Legacy Trust.  

The club has also put £6,000 towards the project itself.

It has also been chosen for Aviva's Community Fund Crowdfunder - which was launched on Sunday, October 1 and runs until Sunday, November 26 - donate at tinyurl.com/uzm4wwkz

Gazette Series: Dursley Rugby Club changing rooms from the airAviva will match every individual donation of up to £250 and so far, over £6,000 of the remaining £20,000 has been donated, meaning there is £14,000 left to find. 

The club has three senior teams, a women's section and has more than 400 boys and girls aged between 4 to 18 playing for their teams. 

Stinchcombe Stragglers Cricket Club plus Dursley Running and Athletics Club also use the site while the facilities and clubhouse are also used for groups, parties, meetings and community events. 

Club chair Phil Sprague said: "More than a thousand people from the community use our club for rugby, running, cricket and events.

"We are volunteer run and need to keep our costs down, so we have no choice but to do something about it. 

"Installing solar panels on our changing rooms will help keep the lights on for everyone using this club in the future."

Tracy Angell, volunteer fundraising manager and mother of an U15s player, said: "We were delighted that Aviva selected us for the community Crowdfunder, as they will match what we raise.

"It's hard asking people to give money at this time of year, so in return we're giving out rewards ranging from t-shirts, to free hire of the clubhouse.

"Everyone who supports this Crowdfunder will get something back.

"We've got until the end of November to reach our target."