Footballers and staff at Carlisle United often garner plaudits for their exploits at Brunton Park but one of the club’s most important figures may not be known by all.

Former Blues winger turned coach John Halpin has not only made a unique contribution to the League Two side’s fortunes down the years on the pitch but has also thrown himself into ensuring that the club remains committed to helping the community at large.

Particularly in this time of great upheaval for so many, the efforts of the now community sports manager have never been more vital.

Leading the Carlisle United Community Sports Trust, Halpin and his team of volunteers have now launched their latest community effort with a programme alongside Carlisle Community Help’s affordable food hubs.

Carlisle Community Help has set up a network of hubs across the city to address the need for affordable food in Carlisle.

The hub itself runs on an innovative concept where people can choose from a list of items from their stocks but only pay a low set price each week. Carlisle Community Help has built up relationships with local producers, who will be able to supply reduced price locally made food to offer for sale.

The scheme aims to make a difference both to the community at large and the environment.

A spokesperson for Carlisle Community Help said: “We are so grateful to all our volunteers and donors, and it’s so inspiring when groups and businesses in Carlisle come together and offer us so much kindness.

"John Halpin helped us in the first lockdown and we are delighted to welcome his team from the Community Trust as volunteers. We are also grateful to Oak Tree Animals Charity and Tech4Office Equipment for their very generous donations. We are here for our community, and working with other people from the community such as John and other volunteers only makes us stronger.”

Mr Halpin added: “So many people are struggling in so many different ways at the moment, and we’ve identified this as another way we can do our bit for our local community."

Details of how to get involved can be found on Carlisle United’s website.