VOLUNTEERS at a community hall went through the roof when they found out they had been awarded a £60,000 grant to complete their fundraising bid.
Yesterday The Jenner Hall Community Trust, in Cricklade, was officially handed the funding boost from Sita Trust, an independent funding body, to undertake the North Hall phase of the total repair of the roof .
The North Hall phase will involve replacing the Cotswold Stone roof tiles of the hall and repairing any timber structures, as persistent leaks over a number of years have caused damage meaning major restoration work on the roof is now essential.
Vicky McIntosh, vice chair of the Cricklade Jenner Hall Community Trust said: “We are all delighted that the Sita Trust has awarded us this amazing grant.
“It means work can soon go ahead and this will enable us to complete this essential repair before winter.
“I want to convey my thanks to Jeremy Freeth, Thamesdown Recycling Centre who acted as our Third Party Contributor because without his friendship and financial support I could not have applied for this grant.”
Jenner Hall, built in 1652, is a Grade II listed building and one of the few remaining free school buildings.
It is a fine example of its style and Vicky said she believed the community had a responsibility to preserve its heritage buildings for future generations.
It is used for meetings, christening parties, birthday parties, BBQs, wedding receptions, art exhibitions and re-unions. The Hall is the chosen venue for the elderly of Cricklade and surrounding villages, who are members of the Cricklade Open Door that meets three days a week, with many returning for another afternoon of bingo.
Marie Puskas, aged 86, and a member of Cricklade Open Door, said: “The hall is a warm friendly place and without it we would be lost.”
Jools Granville of Sita Trust said: “We were truly blown away by the Jenner Hall. This fantastic community facility with its dynamic set of volunteers and supporters is a true gem.
“We awarded our maximum grant and urge others to come forward to help raise the remaining funds required to help this brilliant facility.”
The next big celebration to be held at Jenner Hall will be the Jubilee Fayre on May 26, which runs 2pm to 4.30pm.