At Belstone Village Hall’s weekly Thursday Community Cafe , visitors celebrated a recent donation of £18,000 which will go towards making the village hall more accessible.

Attendees raised their mugs as a thank you to the People’s Postcode Lottery, which donated £18,000 to the hall to enable the trustees of the hall to make the building more accessible to elderly residents and those with disabilities of all kinds.

The decision to adapt the village hall came about after trustees realised the hall was not necessarily accessible to all individuals in the community and wanted to ensure that these people were able to get involved in hall activities.

Following this, the trustees started to look into ways of adapting the hall and realised that upgrading the loft insulation and installing energy efficient heating would not only make the hall more comfortable for the older residents or those with mobility issues but would also be a particularly energy-saving adap.

Trustees also decided to he add a new, clear sound system with a high-tech hearing loop that would be a big help to those who wear hearing aids and also provide a clearer sound for everyone attending meetings, talks and presentations – wherever they sat.

Gilbert Taylor, a Belstone resident who uses a power wheelchair described how he had benefited from the new additions, in particular the warmer heating panels.

He said: ‘I get very cold sitting in my chair  as I am not moving much. I like the new heating panels  as I can safely sit near to them, stay warm and enjoy coming to the hall’s community cafe for a chat and lovely homemade cake.’

The hall’s Thursday Community Cafe, which runs from 10am until noon is a welcome warm hub, and provides a place for residents of all ages and abilities to meet up and chat.

The cafe also regularly runs a Wild Swimming Group after which swimmers can enjoy tea, coffee and piece of cake.

Belstone Village Hall is run by a charity which maintains the hall for the benefit of the local community and organises events in the hall to raise funds for its maintenance.

People’s Postcode Lottery started as a small project in 2005 and has continued to grow.

Today, 68 percent of British postcodes play and over £1 billion has been raised for for thousands of charities and local good causes.

The postcode lotteru is a subscription lottery service which helps raise money for charities, with players able to win prizes themselves.

Players sign up with their postcode which is then are automatically entered into every draw and winning postcodes are announced every day of the month.

A minimum of 33 percent of the ticket price goes to charities and good causes and 40 percent go towards prizes for players.