A WEST Devon community has launched its own website in an effort to get residents more involved in village life.

Broadwoodkelly’s website has been live since the start of the month, and is already being embraced by the community according to its organisers.

The website allows residents to book the village hall, find out what’s on, look for work and buy and sell things online — from local veg and recycled furniture to houses. They can view parish council minutes, and find out all about events in the village hall, church and chapel.

‘It is up, it is live and we are updating it all the time,’ said organiser Liz Jones. ‘People are starting to use it and more and more people are getting to know about it. We need the website to promote events, keep the community together and work with the next generation.

‘It all started because we felt there was a gap in our communications and we needed to move with the times. There’s been lots of changes of residents recently and we needed to get them involved.

‘People moving to the area can search for Broadwoodkelly now and find the website and say “yes, it’s a really lively village”.’

She said the community spirit needed a bit of a helping hand in the village, a farming community which has recently seen an influx of new people.

‘The older generation are dying and houses are coming onto the market and it is attracting new blood to the village,’ she said. ‘We have still got a lot of older families here, which is great, so there is a real mixture of older families and new people coming in.

‘We need to make sure we look after the older generation at the same time as encouraging the younger generation. It is about keeping everybody happy, and sharing information, getting people to come out of their houses and be part of the community.

‘It is about making people aware that if you live in a village you need to participate to keep the village alive. Because that is when a village dies, if you don’t join in. It is all about use it or lose it.’

The website, which took six months to develop from start to finish, has been funded by the parish council and residents and put together by four volunteers from the village hall committee. It was launched on Saturday, July 1 with a slap-up village tea and children’s kite-making session.

The kites all featured special messages to be published on the website during each child’s birthday month to encourage family and friends to log on. See www.broadwoodkelly.org.uk to find out more.