Wappenham Village Hall tell us their story of how our funding has made a difference in their community.
Our project was an improvement project for the village hall in Wappenham. We used the £3,000 from Northamptonshire Community Foundation as well as £10,000 from Awards for All to put new windows in, install better lighting, acoustic panels and most importantly better and more energy-efficient heating, which means the hall can now be used in winter. Our short mat bowls team, those who attend the monthly coffee morning and other users are now very happy with the improved hall. In fact, we were unable to use the hall for the coffee morning as it was too cold in winter, until our grant came through for heating – it had to be held in an upstairs room elsewhere.
Now it is in the hall we are able to have disabled users as we have all the approved access facilities, and several of our regulars fall into that category. The coffee mornings are a big success – 20-25 people every month, during weekdays, in a village our size is a good turnout. Also our quiz nights are much more successful as the acoustics are much better so we can hear conversations when the building is crowded – these are sold out now well in advance.
One of the project challenges was to find an efficient form of heating for a building with a big ceiling cavity and sporadic use. A heat pump was not suitable, air conditioning units were noisy, so we chose a fairly new method of infra red heating which heats people and objects, not the space in between. Together with a remote-controlled digital control this can be turned on before the hall is to be used and yet still uses less electricity than before.
The building was an old school and was designed by Gilbert Scott, the famous architect (he was brought up in Wappenham). The windows are excellent as they do not detract from the Victorian style and yet are well insulated in an efficient manner.