Badminton players from Bloxham, calling themselves the Bad Girls, have launched a campaign to raise funds for a much beloved community hall.
The Ellen Hinde Hall was gifted to the residents of Bloxham in 1943 and has become an important meeting and recreational space for the many village groups that use it.
Ellen Hinde, the only daughter of the founder of Bloxham School, had originally built the hall as a memorial to her son who died in the First World War and wanted it to be used as a meeting place for war veterans and former servicemen.
The building was eventually bequeathed to the villagers by Mrs Hinde’s descendants to be used as they saw fit.
Although the hall was a gift to Bloxham, costing it nothing to build, the upkeep of the building costs about £20,000 a year and is gained via charitable donations.
The #ThankEllen campaign has been set up by the Bad Girls to help secure funding for improvements to the heating system.
The group is raising awareness of the Marks and Spencer Energy Awards which could bag the charitable hall up to £12,000 for the much needed heating upgrades.
The Bad Girls have been joined in their campaign by the Bloxham Knit and Natter group which has knitted woolly shuttlecocks to support the #ThankEllen campaign in a yarn bombing blitz across the village.
The hall is home to many other groups. Carmen Guard, secretary and trustee of the hall, said: “Around 100 people take part in activities in the hall each week. We have ballet classes for all ages from toddlers upwards, an active Boys Brigade, circuit training and many badminton groups.
“But with a new heating system for all parts of the building it would mean many other groups and activities could use the hall.
“We want future generations to enjoy the hall as much as we do now, and a new, energy efficient heating system would help that happen.”
Carmen, who has been playing badminton in the Ellen Hinde Hall since 1964, has got together with the other Bad Girls to produce a campaign video.
She added: “In our video we say, ‘If this girl can, anyone can’ and we really do hope lots more people will come and use the hall if we have better heating.
“To get that heating we need a grant, so please do vote for us.”
The Marks and Spencer’s Energy Awards give out £300,000 to renewable and energy efficient projects across the UK, each winning project receiving up to £12,000.
Voting began on September 4 and will run until October 20 with the Ellen Hinde Hall representing the central region.
Currently the hall lies in joint third place but is just six votes shy of claiming first place.
To cast your vote for the upgrade and support the Bad Girls campaign visit www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects.