JUST over £5,000 has now been raised for urgent repairs to the leaky roof of Avonway Community Centre in Fordingbridge.

The appeal was launched four months ago to raise around £70,000.

Avonway chairman Chris Calder said: “We are enormously grateful to all who have donated and also to the Forest Journal for its helpful publicity. The money raised will be a great advantage in applying for grants once we have achieved planning permission and obtained quotations for the work.

“However, it’s a big expensive roof and we’d still like more, so if you value Avonway and haven’t yet contributed please do so – every little helps.”

Among the groups that use Avonway’s rooms, ABC Bingo has donated £1000; The Ancient Order of Foresters £1,500; Dave Tree of All The Cool Stuff £400; The Fordingbridge Dance Studios £100, Luana Veo’s Steady and Strong exercise classes £70 and Slimming World, £30.

An Avonway tombola at the Christmas in Fordingbridge event raised £260.

Theresa Hunt, who runs pilates classes at Avonway, raffled a one-to-one pilates session, which proved a popular prize - raising £200 for the appeal.

Longwater Tai Chi has supported the appeal by donation takings from its drop-in classes during the first week of 2020.

Jane Foley, of Longwater Tai Chi, said: “When we first saw three buckets catching rainwater inside the lovely room where we teach, Patrick Foley and I wanted to do our bit to help the Avonway Centre. “Along with our other teacher, Gina Davenport, we decided to donate all our takings from the Tai Chi drop-in classes there in the first week of 2020. We put a ‘drip-catching’ bucket on the table and invited our students to drop in additional donations too.”

This raised £224 towards the roof repairs at the centre.

There have also been donations from Fordingbridge Surgery. David Shering gave mistletoe to The Gourmet Grocer in Fordingbridge High Street who exchanged it for donations which raised £88.

Supporters can buy a slate for £5 and have their name included on the roll of honour, which will be placed in a time capsule in the new roof.

To make a donation online go to crowdfunder.co.uk/we-need-a-new-roof-1

The Avonway office will also be able to accept donations. Please make cheques payable to F&DCA.

For more details call 01425 652706 or go to avonway.org