COMMUNITY volunteers have helped towards a £500,000 project which started this week to revamp a village hall.

Work started yesterday on Sandford-on-Thames Village Hall following a three-year fundraising campaign.

Internal alterations will increase the number of rooms from one to four and include a new community cafe.

A Saturday market and events run by volunteer group Talking Shop raised £20,000.

It is run from the hall by more than 60 volunteers and celebrated its third birthday on Saturday.

Volunteer Abi Johnson said: “The next stage is going to be a really rewarding and exciting time for everybody.

“We’ve definitely broke down some longstanding social barriers. The Talking shop started up with just a small group of us in 2010. There was no shop that provided a place to bring the community together. I went door to door and people were overwhelmingly positive about it.”

Funds have also been raised by the village hall management committee, with grants from local councils and organisations.