VOLUNTEERS must raise nearly £30,000 in order to renovate a popular community hall.

The War Memorial Hall in Canvey High Street is in need of refurbishment and the hall committee hopes to raise £26,000 to clad and insulate the leaking and cracked walls.

Committee chairman Sandra Durant said: “The walls have large cracks in and they’re letting water in.

“We are trying to insulate it and clad it and make it look more modern.

“It’s a lot of money but it will look lovely.

“The hall has seen better days and is 60 years old and it needs a bit of TLC.”

The group is organising a number of fundraising events to pay for the refurbishment after focusing efforts last year on raising money for the war memorial wall at the Paddocks.

The community hall is used by a number of groups including dance lessons, dog training, fitness classes and elderly people’s clubs.

Jo Lacey Smith, treasurer of the hall committee said: “The hall is sadly looking a little rough around the edges due to the harsh winters we have had over the last couple of years and we are currently trying to raise funds to clad the outside of the hall and keep it going for the next 60 years.”

The hall first opened hours before the great flood on January 31, 1953 after a public meeting decided a hall would be the most fitting memorial to the 57 people from Canvey who died during the Second World War.

Last year the hall committee raised £30,000 to replace the war memorial wall at the Paddocks and this year the group will focus on raising money to re-clad the hall.

A total of £500 has already been raised for the repairs with the next fundraising event taking place on December 19.

Below Sea Level and the Band will perform and guests will be treated to a chicken and chips supper.

Tickets are £10 and can be ordered by calling 07850 526062.

The committee will hold its annual general meeting on Friday November 20 at 7.30pm - all are welcome to attend.