MEMBERS of an over-55s group have delivered a boost by funding a hearing loop at a community facility.

The Basingstoke and Deane Over-55s Forum have paid for a hearing loop to be installed at Carnival Hall, in Council Road, to benefit members.

The group’s committee agreed to fund the new £970 hearing loop through membership costs in August 2013, with each of the group’s 600 members required to pay £6 each year.

The hearing loop was installed by the hall’s electrician in November, and with the hall hosting a weekly choir and fitness classes, the hearing loop is a valuable addition to the facility.

The hall had a portable hearing loop fitted four years ago, but after noticing a decline in members attending meetings and guest speeches, the group decided they had to take action.

Graham Finlayson, chairman of the forum, said: “The hall didn’t have a proper hearing loop but we had a portable one. When we had the portable one, people had to sit in certain areas, but with this one, they can sit anywhere in the hall and can hear speakers quite clearly.

“Many other organisations use the hall, and they will be able to hear the loop.”

Forum vice-chairman Marion Wilson comes along to events with her husband Douglas, who has hearing difficulties. She said: “My husband does have a hearing problem, and before the loop was installed, there was no point in coming here because he couldn’t hear.

“Now he can go in and listen. It is a good thing, in particular if it is going to help other groups who have some disabilities.”