VILLAGERS who built their own community hall from scratch have been celebrating winning a top community award. Atherington has been named Devon Community of the Year at a county-wide award ceremony to honour the work of local communities. The award run by the Community Council of Devon and sponsored by South West Water follows the completion of a five year pavilion project using only volunteer labour from the local area. The Atherington Childrens Playing Field Group won gained around £55,000 funding towards our new pavilion, recently valued at nearly £160,000. The community raised the rest of the money itself and since opening during the jubilee weekend in June, the hall has already hosted a number of birthday parties, weekly social evenings and the annual village fete. At a ceremony at Exeter Racecourse on Friday, judges said: This year over 30 high quality applications were received but the winner this year was a community which has been inspirational in what it does, and the way it has come together to improve the lives of local people. Other North Devon communities recognised for their achievements were Umberleigh, which raised £25,000 to build a new village hall extension, and Ashwater, which won funding for a new community shop, hall and post office.