A VILLAGE youth club is now ready to welcome people regardless of their disabilities thanks to a new ramp which has been built leading up to the building.

Potterne Youth Centre used to only be accessible via steps but now people in wheelchairs or mums with pushchairs can easily reach the club in the centre of the village near Devizes.

Potterne Youth Club has flourished in recent years under the leadership of Steve Dewar in contrast with Devizes Youthy which was forced to close in January following cutbacks by Wiltshire Council.

Wiltshire Youth for Christ worker Mr Dewar has been working with Aster Housing to make the new entrance possible.

He said: "This is a village asset that should be valued and benefit all ages working together. No building or support should be inaccessible, and this is a great way to enable anyone to make use of this fantastic facility.

"It’s taken time and hard work to get to this stage and I would like to thank all those that have supported the developments and help make it possible.”

The ramp was officially opened on March 2 when villagers of all ages met at the youth club. Members of the Potterne Youth Club committee thanked Lloyd Dowse from Aster Housing who oversaw the work.

Mr Dewar said: "Members of the committee provided some homemade cakes and refreshments whilst members of the village looked at old photos of the youth club and previous generations.

"The new layout now enables those with push chairs or mobility limitations to arrive easily at the centre from the pathway which was previously only accessible via some steps.

"The new look and layout has been greatly appreciated by all users of the centre that include young families meeting in the morning, a Wednesday afternoon session hobby group for the older members of the community and of course teenagers who meet each week."

Earlier this year Devizes Youthy closed its doors after it was unable to find a permanent home. Wiltshire Council decided last year that the youth club would have to move out of the Southbroom Centre on the Devizes School and leisure centre campus so it could become home for a drop in club for disabled people.

The youth club moved to a temporary base at Devizes Conservative Club but finally closed its doors in January and decided to give any money raised by selling games and equipment to Mr Dewar.

Devizes youngsters now travel to Potterne and Melksham for youth club activities.

A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: "In 2014 we changed to a community-led model for youth activities across the county, meaning communities are working with their young people to provide the activities young people want to do, where they want to do them.

“Although there have been reductions, Wiltshire Council is still investing and prioritising youth services for young people who need additional support – which includes targeted youth and children’s services as well as the community led youth model.

"Most importantly, vulnerable young people will continue to receive all the necessary support they need, and we will ensure young people’s needs can be addressed at the earliest opportunity.”