A FREE event to mark Village Halls Week will be held on Saturday 26 January at Danby Wiske Village Hall.
Village Halls Week, which kicks off on Tuesday 22 January, was created last year by national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations.
The purpose of the week is to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who invest their time into village halls and community buildings, creating vital community spaces in rural areas.
On Saturday 26th January, Danby Wiske Village Hall in Hambleton will host a Hambleton Community Buildings Network meeting organised by Community First Yorkshire, an ACRE Network member. The event is free for all North Yorkshire community buildings committee members to attend, and will be a celebration of community buildings, what they have achieved recently, and the great work they do in their community.
The Hambleton Community Buildings Network enables those who run and manage community buildings and village halls to get together and share their experiences and problems, hear about new resources and policy development and explore topics of interest in more detail together. There are also Community Buildings Networks in Hambleton, Ryedale, Richmondshire, Harrogate District, Scarborough District and Selby District.
There are 10,000 village halls and other community buildings in England’s rural communities, of which around 500 can be found in North Yorkshire. With rural areas seeing diminishing services and social facilities, village halls play a key role in bringing communities together and tackling social isolation.
Community First Yorkshire provides a community buildings service offering support and advice for trustees managing community buildings, led by Kathryn Chapman, Community Buildings Advisor who said: “Village Halls are a rural lifeline. They can often be the only community space available in rural areas which may have lost their pub, shop, post office, bank and library. North Yorkshire village halls come in a variety of different guises, including historic buildings, old converted churches and purpose built modern buildings. Each of these has a different set of issues, but they all often have lots of things in common including governance, trustees, funding, health and safety and GDPR.
“Village Halls are a great community facility and can be used as more than a building for hire for parties and events, they can be used as post offices, have a local community shop, pop-up pub, host a library, or a pop-up cinema. They are hubs the whole community can use for a wide range of different activities.
“Village Halls Week offers us the chance to celebrate the brilliant work trustees of village halls do behind the scenes, and say thank you to everyone involved in keeping these vital pieces of rural life open and helping our communities to thrive.”
Doors open at 09:30 am and light refreshments will be served before the meeting takes place from 10am to noon.
To book on to the event or for more information, please contact Kathryn Chapman 01904 704177 or firstname.lastname@example.org or book on at www.communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk
The ACRE network hope to inspire the public to support their hall, or to become a volunteer. For a full list of events and support available, visit www.acre.org.uk. Stand-up poet Kate Fox has been commissioned by the National Rural Touring Forum (NRTF) to write and perform a poem to celebrate the week, a section of this is shown below:
Tuesday I helped stack chairs,
And the deck at bridge,
Arranged some flowers,
Showed my rabbit, kept a bee,
Crafted some sugar, shared some tea,
Saw a Doctor, gave some blood,
Attended a talk on preventing a flood.