Community First Yorkshire is supporting Village Halls Week 22-25 January run by the ACRE Network to celebrate the huge contribution that village halls and the volunteers running them make to rural communities throughout England.
Share your stories
Find out more about promoting your village hall or community building during Village Halls Week on ACRE’s website. Please use the hashtag #VillageHallsWeek and #VillageHallsWeekNorthYorks and mention @commsfirstyorks on social media to share your stories with village halls across England.
Our free Ryedale Community Buildings Network event will celebrate the first ever Village Halls Week in North Yorkshire on Thursday 25 January at Middleton and Aislaby Village Hall.
Open to all community run venues, this is a great opportunity for those involved in running rural community buildings and village halls to get together, share their experiences and problems, hear about new resources and policy development, and explore topics of interest in more detail together.
Snape Village Institute near Bedale served a wholesome village breakfast this month to 55 residents from its recently refurbished and fully equipped kitchen, following a grant from Awards for All. “We surveyed all residents of the parish to identify what new activities were wanted and what changes needed to be made to the hall”, said Sarah Lowe, Chair of the Snape Institute Management Committee. “Now we have a range of new activities including carpet bowls, table tennis, yoga, a gardening club and a monthly community lunch. Our village hall is now used on a daily basis.”
Kirk Hammerton Village Hall near Harrogate has also recently refurbished their kitchen and enclosed their garden for children’s parties and runs a monthly film club. Community hubs, like Grassington provide vital services such as a shop and library, while Boltby Village Hall, formerly the school room, in Hambleton District provides refreshments and an honesty box for passing walkers.
Rural Arts, based at the Court Room in Thirsk, use village halls to put on touring performances and community arts across the region, bringing learning opportunities to residents in rural areas and increasing confidence, self-esteem and reducing feelings of isolation for the vulnerable or elderly.
The people of Campsall, Norton and Sutton, three villages to the north of Doncaster borough have been running their Something for Everyone project in their village halls, thanks to winning £50,000 of Lottery funding in The People’s Projects competition, supported by The National Lottery and ITV.
“We wanted to bring activities and new experiences to residents”, says Jill Shaw, Secretary of Campsall Village Hall committee. “One of our most successful activities is the Goldies Singalong which aims to improve people’s well-being, by singing familiar songs along with original recordings, having a cuppa and a chat, and making new friends. We also host regular classes and groups from ballroom dancing to martial arts for children and teenagers, art groups, parents and toddlers groups, touring theatre productions, concerts, and quiz nights. Last year we were delighted to host an evening with Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan! Without these well-maintained village halls, some of our events could not have happened.”
East Keswick Village Hall, near Wetherby, at the heart of a northern ‘Village of the Year’, is just one community building getting involved in West Yorkshire.
“We hope our ‘A Little Gin and Jazz’ dining evening at the Hall on Saturday 27 January will bring East Keswick villagers together to celebrate Village Halls Week in style, says Nicola Hulme, Secretary of East Keswick Village Hall committee. “Our hall is also used throughout the week by local clubs from yoga and patchwork to indoor cricket. Our recent refurbishment programme and lovely garden area make it possible for us to hold all sorts of events including weddings and conferences. But none of this would be possible without our committee and amazing team of local volunteers.”
Wetherby Town Hall will also be holding a Gin Festival and Harris Tweed Sale during Village Halls Week.