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Support on hand for volunteers running Cumbria’s village halls

Issued 29 July 2016

ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) has supported village halls for over 60 years with specialist advice and information and has now secured funding to provide help for hall volunteers until 2017.

Village halls are vital in Cumbria. The county is the second most sparsely populated in England with over half our residents living in rural areas; many of them pensioners living alone. A lack of local services and public transport means that many rural Cumbrians can become isolated, particularly those that are unable to drive.

 Most of the county’s rural communities have a village hall, and these can provide a lifeline to residents, providing a venue for a wide range of services which can include: toddler groups; lunch clubs; coffee mornings; film nights and even post offices. However, all 330 of the county’s village halls are run by committees of volunteers who often struggle with complex issues around funding, finance, and maintaining their buildings, which is why ACT’s help is invaluable.

ACT’s Chief Executive, Lorrainne Smyth said “We know that the people running village halls often need support to understand how their hall should be managed, and how to cover their costs, so we’re delighted to be able to work with them countywide until 2017. Funding from: Allerdale Borough Council; Eden District Council; Frieda Scott Charitable Trust; Hadfield Trust; South Lakeland District Council; and St James’s Place Foundation, means that we’ll be offering free training and advice to all village halls, which previously we haven’t been able to do.”

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