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Celebrating Award Winning Village Halls

Issued 12 September 2017

Volunteers from six Community Buildings around Cumbria were presented with achievement awards by ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) at their recent AGM. Over 50 people attended the event at Sedbergh People’s Hall, celebrating the enormous contribution which Village Hall volunteers make to the communities they serve.

Special mention was made of Olive Clarke, OBE, JP, who was due to be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for fifty years serving as Treasurer to Preston Patrick Village Hall, though unfortunately Olive was unable to attend the event.

ACT supports the volunteers who manage community buildings and runs regular county-wide networking and training sessions to bring people together and share good practice. Award winners were chosen because of their particular achievements in several categories:

‘Innovation’ was awarded to Lamplugh Village Hall in Copeland and accepted by Bob Marshall; ‘Overcoming Adversity’ was awarded to Crosby-on-Eden Parish Hall in Carlisle district, accepted by Lesley Connolly and Beryl Sowden, also to Harriston Village Hall in Allerdale, accepted by Henry Barker and Janice Barker; ‘Promotion and Marketing’ was awarded to Finsthwaite and Lakeside Village Hall in South Lakeland and accepted by Vanessa Champion; ‘Managing Change’ was awarded to Dalton Drill Hall in Barrow, accepted by Barry Doughty; and ‘Effective Governance’ was awarded to Brough Memorial Hall in Eden, accepted by Jackie Featherstone and Pat Jones.

ACT’s Chief Executive Lorrainne Smyth said “It’s a privilege to support people who work so hard for their communities: grappling with fundraising, running an effective charity, maintaining a building, remaining relevant as a venue in a modernising community and finding positive ways forward when things go badly wrong, like a flood.

“We are hugely grateful for the volunteers who took the time to come and tell us their stories and we congratulate them on their ongoing achievements.’

The event concluded with the Annual General Meeting business and ACT trustee Des O’Halloran was thanked for his seven years of service as Chairman. Des continues as a trustee for the charity, with Joanna Tate appointed as the new Chair.

ACT is running the next free Community Buildings event on Saturday October 7th at Warcop Village Hall (booking essential). The event, funded by Eden District Council, is for anyone involved in running a village hall or other community building. For more information, please contact ACT on Tel: 01228 817224 or Email:


L-R back row Henry Barker, Pat Jones, Janice Barker, Jackie Featherstone, Bob Marshall  L-R front row Barry Doughty, Lesley Connolly, Beryl Sowden, Lorrainne Smyth from ACT. (Vanessa Champion from Finsthwaite and Lakeside Village Hall was unavailable  for the photo.)

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