Issued 16 January 2019
ACTion with Communities in Cumbria is encouraging communities across the county to take part in the second annual Village Halls Week. This national celebration, between 22nd and 29th January helps to bring communities together to celebrate and say thank you to all the volunteers running these vital community spaces.
Village Halls Week began in 2018, created by national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations across the country to help raise the profile of these important community spaces. Anyone can get involved simply by posting a message or photo about their village hall on social media with the hashtag #VillageHallsWeek.
Special events will be taking place in village halls throughout the week, including a countywide information and networking event run by ACT on Saturday 26th at Newbiggin Village Hall, Penrith, for anyone involved in running a community building. Discussion topics will include the crucial role these spaces play in helping rural communities to overcome isolation and tackle loneliness – a key theme of the national celebrations this year. For more information, or to book a place on this event please contact ACT on Tel: 01228 817 592 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capturing the spirit of community involvement in village halls, Alan Rich, a trustee of Newbiggin Village Hall says “Our hall, rebuilt in 2010, has brought the community together with a wide variety of activities and events for young and old. Everyone helps, whether it's stepping up and baking a cake at short notice, stacking the chairs away, or just putting out the rubbish. We all muck-in.”
ACT provides a community buildings advice service offering information and support for trustees managing community buildings. ACT Chief Executive, Lorrainne Smyth, says, “There are 10,000 village halls and other community buildings in England’s rural communities, of which over 300 can be found in Cumbria. With rural areas seeing diminishing services and social facilities, village halls play a huge part in bringing communities together and tackling social isolation.”
“We are delighted to support village hall volunteers, and respond to hundreds of enquiries each year. They do terrific work, sometimes in very remote locations, providing a social lifeline for many, and opportunities for exercise, getting together and the pursuit of hobbies for many, many more. It is always a pleasure to celebrate the great work and dedication of the people who make this possible.”
“We’re encouraging everyone to take part in the national campaign, whether your hall is organising something special, you’re heading there for your usual group or activity, or you simply want to say thank you to the volunteers running your local hall - post it on social media using #VillageHallsWeek. Tag us @ACTCumbria and we’ll share it too.”
Contact ACT for more information at email@example.com or visit the ACRE website for the national picture: www.acre.org.uk.
Image: Village Halls Week 2019 banner
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