So once your Christmas trees have been taken down, the decorations are put away and your New Year’s resolutions are being acted upon - what then? Well just 3 week’s into next year, ACRE and the ACRE Network would be delighted if you joined us in celebrating #VillageHallsWeek – starting Monday 22 January 2018. Please put the date in your diary now.
#VillageHallsWeek will be the first ever week long, England wide celebration of village halls and other community buildings that are the hubs at the heart of so many rural communities.
This will be the first ever week long, England wide celebration of village halls and other community buildings that are the hubs at the heart of so many rural communities. Throughout the week we will be encouraging everyone to say a huge “Thank-you” to all the volunteers who are working tirelessly week in, week out to keep these assets open and available to all. Let’s not forget some of the 10,000 halls in England are over 100 years old, so keeping them going in forever changing times requires dedicated and skilled people who are prepared to attend committee meetings… even in the snow, like we saw only last week.
Community buildings vary greatly in size, design and in the services they provide. We want to use #VillageHallsWeek to promote as many buildings as possible, share how they are used and champion their diversity. On the ACRE Facebook page we have already asked people to share pictures of the last time they visited their local hall and to date we have some lovely photos of keep-fit activities, playgroups, coffee mornings and craft groups. These buildings are an incredible asset which we must celebrate. Village halls are so much more than just being a building for the odd village party, parish council meeting or brownies. They offer childcare facilities, enabling parents to go to work or get on with jobs at home. They act as business hubs where home workers can come and work together or others can use for meetings, training or conferences. They reduce the potential for isolation within communities through offering a meeting place – including luncheon clubs and other social events. More and more health services are provided at village halls in rural areas, reducing the need to travel and bringing services to where they are most needed. In other areas the halls may host shops, post offices, social clubs and pubs.
2018’s #VillageHallsWeek will predominantly be an online campaign to raise the profile of village and community buildings. ACRE will be sharing blogs on our website and please follow us on Twitter and join in with discussions on Facebook and Instagram. Share photographs of your local halls, tell us what goes on in your hall and say thanks for the volunteers keeping them open.
Also throughout #VillageHallsWeek, members of the ACRE Network will be hosting events, meetings and training sessions. These offer the chance to network more locally, with like-minded individuals and share learning face to face. Watch this space, a calendar of events will be posted in early January 2018.