How we’re helping rural communities join together and fight back

Across England, ACRE Network members are working with voluntary groups to help them overcome the challenges of Covid-19 and the restrictions that have been put in place by government to stop the spread of the virus.


There are many good examples of projects supported by our members – from good neighbour and village agent schemes providing a lifeline to more vulnerable residents, virtual cafés keeping people connected, to village halls taking on new uses such workshops for PPE.

We are working with the 38 county-based organisations which make up the ACRE Network to respond to the pandemic in the following ways.

Chronicling the impact of the virus in the countryside and working with government to develop policies which are sensitive to the needs of rural communities

We are in close contact with our members who are helping us to understand the impact the virus and associated lockdown is having in different parts if the countryside. Our close relationship with the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and our membership of the Rural Coalition means we have been able to relay this insight to officials developing the government’s policy response.

READ our press releases, blogs and submissions to government:

Providing advice and guidance to help groups

We have sought to share and clarify government advice with our members so they can support rural communities with confidence.

Our focus has been supporting the village halls and rural community buildings which have been forced to temporarily close causing uncertainty about their longer-term future.

READ our guidance:

Showcasing some of the inspiring projects that are helping rural communities become more resilient

Whilst Coronavirus presents a significant long-term threat to the health and vitality of rural communities, we are keen to shine a light on the many ways rural residents are coming together and helping each other at this time of crisis.

READ about some of the projects supported by our members: