National Village Hall Week was created in 2018 by national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and its 38 member organisations including Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE).
The purpose of the week is to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers who invest their time into village halls and community buildings, providing what is frequently the only readily accessible venue in a village for an enormous range of activities, clubs, meetings and events.
Many village halls in Essex are planning their own events during the week. These include events being held at:
Little Waltham Village Hall - share your history day
West Hanningfield Village Hall - a trip down memory lane on Sat 25th Jan with tea and crumpets!
Sturmer Village Hall - Open Day on Sat 25th Jan for residents to come and find out what's happening at the hall.
Bulphan Village Hall - Community Cafe Fri 24th Jan showcasing activities and classes hiring the hall;
Brightlingsea YMCA - open day for hirers and residents
Peldon & Wigborough Community Hall - dedicating the pantomine Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves showing from 23rd to 25th Jan
Orpen Hall, West Bergholt - hall open morning and online booking system demonstration on Tues 21st Jan
Hall committees can dedicate an event already happening at the hall to Village Halls Week or hold an event especially for Village Halls Week or take part in two specific days suggested by ACRE:
Share your History Thursday 23 January 2020
Thursday 23 January will see halls celebrating ‘Throw back Thursday’, an online trend that looks into the past. Hall committees can share their hall’s history, or use a social media account (twitter or Facebook) to take part. Hall committees are encouraged to put up old pictures, old flyers, remember significant guests, share an old film or write an article on their hall’s history.
National Open Day Saturday 25 January 2020
This year halls will be holding open days across all of England to celebrate activities, hobbies, local organisations, sports, education classes and services held at their hall.
The national launch event will be held at the House of Commons on Monday 20th January hosted by Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Minister for Rural Affairs.
There are 10,000 village halls and other community buildings in England’s rural communities, of which over 250 can be found in Essex. With rural areas seeing diminishing services and social facilities, village halls play a key part in bringing communities together and tackling social isolation and were featured recently on BBC One’s Countryfile Christmas programme.
RCCE provides a village halls and community buildings service offering support and advice to trustees managing community buildings throughout Essex. Nick Shuttleworth, RCCE’s Executive Director said:
“We are proud to support the volunteers who run village halls throughout Essex. It is a cornerstone of our work. Without their dedication, skill and expertise these facilities would be lost forever. We see Village Halls Week as a wonderful way of celebrating this.”
The ACRE Network hopes to inspire the public to support their hall, or even volunteer. For a full list of events and support available, visit www.acre.org.uk