Image demonstrating County’s communities prepare to celebrate Village Halls Week

County’s communities prepare to celebrate Village Halls Week

Northumberland’s village halls are making preparations to celebrate the upcoming #VillageHallsWeek, starting Tuesday 22 January 2019, to celebrate the vital role they play in sustaining rural communities.

The week-long celebration was created last year by ACRE Network, England’s largest network of rural community support organisations, and was a huge success. The purpose of the week is to say a collective “thank you” to all volunteers who work tirelessly to keep community buildings and village halls open for the benefit of local residents.

Stannington Village Hall will host the main celebration event on 23 January for village halls volunteers across the county, organised by Community Action Northumberland (CAN. The poet Ian McMillan will be speaking at the event, helping celebrate the true value of village halls and will create a Northumberland poem.

There will be displays from village halls detailing recent projects, including building works, refurbishments and heritage projects. The event will also see the launch of CAN’s ‘Northumberland Village Halls Heritage Project’ which will build on the extensive history of our village halls and the communities they serve.

Many village halls are also planning their own events during the week, ranging from coffee mornings, open weekends and heritage displays about their buildings.

There are 10,000 village halls and other community buildings in England’s rural communities, of which 240 can be found right across Northumberland. Village Halls and other community buildings play a key role in reducing isolation in rural communities through providing a meeting place for local residents.

CAN provides a community buildings service offering support and advice for trustees managing community buildings, led by Louise Currie, Community Initiatives Officer.

Louise praised the #villagehallsweek initiative:

“We are proudly supporting #VillageHallsWeek so we can celebrate the network of halls we have locally, champion the services they offer to their communities and say a big thank you to the volunteers at the heart of it all.”

Northumberland County Councillor, Cath Homer, cabinet member with responsibility for arts, leisure, culture, tourism and voluntary services said:

“ Our village and community halls are important to rural areas and residential neighbourhoods often acting as the main focus for community activities, sports and events.

“ This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the important work they  play in bringing local communities together.”

It is hoped this week of celebration will also inspire others to support their own hall, or even volunteer to help it. To see a full list of events being ran in #villagehallsweek and support available for village halls visit CAN’s website:
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