22nd Jan 2019

National charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations, including Durham Community Action, are running a week long campaign.

#VillageHallsWeek is an annual, national campaign running from 22nd – 28th January which celebrates rural community spaces and all the volunteers who invest their time into village halls and community buildings, creating vital community spaces in rural areas.

There are 10,000 village halls and other community buildings in England’s rural communities of which around 300 can be found across County Durham. With rural areas seeing diminishing services and social facilities, these venues play a huge part in bringing communities together and tackling social isolation.

Durham Community Action offers information, advice and guidance for trustees managing community buildings and is offering a series of community development workshops around #VillageHallsWeek on topics including grow your community group using social media, protecting your charity’s finances, understanding safeguarding, completing a funding application and understanding GDPR. Full details can be found here

Kate Burrows, Community Support Manager for Durham Community Action said:

“We are proud to support the great work of the many volunteer led organisations that enable Village Halls and other Community Buildings to provide space and activity at the centre of their communities.”

Many village halls are also planning their own events during the week and we are encouraging them to share details with us, so we can help promote the excellent work they do.

National events taking place include performances from Ian McMillan, renowned poet and broadcaster, and children’s author and illustrator Steve Antony. In addition, the National Rural Touring Forum has commissioned stand up poet Kate Fox to write and perform a piece celebrating village halls which you can read here.

Kate will be performing her stand up show ‘Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras’ at venues in County Durham including Barningham Village Hall, Scarth Memorial Hall, Staindrop and UTASS in Middleton in Teesdale through the Highlights Rural Touring Scheme in February – full details here

The ACRE network hope to inspire the public to support these vital community venues.  For more information please visit http://www.acre.org.uk/our-work/village-halls-week

If you would like Durham Community Action to promote your community buildings events as part of #VillageHallsWeek please email details to helen.brown@durhamcommunityaction.org.uk and we will share them on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

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