14th Jan 2020

The ‘Wonderful Villages’ photo competition has now been running for one month and DCA have been asked to circulate an update from Allied Westminster. 

" We’ve had a  wonderful response so far, with villages obviously entering into the competitive spirit and submitting some lovely and often touching photos which really capture the idea of rural ‘community. All village hall respondees have been really positive and have spread the word to villagers that they should get snapping. The upcoming ‘Village Halls Week’ may be an excellent time for them to grab some nice photos.

The spread of photo entries so far covers the UK, with denser concentrations in counties where the local RCCs have been keener to encourage their own village halls to take part for the sake of local pride (as well as giving them the chance to supplement hall funds with prize money up to £1000). Some RCCs have displayed wonderful commitment and energy in carrying word to their halls, usually via Facebook posts as well as bulk emails and ads/posts in their monthly bulletins. To date we have 33 RCCs publicising information for the benefit of their halls, together with ACRE and various charity organisations such as Plunkett Foundation. Some local newspapers have also taken up the cause.

This competition was designed to coincide with Village Halls Week 2020 in order to underline and champion the vital contribution which Village Halls make to their local communities. We want all villagers to appreciate that their hall is indispensable at a time when halls are under increasing financial strain, and hope that this will encourage some of villagers to become trustees.

The focus of the theme is ‘Village Life - a photo which characterises the value of community in your village’, so this isn’t about beautiful pictures of dazzling sunsets or picturesque buildings at dawn, but rather photos which display the value of ‘community’ within rural village life. So winning photos – whether snapped spontaneously on a phone or taken at leisure with a Leica - are likely to feature recognisable people doing recognisable things that distil the essence of that village’s community spirit.

Entry is simple and completely free. Entrants have only to submit a photo and nominate a hall as beneficiary. If they win first prize, the hall gets £1000 and the photographer gets £500. They can enter here:

Now that we have entries coming in it would be very helpful if you could encourage hall members to vote for those photos they believe best illustrate the theme. Although village hall members voting for the photos of other halls may seem like turkeys voting for Christmas, we’d like to think that the village hall community nationwide is strong enough to give support to each other. When the competition ends, public votes will be one of the criteria used for judging, so their votes really are valuable. Votes can be cast anonymously at this link and there is no registration necessary: "

Thank you

Phil Barrington

Allied Westminster

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