18th Jan 2021

Village Halls Week 2021 will recognise the contribution England’s 10,000 plus halls have made to rural communities since the 1920’s.

The national campaign week – now in its fourth year – will take place from 25th – 29th January and will feature online events, videos, podcasts and blogs showcasing the history of village halls and the benefits they have derived for rural communities over the years.

In County Durham, Durham Community Action are hosting an online Share and Learn event for community buildings on Thursday 28th January from 1.30 – 3.00pm which will celebrate Village Halls Week 2021 and give staff and trustees from community buildings the opportunity to come together to talk about the resilience of community buildings, share ideas and discuss the implications of the current iteration of COVID-19 legislation. You can book your place here

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

“We are delighted to support ACRE Village Halls Week once again. Community buildings play a vital part in supporting rural communities to combat social isolation, bringing much needed services and activities into the heart of communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted how vital these buildings are with volunteers working tirelessly to continue running services including support groups and foodbanks, and it is fantastic to see them being celebrated at a national level.”

Managed by volunteers, England’s village and community halls support a diverse range of community activities from exercise classes to lunch clubs and are routinely hired out for private parties and weddings. Some also host community shops and post offices.

In a survey undertaken by national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) last year, it was found that 60% of village halls provide the only meeting space in the local community. An estimated 50,000 individuals too are reliant on the use of village halls to make a living.

Phillip Vincent, Public Affairs and Communications Manager for ACRE said:

“The current national lockdown means we are having to do things differently for Village Halls Week 2021. This will be an online affair but there’s still good opportunity for village halls to get involved and join us in celebrating all the work they do. We’ve published a programme that invites people to join online events, share stories on social media and sign a ‘doomsday’ book which will be a record of village halls in their centenary year.”

Information about Village Halls Week can be found on the Durham Community Action website here. Further information about the national campaign is available from ACRE’s website.

Durham Community Action would love to share your stories as part of the national celebration so please send details and photographs of what your community building has been doing to helen.brown@durhamcommunityaction.org.uk  and we will share throughout Village Halls Week on our social media pages.

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