News, Training & Events Grapevine news Village Halls Week 2019 #VillageHallsWeek Village Halls Week runs each year from the 22 January to the 28 January. The purpose of the week is to highlight the fantastic work of the hundreds of volunteers who invest their time into village halls and community buildings, creating vital community spaces in rural areas. Village halls and community buildings are an integral part of rural communities, but are often overlooked. They are the local hub for family gatherings from birthday parties to christenings, weddings and funerals. They also host a variety of fitness classes, courses to learn new skills, meeting points for clubs and societies, film screenings, amateur dramatics performances, polling stations and numerous other activities. Rural communities in particular are seeing diminishing services and social areas, such as the closing of pubs and shops. When these community spaces disappear, it becomes harder to connect, meet new people and have that much needed interaction. Village Halls can play a part in tackling these issues, for example providing community shops and pop-up pubs where there are none, as well as social groups for older and younger people alike. We estimate in Derbyshire there are around 2,500 voluntary charity trustees who freely give up their time to manage over 250 rural community halls. We believe they should be recognised for providing these vital facilities that enable people to be connected and underpin rural community life. They provide vital facilities, activities and services that would not otherwise be available. A FREE drop-in event is being held at Dethick Hall, Hartshorne, South Derbyshire on Friday 25th January from 2pm to 4pm. The Police and Crime Commissioner will be there to mark his 300th visit of his #D383 campaign to visit all communities in Derbyshire. Heather Wheeler MP plans to attend and other organisations, including RAD, will be there with a variety of information on funding, heating oil/lpg, food poverty, travel to work, suicide awareness training amongst other things. More Information A Special Poem In 2018 Yorkshireman, Ian McMillan was commissioned last year to write a poem to capture the spirit of village halls and community buildings. The poem was read out on Radio 4 and generated a great response from listeners. It was also featured on many local radio stations too. A Teapot as bit as the Moon, a great title that encapsulates the friendly atmosphere in the 'community hub' that provides a warm welcome to young and old alike. From exercise class to cinema and theatre shows, children's parties and wedding receptions to MP's surgery and library service. The wonderful world of village halls and community buildings. Next Year #VillageHallsWeek will fall on 22nd January every year and run for 7 days. Each year will have a different theme and involve activities taking place throughout England, but we will of course be joining with Derbyshire halls to share their events and activities. Please let us know about the various events and activities taking place in your local hall each year so we can shout about the wonderful Derbyshire halls. Get in Touch If your local hall is running any activity between 22nd January and 28th January, whether it is specifically for #VillageHallsWeek or just something that is happening anyway, please share it with us. You can either email us, phone us (01629 592973) or message us through Facebook or Twitter. We would love to be able to share and promote your activities. Who is organising the campaign? Our national body ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is running the campaign. If successful, this could become an annual event and a fantastic opportunity to promote the role of village halls, the volunteers who run them and the national ACRE Network who support them. Social Media Follow activities and updates on ACRE’s Twitter @VillageHalls_Wk ; Facebook via @ACREnational; Instagram via @ACRE_national and RAD’s Twitter @RuralActionDerb; Facebook via @RuralActionDerbyshire We will use #VillageHallsWeek or #VHW on Facebook and Twitter for all posts promoting and then during the event week. If you want to post on Social Media, please use the #'s above and let's see some photos! If you would like more information, or you would like to get involved, please contact Helena Stubbs 01629 592973 or email here.