Community Celebrations in Derbyshire for Village Halls Week 2020

From Monday 20th January until Sunday 26th January, village halls throughout England will be hosting a variety of events for Village Halls Week, which celebrates these community spaces and offers thanks to those who dedicate their time and money in keeping these spaces going. 

In England, there are roughly 10,000 village halls that offer communities a space to hold events and host clubs and activities. The ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) network hope that by using #VillageHallsWeek to create a social media trend alongside hosting events will provide an opportunity to enhance community engagement and support, plus gain new trustees and users.

Village Halls Week 2020 begins with a lunch event hosted by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on Monday 20th January at the House of Lords. Lord Gardiner will be joined by representatives from both the ACRE Network of Village Hall Advisors and from village hall committees from around England.

Helena Stubbs, Community Buildings Officer at Rural Action Derbyshire says, “We are delighted that halls across Derbyshire are joining in the national celebrations for Village Halls Week 2020. This is great opportunity for halls to showcase the vital spaces that they offer to local communities and the wide variety of activities and services that take place in these venues. It is also a fantastic way to celebrate and thank the thousands of volunteers across the country who give up their time and energy to manage these facilities – without them, our rural communities would be more socially isolated.“

There are two key dates during Village Halls Week – Throwback Thursday and an Open Day on Saturday. Highlighting the history of halls, Throwback Thursday will give communities the opportunity to share photos and stories celebrating how the halls are an embedded hub of village life. On Saturday 25th January, the National Open Day gives halls the chance to throw open their doors to showcase the wonderful space they share with their community. 

The BBC is also getting involved with Village Halls Week. BBC Radio Derby will be following events throughout the week and speaking to us in their studio at the beginning of the week about the activities going on across the county and the importance of ensuring community buildings, particularly in rural areas, continue to thrive. BBC Inside Out will be filming in village halls on Wednesday 22nd January in Repton, Newton Solney and Mugginton. The poet Ian McMillan, a huge supporter of village halls, will be the guest presenter for this piece and he will be speaking to a variety of people who help keep these halls thriving and an essential part of their communities. He wrote the fabulous poem, "A Teapot as Big as the Moon" for Village Halls Week in 2018.