15 Minutes… Calling Devon’s Village Halls
Countywide research is underway to see what support these vital community hubs need – get your village hall involved and stand a chance of winning £500.
The village hall is the cornerstone of village life. In my own village this humble building plays host to primary school gymnastic and Taekwondo classes during the day, Pilates in the evenings for young and old, yoga classes, birthdays, weddings, amateur drama productions, quiz nights to support the cricket club, bingo nights, the Panto of course, and even the village shooting club.
Our hall is just long enough to fire a .22 rifle at a target – though that does require moving the partitioning at the stage front!
Many village halls exist on the sweat and dedication of a small band of volunteers and are surviving almost from event to event with funds for maintenance and upkeep always in short supply.
Devon Communities Together has launched a programme to interview representatives from over 400 Devon village halls to understand what our village halls need now – and to gauge what additional community services the halls could provide if properly supported.
All village halls that take part will be entered into a prize draw, with a top prize of £500 and second and third prizes of £300 and £200.
The programme is funded by Devon Communities Together in partnership with Devon Public Health and DEFRA.
Advisors from one of the above will visit as many halls as possible where they will run through a list of questions about the facilities available, e.g. number of rooms, internet connection, parking and then they will ask participants to talk more broadly about their past achievements and their aspirations.
“We are happy to visit at a time convenient” says project manager Charlotte Squire. “We hope it will be a really positive experience and encourage any village hall or community building committee to get in touch. The more people we can speak to, the more impact the project will have.”
Devon Communities Together has a rich history of working with community buildings, having supported their creation, redevelopment and operation for over 60 years, through a dedicated village halls support service.
“We have witnessed over six decades how important village halls are,” says Charlotte.
“From places to celebrate, discover new hobbies, or enjoy exercise to – more recently – provide space for facilities like post offices and health services which are disappearing from rural communities in their traditional form.”
“This winter in particular we will see village halls become ‘warm hubs’ – a place for people to come together in a warm, welcoming way away from the pressures they may be facing heating their own homes.”
To participate in the village hall audit please contact email@example.com or call 01392 248 919
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