Shropshire’s village halls – in all their shapes and sizes – are about to be celebrated as part of a week of national recognition.
The dedicated people who run well over 250 village halls and community centres across Shropshire – from Ludlow to Whitchurch, from Minsterley to Newport – are invited to take a bow as the nation marks the annual Village Halls Week (January 24-30).
“Our village halls are often at the very heart of our rural communities and do a tremendous amount for the wellbeing of local people,” says Julia Baron, CEO of the Shropshire charity Community Resource (formerly known as Shropshire Rural Communities Charity).
“Part of what we do here at Community Resource is support our village halls and community centres through a variety of services, providing expert advice, help with grant funding, and inspiration and encouragement.
“Something that still sometimes surprises us is the amazing range of activities that take place at these venues, from choir rehearsals and table tennis at Norbury to open air theatre at Quatt, from a baby clinic and ‘Flix in the Stix’ film screenings at Bayston Hill to brass band concerts at Snailbeach, and from belly-dancing at Welsh Frankton to spectacular star-gazing with Shropshire Astronomical Society at Little Ness.”
Village Halls Week is a national campaign, shining a spotlight on the contribution England’s 10,000+ village halls make to rural communities. It is an opportunity for hall management committees to celebrate their work and get inspiration from others.
Nationally, the week is promoted by ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), a charity that works to create thriving, inclusive and active rural communities. An ACRE spokesperson said: “Our fifth annual campaign will challenge halls to do something different and innovative for the future.
“In these precarious times, community buildings can play a leading role in shaping a better future. During the week, we will be encouraging halls to pledge to do something different – whether that be extending their offer to their community, reducing their impact on the environment or becoming more financially sustainable.”
To find out more about Community Resource’s services for village halls, contact Phil Gillam, membership officer, at Philip.Gillam@community-resource.org.uk