Village Halls are an integral part of rural communities. Key moments in many lives – weddings, birthday parties, christenings and funeral teas – have all taken place in a local village hall or community building.
Many of you will have seen in the press the rise of loneliness and social isolation up the political agenda during 2018. Building on the work of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness in 2017 there is now a Minister for Loneliness, Mims Davies; a government strategy – ‘A connected society: A strategy for tackling loneliness’ and new funding through the £9m Big Lottery Loneliness Fund. The Campaign to End Loneliness has said that 10% of people over 65 in the UK experience chronic loneliness at any one time. In Buckinghamshire this equates to approximately 9400 people.
But social isolation and loneliness are not a new phenomenon. For years our village halls and community buildings have been quietly and consistently providing a space for communities to come together, delivering activities to the communities they serve – providing connections, opportunities to meet new people and much needed social interaction.
To mark National Village Halls Week (22-28 January) it seems wholly appropriate to shine a light on the breadth, scale and richness of the wonderful work of our village halls and community buildings which are absolutely the beating heart of the community.
From Akeley to Iver; from Oakley to Slapton there are community groups and activities to meet every interest – veterans support groups, crafty cuppas, cinema nights, bridge clubs, lunch clubs, yoga, choirs, youth theatres, bhangra dancing…the list goes on and on.
Our fantastic network of village halls and community buildings rely wholly on the dedication and commitment of local volunteers to ensure that they remain vibrant and sustainable. Many halls would welcome more help and you could play a part – whether it be taking bookings, providing some admin, accountancy support, specialist skills or becoming a member of the management committee.
If you would like to find out more about how you could become part of the movement to tackle social isolation and loneliness through volunteering at your local village hall or community building either get in touch with them direct or contact Community Impact Bucks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to volunteer for a community group in a committee member role but are not sure where to start? Book your place at our Trustee Recruitment fair at on 9 May 6.00 – 7.30pm The Gateway Conference Centre, Aylesbury.Back