Today sees the start of Village Halls Week 2023 (23 - 29 January 2023) which celebrates the multiple ways volunteer-run rural community buildings support local residents, groups and businesses, particularly during difficult times.
As the country experiences a cost-of-living crisis, many rural communities in Buckinghamshire rely on their local village hall as a place to keep warm, access basic services and socialise without the expense of travelling elsewhere.
Research conducted by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), which organises the annual campaign, found that in 60% of countryside areas, community buildings are the only place for local people to socialise. As well as hosting a wide range of social and recreational activities for residents, they also host vital services such as post offices, doctors’ surgeries and convenience shops, and offering a warm space.
One example of a community building providing a warm space in the county is the Jubilee Hall in Bierton near Aylesbury. From December 2022 to February 2023, the Hall is open to local residents at regular times to give people a period during which they can save money on their own heating bills as well as providing a welcoming space for those having a tough time over the winter months. Find out more about Bierton’s Jubilee Hall warm space.
Village halls in Buckinghamshire are supported by local charity Community Impact Bucks. Frankie Hockham, VCSE and Community Development Officer at Community Impact Bucks, said: “Community buildings or village halls in Buckinghamshire are valuable assets, providing safe and inclusive spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and enjoy a wide range of activities.
“They are a vital part of our local heritage, a place to come together and share experiences and are a great way to build a sense of community spirit. Becoming a warm space – such as Bierton’s Jubilee Hall – is just one way of the latest ways that community buildings are hubs at the centre of our villages and towns.”
As the ACRE member for Buckinghamshire, Community Impact Bucks provides a Community Buildings Service which provides tailored advice and information on issues that matter to community buildings including tips for community buildings on how to set up a warm space.
Notes to editors
For any media enquiries, please contact Rachel Fisher at Community Impact Bucks: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01844 617216.
- Community Impact Bucks is an independent charity that supports people and groups to get involved and make a difference in Buckinghamshire communities. We offer expert advice and training, help people to find volunteering opportunities, and help charities and not for profit groups to get started, be effective and grow.
- Community Impact Bucks is the Rural Community Council for Buckinghamshire and member of Action with Communities in Rural England network (ACRE Network), England’s largest rural grouping of community support charities which together reach over 35,000 community groups annually, and lever in over £34 million each year in support of initiatives that equip people with the knowledge, skills, and connections needed to improve their local community.
- Visit Community Impact Bucks’ Community Buildings webpage to see the support available for village halls and community buildings in Buckinghamshire.
- ACRE’s website also provides guidance and resources to help village halls get involved in the campaign.
- Village Halls Week takes place from Monday 23 to Sunday 29 January 2023.