About Lisa Chambers

Community Facilities Development Officer at Cambridgeshire ACRE

Village Halls Week – a time to celebrate community buildings

Village halls and other similar community buildings provide vital facilities and meeting spaces, bringing people together for fun, fitness, well-being, community meetings and family gatherings.

That’s why national charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), and its 38 member organisations are running a week-long campaign to celebrate England’s 10,000 Village Halls. Local member, Cambridgeshire ACRE, is enthusiastically supporting the campaign.

This year, the focus is on how village halls provide a space for communities to come together, something ever more pertinent with the rising number of people affected by loneliness. With many rural communities losing the traditional spaces, such as shops and pubs, where people meet, it has become harder for people to connect with friends or meet new people.

The ACRE Network believes village halls play a huge role providing safe, accessible community spaces. Throughout Cambridgeshire there are wonderful examples of village halls providing services such as community shops, post office facilities and pop-up pubs, as well as hosting social groups for all ages, from playgroups for toddlers right through to community lunches for the older generation.

From 22 January to 28 January 2019, every county across England will see a series of events bringing people together to celebrate these amazing community meeting spaces. The national campaign is being kicked off with a launch event in Cambridgeshire on Tuesday 22 January at Little Thetford Village Hall.

Kirsten Bennett, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire ACRE, said: “It’s a massive honour to be hosting the national launch for Village Halls Week. In Cambridgeshire we’re particularly proud of our strong network of truly excellent village halls and we’re glad so many are joining us at Little Thetford for the traditional village hall celebration of tea and cake, to get the week off to a good start.”

For more details about Village Halls Week in Cambridgeshire please visit https://cambscommunitybuildings.wordpress.com/training-events/village-halls-week-2019/

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Village Halls Week Event

Arkenstall Village Centre are holding an open hall event on Saturday 26th January bringing together lots of community groups to celebrate their fantastic building and everything that goes on there.

You can join this event from 10am so why not pop along for a cuppa and a chat? Entry is FREE, for more information please contact John Shippey by clicking the link.

#VillageHallsWeek how will you be celebrating?

The 22nd January marks the official beginning of Village Halls Week 2019, however, this week we have been involved in some lovely radio interviews with Sue Marchant, broadcast on her BBC Radio Cambridgeshire afternoon show. Sue will be interviewing several halls in the run up to #VillageHallsWeek so please listen to her show at 3pm every afternoon when she is out and about around Cambridgeshire.

You can listen on catch up to our Chief Executive Kirsten Bennett being interviewed by Sue talking about Village Halls Week by clicking the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06vgk0x 

Sue also interviewed Roy Swain the Chairman of the Ellesmere Centre in Stetchworth this week. The interview is recorded as they tour the centre, you can listen again by clicking the link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06vgjrk

It’s still not to late to book for the National Village Halls Week launch event taking place at Little Thetford Village Hall – we would love to see as many people there as possible! Booking your place is simple just click the link and enter your name https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/vhwlaunchevent/

Why not join us for refreshments and a slice of celebration cake!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone, the Christmas break seemed to go so fast! Now it’s back to work… There are now only 19 days till the start of Village Halls Week. Do you have anything planned to support this campaign? Why not use this week to thank all the village hall volunteers and trustees for their hard work during the last year, without them we simply wouldn’t have our community buildings open every day for us to use.

We have provided some material on our Village Halls Week pages which you can download and use, just follow this link by clicking here.

Please also come along to our Village Halls Week launch event which is taking place on Tuesday 22nd January at Little Thetford Village Hall. To book your place place click here.

If you are holding an event or thank you celebration for volunteers please let us know as we would like to capture all the photos and activity of what happens during the week.

National launch of #VillageHallsWeek is coming to Cambridgeshire

Village Halls Week is a national campaign run by ACRE and the
ACRE Network. It is our annual celebration of the community buildings which exist at the heart of England’s rural communities.

This year the national launch will be held by Cambridgeshire ACRE. The event will feature an illustrated talk on the history of village halls in Cambridgeshire, given by our Chief Executive, Kirsten Bennett.

At the event we will also be recognising a number of halls who have
reached the Hallmark quality mark and presenting their certificates of achievement.

To register to attend, please click here and complete your details. Joining instructions will be sent after registration.

You can view a copy of the programme and invitation below:

If you have any questions about the event or would like more information please get in touch with Lisa Chambers by clicking the link or calling 01353 865048