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  • Rosamund Wisdom

Village Halls Week 2020

The Annual Village Halls Week was launched at a reception hosted by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), with the keynote speakers, Lord John Gardiner of Kimble, Defra’s Rural Minister and David Emerson CBE, ACRE Chair (ACRE - Action for Communities in Rural England) who both spoke about the importance of village halls in their communities.

There are over 10,000 village halls in England and with a total asset value of more than £3 billion, they are the largest network of community-owned facilities in rural England.

It is estimated that there are 80,000 volunteers running village halls and ACRE recognise the importance of village halls stating that they are the corner stone of rural communities.

Village halls provide an essential space for people to meet, bringing them together and playing a huge part in tackling loneliness.

In April 2019 ACRE was asked by the Government to launch The Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund and Snitterfield Village Hall was one of the first village halls to be granted funding to improve our facilities. We received a grant of £23,520 towards the provision of a disabled/easy access toilet in the hall.

Representatives from ours and other village halls receiving the grant, were invited to a reception at the House of Commons on the 20th January 2020 and we were all thanked for the volunteering hours we put into our community halls.

Many of us face the same challenges of refurbishing our halls and it was very interesting to hear how other halls have raised their funds to be able to start their work. Snitterfield is like all halls, well used, loved and at the centre of the community.

We are very lucky to have such a wonderful meeting place in Snitterfield and wish to thank our community for their support with the refurbishment and help with our fundraising events, including our very successful Burns Night which raised £1375.00 towards our funds - it was a great night enjoyed by all.

PHOTO: Hilary Schmidt-Hansen from Snitterfield Village Hall with Kim Slater, Chief Executive of Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC) and Maurice Daw from Lowsonford Village Hall at the Launch of Village Halls week at The House of Commons

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