TVRA Launch Village Hall Tool Kit for #Villagehallsweek 2020

Thanks to the The National Lottery Community Fund, TVRA are proud to present the launch of the Tees Valley Village Hall Tool Kit during #villagehallsweek

Village halls are often the only public space/facility available to the community in rural areas, many of whom are socially isolated due to lack of public transport and face ever decreasing local services.  Village halls can provide a vital space for the delivery of services, as well as a space for many cultural, recreational and social activities. Without our army of volunteers these vital community spaces would not survive.

Village halls are generally managed by wonderful volunteers who, although committed to providing a well maintained and a well used facility, often require support around the minefield that is rules and regulations. This includes an awareness of the laws pertaining to public buildings, to name just a few; data protection, health & safety and  financial management, these ensure sustainability in an ever changing and increasingly complex and challenging world. Many rural village halls work in isolation, only utilising resources which are available in their own communities.

Over the last 12 months staff at TVRA have been compiling a resource register and an easy to read tool kit to support those first steps for new and refresh for established volunteers, a copy of which will be given to each rural village hall at our annual conference to help increase the availability of assets, expertise and resources enabling village halls management committees and community groups using the halls to tackle these issues in a more proactive way, bringing people together and building stronger relationships in and across communities.

Our Village Hall Tool Kit will be added to and updated on a regular basis, when we launch new fact sheets, which you can add to your kit and keep this useful resource up to date.

For those village halls who are not attending this years action packed conference, don’t worry we will be visiting to deliverer them to you direct over the coming months.

Feel free to invite us along to your up and coming meetings.  Thanks to our friends at County Print, Middlesbrough for all their fabulous service, support and help with the design/print.



#VillageHallsWeek 2020 its here

Defra and MPs will meet communities awarded funds from the Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund to Kick off Village Halls Week 2020

Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE) run the annual campaign Village Halls Week which celebrates the community spaces at the heart of rural communities. This year promises to be extra special as the week kick starts in the House of Commons.

London may not seem like the natural setting for a rural celebration, but numerous village halls will make their way into the capitol to meet Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Defra’s Rural Minister and their MPs.

The halls taking part have all been successful in receiving awards from The Treasury, Defra and ACRE’s £3m Village Halls Improvement Grant Fund which was launched in April 2019 by ACRE, Lord Gardiner and Robert Jenrick MP, previously Exchequer Secretary at The Treasury. The grant exists to helps older halls with repairs and improvements, meaning they may continue to serve their communities and avoid facing closure.

Village Halls Week is a national campaign which celebrates the services provided by halls and the volunteers making it possible. Many halls provide a space for shops, cafes, pop up pubs, nurseries and doctors. They are an essential part of rural life. Village Halls Week ran for the first time in 2018 and this year 650 halls are due to take part in the campaign.

There are 10,000 village halls and other community buildings in England’s rural communities, providing a hub for public events, social activities and other vital services such as hosting a post office.  With rural areas seeing diminishing services and social facilities village halls play a key huge part in bringing communities together and tackling social isolation.

Tees Valley Rural Action currently supports in excess of 70 rural village halls across the region, who we are encouraging to join in this year’s celebrations.   We are hosting our own Village Halls Conference on Thursday 23rd January Emmanuel Church Hall, Saltburn, where over 50 village halls volunteers and/or representatives will enjoy an action-packed agenda.  This is our 3rd year of holding a village halls conference and to mark this we are doing a poetry competition, a role-play by trustees titled “Meetings, Blooming Meetings!” and presenting the Village Halls Toolkit thanks to funding from Big Lottery Community Fund. Every Tees Valley village hall will receive a free copy to take away.

Rita Lawson CEO, “Village halls and community buildings are the nucleus of any community providing a venue for social, professional and educational activities.  All of these buildings are run on a daily basis by willing and enthusiastic volunteers and without them these vital facilities would be lost.  It is good to have this conference as we can bring together as many of the village hall volunteers as possible to celebrate what I term as ‘jewels in the crown’ which continue to thrive for the next generation who will benefit from them.”