Invitation to participate in DCMS survey about rural network coverage (mobile)

Invitation to participate in DCMS survey about rural network coverage (mobile)

“ Would you like to contribute to government policy? We, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), are currently researching the impact of mobile coverage in rural areas. This is part of our Shared Rural Network programme which aims to increase mobile network coverage across the UK to 95%. Now, we want to find out how this programme can help you in your daily life.

We particularly want to hear from you if you live or work in rural UK!

You can participate via this link: https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7QWTy9OUU4PNnmK 

The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete.

Or email Laura.Hensel@dcms.gov.uk to request to complete the survey over the telephone.

Information about the Shared Rural Network can be found here

Tees Valley Rural Action supporting village halls bouncing back.

TVRA wraps a supportive arm around our village hall communities, with support and expert advice.

What a sad and surreal day it was in spring 2020, when hundreds of village halls across the country had to close their doors, literally turning off a life-line for many who relied on the facilities as their safe haven and for social interaction.  Buildings that were a hive of activity providing coffee mornings, library and health and wellbeing activities etc – suddenly became silent.  Volunteer management committees now had to consider their new role, that of managing an empty building, they could not just lock the door, walk away, and wait for the government to tell them what to do.

At the start of lockdown, Tees Valley Rural Action’s (TVRA) staff and Village Hall Advisor were inundated with enquiries as to what was happening and what they should do.  Tees Valley has over 70 village halls who grabbed opportunities to come together virtually with expert partners/agencies such as Martyn Ingram from Norris and Fisher Insurance Brokers Ltd who was able to give guidance on behalf of insurers for village halls.

Throughout the pandemic, TVRA has provided advice, guidance and support to village halls and community buildings across the Tees Valley.  This has included funding advice and encouraging the management committees to apply for the government business support grant, regular interpretation of the guidelines coming out of central government and helping them to understand what they could and couldn’t do.

Fast forward some 15 months and there is an excited buzz in the air!  Why?  Because village halls are planning their re-opening and diligently working to ensure their users and visitors feel confident that they are entering a safe environment.  Returning once again to providing a facility for communities to meet and services that are paramount in small villages and go a long way to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

Rita Lawson CEO, “Throughout the pandemic, TVRA has never been so busy.  The team has been at the end of a phone providing advice and guidance on following the government guidelines.  Also, as TVRA is your regional network member of Action with Communities in Rural England, (ACRE) we have had access to simplified updates which again we have been able to share with our village hall and community building management committees.  One of our village hall members did say that without TVRA’s help and support they were fearful of doing things wrong and putting people and themselves at risk.  We’re coming to, what will hopefully be the end of this current lockdown and applaud everyone involved in our communities for diligently following the 4 step road map.   We do need to be continually mindful not to become complacent and undo all the good that has been done in keeping our communities and each other safe.  As we emerge back into the new normal of life, TVRA will be there every step of the way as ‘together we are stronger’.”

Village halls in England are being encouraged to sign the online record to mark 100 years of rural community action. Has your hall signed the national record yet? There is still time to get involved.

Many of England’s Village Halls date back to the 1920s. There are over 10,000 village and community halls to be found across England. Many were established in the 1920s when there was a national drive to improve social and educational provision in rural areas. In a survey undertaken by ACRE last year, it was found that 60% of village halls provide the only meeting space in the local community. An estimated 50,000 individuals too are reliant on the use of village halls to make a living.

The online record has been set up by national charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). The Domesday Book is a colourful, and arguably historical record, so far featuring 700+ village halls whose volunteer custodians have taken time to explain their charity’s history, their response to the pandemic, and hopes for reopening and supporting their community in the future.

 

Notes to editor 

TVRA work to ensure all village halls and community centres are well run by professional management committees working for the betterment of their communities.  TVRA encourage and support hall redevelopment projects, provide grant funding advice, give regular information and advice on running a hall in your local community and provide advice and guidance on all aspects of village hall and community building management.

  • There are 10,000+ village halls in England
  • 1,000 village halls host a community enterprise such as shop, café, post office.

Please feel free to contact Janice McColm at Tees Valley Rural Action on 01642 213852 info@teesvalleyruralaction.co.uk

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Tees Valley Village Halls

The Prince’s Countryside Fund

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is now accepting applications from locally-focussed, legally-constituted not-for-profit organisations who are working to create resilient rural communities across the UK in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants of up to £10,000 are available for up to one year. Projects must be completed within one year of their start date and no later than 31 March 2022. Some match funding is required.
The grants will cover revenue costs that are directly associated with projects that are helping rural communities deal with the negative effects of the pandemic.
To date the funding has been used to address and combat issues such as isolation, financial pressures, and issues with physical and mental health.
Groups are advised to apply early as a large number of applications are expected and the fund may close earlier than the published deadline.
Application Deadline: 3rd November 2020.

The Prince’s Trust Countryside Fund 

Tees Valley Rural Action Rural Garden Competition Winners Announced

Tees Valley Rural Action, (TVRA) would like to thank everyone for entering our Rural Garden Competition.

The judging was done by Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor, who did tell us he had a very difficult time choosing the winners. We thank him for taking the time to judge your amazing photographs.

We can now announce the winners as follows:

  • 1st Prize Barbara Irvine from Elwick, Hartlepool
  • 2nd Prize Brian Chapman from Thornton, Middlesbrough
  • 3rd Prize Clare Wren from Stainton, Middlesbrough

The three winners will receive a wonderful canvas of their photograph, and a garden centre voucher. The first 1st prize will feature in TVRA’s Rural Evidence Report due to be published in early 2021.

Rita Lawson, TVRA’s, Chief Executive commented, “During COVID 19 our gardens and yard spaces have become our place of sanctuary, allowing us to enjoy a safe and happy space.  We are thankful you have taken the time to share with us and showcase Tees Valley in all its summer glory.  This pandemic has impacted on everyone in some way shape or form, and we have been truly blessed to be able to glimpse into your spaces which have played a part in lifting, not only your emotional wellbeing but also ours at TVRA, and keeping us all connected.”

We hope you enjoy the video of our 3 winners, Everyone is a winning entry in our eyes and we will showcase more of the fantastic entries in the coming weeks.

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