PRESS RELEASE 9/7/2015: Role and sustainability of village halls under spotlight

AN EVENT taking place this month will consider the vital role that community buildings have in providing services to their community.

As part of the Community Friendly Buildings project, funded by the Hambleton, Richmond and Whitby CCG, Rural Action Yorkshire, a charity working with rural communities across the county to achieve their aims, consulted with local people running community buildings, in order to assess their needs and any gaps in provision left in the wake of widespread public spending cuts.

The project aims to help stimulate activity in community buildings, make them more accessible to vulnerable members of the community and ultimately combat loneliness and isolation in rural communities.

Tina Chamberlain, planning the event, said: “From our work and speaking to people out and about it has become clear that they want support around stimulating activity, finding out what funding might be available to them, and planning for long-term sustainability. We have put together this event in Danby Wiske to assist with this and also look at how improving hall accessibility can also impact on future successes.”

“Some halls suffer from a lack of activities, lack of funds, or lack of volunteers. In order to preserve our village halls, we need to look at how we tackle these issues and ensure that they know that support is out there and it need not be something to struggle with in isolation.”

 The event takes place on Wednesday 22nd July at Danby Wiske Village Hall from 4 – 6.30pm. Those interested in finding out more are encouraged to call 0845 313 0270 or visit

On the topic of sustainability, Adele Wilson from North Yorkshire County Council’s Stronger Communities team will present on the support and potential funding volunteers can access through their Stronger Communities programme.

There will also be small group discussions focusing on community engagement mapping the assets of your community, funding, and digital inclusion in rural areas.

Attendees will be able to find out what funding streams are available and how to maximise the chances of securing funding for projects.

Digital skills will look at how sourcing and providing IT training in your venue may increase both usage and accessibility, and how to go about doing this.

Taking place in Hambleton, the event is also open to village and church halls across Scarborough and Richmondshire districts, as well as anyone else who may be interested in the topics up for discussion.

Tina said: “Round table discussions will mean that we have the chance to share each other’s experiences and information.

“Sometimes that is all you need to jumpstart new initiatives and reinvigorate motivation and spirit. Along with the input of our rural professionals we hope to see village halls go away with a new sense of purpose and clarity for the future.”


Editor’s Notes

Photos attached to email. Caption: Tina Chamberlain and Kathryn Chapman of Rural Action Yorkshire, long-time rural professionals who will be available to support volunteers to create accessible and sustainable spaces. 

Media contact: Candice Dowson, Marketing & PR Officer, Rural Action Yorkshire tel. 0845 313 0270. Office closed Fridays. 

We would be interested in a staff photographer attending the event.

Rural Action Yorkshire

Based at Askham Bryan, near York, RAY is one of 38 Rural Community Councils in England.  It isan independent, charitable, and voluntary organisation working across rural areas of North, South and West Yorkshire, to help communities improve the quality of life for all people living and working in rural Yorkshire.

RAY enables and empowers communities to develop the confidence to help themselves, and to ensure their needs are heard by policy makers and service providers – on a local, regional and national scale. Key work includes:

*Offering support, training, events and resources on everything affecting life in a rural area

*Help with funding, running community buildings, and staying up to date with the latest legislation

*Assisting with the implementation of Community Led Plans, which identify the strengths and weaknesses of an area and plan the future of community development work.

RAY and the other 37 rural community councils across England form the national ACRE Network (Action with Communities in Rural England). Find Rural Action Yorkshire online at Twitter @RuralYorkshire