Final Community Friendly Building event a great success!

The final event of our Community Friendly Buildings project was held on Saturday 15 August 2015 at Middleton and Aislaby Village Hall in Ryedale. Its aim was to bring community buildings who had taken part in the CFB project together to share their experiences and to find out further sources of support to keep their new activity going beyond the end of the CFB project. Community Buildings who had not been part of the CFB project were also welcome to attend to get some ideas about activity that they could try.

Despite the temptations of a sunny summer Saturday, we were delighted to welcome representatives from a good number of halls. Pleasingly, there was a fairly even split between those community buildings that had been part of the CFB project and those that had not, which made for good discussion and sharing of ideas during the less formal parts of the agenda.

The first presentation of the day was from John Henderson, the Dementia Action Alliance Co-Ordinator for North Yorkshire. Helping community buildings become more responsive and welcoming to the needs to people living with dementia and their carers was a key element of the CFB project, so John's input to the event was invaluable. The aim of John's work is to set up a number of Dementia Action Alliances (DAAs) around the county. DAAs can be made up of individuals, employers, service providers and others who want to get together and make sure their community is more accessible and welcoming to people living with dementia.

Most existing DAAs are set up around geographical communities, but John is keen to set up a DAA that brings together village halls and rural community buildings from across the county in a 'community of interest'. Community buildings often face the same problems and challenges when seeking to become more welcoming to people living with dementia, wherever they are geographically located, so creating a DAA just for community buildings will be a great way for people to work together, share ideas, and save reinventing the wheel!

The idea of a DAA for community buildings was well received and John will now begin working on getting this set up. If you would like to find out more about how your community building can become more welcoming to people living with dementia or if you would be interested in joining the North Yorkshire Village Halls DAA you can contact John by calling 07958 578996 or via email. You can also download a copy of John's presentation, which gives more details about what DAAs are for, using the link below. Finally, why not start putting some actions in place by downloading a copy of the Rural Action Yorkshire Dementia Friendly Toolkit, which was created for the CFB project and which you can find on this page.

Next on the agenda, RAY's Community Friendly Buildings Officer James went through a presentation on behalf of the North Yorkshire County Council Stronger Communities Team, who were unable to attend due to being away on leave! The Stronger Communities project is the County Council's way of responding to the large cuts it is having to make to its budget while still protecting as much as possible the delivery of services and projects that communities value, by trying to involve communities and community groups more directly in the delivery of those services.

Stronger Communities has four main areas of focus: Libraries; Children and Young People; Older People and Vulnerable Adults; and Community Transport. Some of the projects that community buildings have tried out with the support of the CFB project come under some of these headings, and so seeking support from the Stronger Communities team could be a logical next step for many community buildings who want to expand their project activity and put it on a sustainable footing. The Stronger Communities project provides one-to-one support and guidance from a local delivery manager (one in each North Yorkshire district) and also offers funding of up to £10,000 for projects that meet the aims of the Stronger Communities Scheme.

A copy of the Stronger Communities presentation can be downloaded using the link below. If you need to get in touch with your local Stronger Communities Delivery Manager the contact details for all districts are shown at the end of the presentation.

After a fabulous lunch provided thanks to the hard work of the local WI ladies, the event moved into the less formal discussion phase, where delegates talked about the sorts of problems - and opportunities - that they faced. James gave delegates a quick guide to other Rural Action Yorkshire projects and services, such as membership, that could provide continued support to community buildings following the end of the CFB project; at least three community buildings have since signed up as RAY members as a result!


All in all the event was well attended and delegates gave lots of postive feedback indicating that the subjects covered had been of great use to them. But at the end of the day, no matter how useful a presentation, workshop or discussion might be, it can't compete with the attractions of a slice of home-made lemon drizzle cake!

RAY would like to put on record our thanks to Stuart and his colleagues at Middleton and Aislaby Village Hall for being such fantastic hosts, and to Jill and her WI team for the much-appreciated catering.

File Dementia Action Alliance RAY CFB presentation.pptx1.17 MB
File NYCC Stronger Communities Presentation 2015.pptx2.52 MB