Community Friendly Buildings

Community Friendly Buildings is a project aimed at rural community buildings in North Yorkshire. The project will help rural community buildings become hubs for new activities, projects or services and to become more accessible to all members of their communities, particularly the older and most vulnerable.


Our Community Friendly Building small grants are now available in all areas of North Yorkshire. The grants of up to £250 are intended to support the introduction of a new project or activity, or the development and expansion of an existing one, to help community buildings become more accessible to local people, particularly those who are older, vulnerable, at risk of social isolation, or living with dementia.

If you're interested in getting a small grant, you will need to have a project idea that can start by the end of August, so you'll need to be quick! Download an application form from the link at the bottom of the page, or get in touch to discuss your idea.

“A Community Friendly Building is a People Friendly Building. A few small changes can make a big difference to people being able to attend events or activities at a community building. Being Community Friendly is about being welcoming to all as much as it is about being aware of specific issues.” 

- Project co-ordinator James Russell

Sign up today!

  • small grants available (update! small grants are now available in all areas of North Yorkshire)
  • discuss and share ideas with others
  • training on funding, dementia awareness, and project development
  • resources and support from RAY
  • welcome more vulnerable people to your buildings
  • set up exciting new activities 

Latest Events

Previous events

Thanks to all who attended our most recent - and final - Community Friendly Buildings event on Saturday 15 August at Middleton and Aislaby Village Hall near Pickering. The event was well attended, with a mixture of community buildings, some of which had taken part in the CFB project, and some of which had not, getting together to share their ideas and experiences and hear about sources of support and advice to help them continue and develop the project ideas which they have started as a result of the CFB project. Click hear to read a full report on the event and to download copies of the resources shared there.

 CFB project funders 

Project Background

Loneliness and social isolation are increasingly seen as major concerns for healthcare providers. Loneliness and isolation can be a direct cause of health problems, or make existing health problems worse. Physical and mental health problems in turn are often causes of increasing loneliness or isolation. For many people, improving health can only be achieved at the same time as reducing their social isolation or sense of loneliness. This is why the Clinical Commissioning Group and Innovation Fund are funding this work - reducing loneliness and isolation is a great investment in improving people's health, and in reducing future healthcare costs.

The project in fact consists of two separately funded projects: Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG are funding Rural Action Yorkshire to support community buildings in their geographical area; while the North Yorkshire Innovation Fund, via Your Consortium, is funding us to support community buildings in the districts of Harrogate, Ryedale and Scarborough (although grant applications will be considered from halls outside these districts and in particular from the area of Hambleton outside the CCG-funded project area).

The former project is particularly concerned with helping Community Buildings establish new activity which will attract older people to use the hall. Funding for support in this area runs until the end of June 2015.

The latter project (now available in all areas of North Yorkshire) includes funding for small grants to help community buildings who sign up develop a new project or service. If you are unsure what area your community building is in, or if you would like to find out more, just get in touch! Funding for support in this area runs until the end of August 2015. The final deadline for small grant applications has been extended to the end of June. The application form can be downloaded using the link at the bottom of the page.

If you are involved in running a community building in Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG area or in Harrogate, Scarborough and Ryedale Districts and would like to know more about how to get involved in the project, please give our Community Friendly Buildings Officer, James Russell, a call on 0845 3130270 or get in touch via email.

You can read more about the project by taking a look at our leaflet below

Related stories

GRANTS are available for communities in Craven district and rural Bradford to see through the winter months and alleviate problems that come with living in a rural area.

AN EVENT in February aimed at rural community buildings in North Yorkshire will train volunteers to increase their audiences and improve their accessibility, propelling them to the centre of community life.

SMALL GRANTS of £250 are now available for village halls and other community buildings across parts of Yorkshire to engage in a new project seeking to reduce loneliness and isolation in rural areas.

Dementia Friendly Toolkit

As part of the current dementia-awareness campaign nationally, RAY has produced a Dementia Friendly Toolkit which communities, businesses and individuals might find useful in making their environments more dementia friendly. 

The Rural Services Network, a coalition of 260 member organisations, has published a comprehensive Manifesto for Rural England, calling on the next Government to take on a programme of action which would address the needs of rural communities across all departments and not leave it to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs alone.

The Home Office has published its proposals to create a new licensing category which will enable community groups and low-risk businesses to sell or give away limited quantities of alcohol as part of their general activities without the need to apply for a full Premises License. Views on the creation of the Community and Ancillary Sellers Notice (CAN) are sought in a consultation that closes on Tuesday 9 December 2014.

NEW FUNDING has become available in the fight to combat rural loneliness across parts of North Yorkshire. In the effort to respond to the needs of older residents, village halls are being encouraged to become the centre of community life.

North Yorkshire County Council is asking local people to tell it what they think about proposals to change the way in which care and support services are delivered in the county. The Council say that the new regime will help people to live independently for longer and is based on the principle that people should be able to get care and support where they live and when they need it. The consultation is open until Monday 17 November 2014.

Rural Action Yorkshire has been awarded funding by Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (HRWCCG) to help us continue our work with village halls in the area. We were delighted to be successful in our application for £10,000. This will support our work helping rural community buildings in the CCG's area to become local hubs for community activity, aimed particularly at reducing social isolation in those communities.

File CFB Small Grant Application Form.docx99.87 KB
File Community Friendly Buildings presentation.pptx630.65 KB
File Community Friendly Buildings Leaflet.pdf1.42 MB
File Fit for Funding Presentation.pdf394.87 KB
File Making Space Dementia presentation 1.ppt1.92 MB
File Making Space Dementia presentation 2.ppt1.24 MB
File Dementia Action Alliance Presentation.pptx1.17 MB
File Harrogate Stronger Communities Presentation.pptx2.52 MB