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Richard Benyon to launch Village Halls Week 2022 in Bucklebury, West Berkshire

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The fifth annual national #VillageHallsWeek will take place from Monday, January 24 to Sunday, January 30 and is being launched at Bucklebury Village Hall.

Village Halls Week 2022 is set to challenge England's 10,000 plus rural community buildings to do something different.

Connecting Communities in Berkshire (CCB), alongside national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), will be launching Village Halls Week from the newly renovated and extended Victory Room in Bucklebury on Monday, January 24.

Richard Benyon launches Village Halls Week
Richard Benyon launches Village Halls Week

CCB’s President and under secretary of state at the department for environment, food and rural affairs, Richard Benyon, will be making a visit to tour the hall and officially launch the week.

It will raise awareness of the contribution village halls make to rural communities as well as inspire volunteers who run them to get more creative and improve their offer to their community.

CCB’s community buildings adviser Kate Meads said: “We estimate that in Berkshire alone there are over 900 volunteer trustees running village halls and community buildings in their spare time.

"These facilities are often the only community owned assets in an area and may often be the last meeting place in a rural community. The hub holding communities together at times of celebration, crisis and for regular affordable recreation and social activities.

"CCB’s Community Buildings Advice Service supports trustees with information, training and guidance. It is an absolute pleasure to work with such community spirited volunteers.”

ACRE’s village halls manager Deborah Clarke added: “Village Halls Week 2022 will be a celebration of all the innovative things village halls can do to improve their offer to the local community.

"We’ve been banging the drum about the many good things that halls achieve for some time – from combating loneliness to supporting local businesses.

"But this year’s campaign will be a bit different. We know there are some great examples of halls that have gone the extra mile by putting on new activities and services for residents, taking action on climate change, or taking steps to become more financially resilient.

"Members of the ACRE Network will be celebrating these pioneering halls and challenging others to make pledges to get similarly creative.”

The volunteers who run these buildings – estimated to number more than 50,000 – can get a campaign pack from ACRE’s website.

The launch of Village Halls Week will be live streamed on ACRE's Facebook page and You Tube account.

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