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West Berkshire village halls recognised for outstanding community support

Village halls across the country will be taking part in a national campaign week to showcase all the hard work they are doing for their communities.

Village Halls Week 2023, now in its sixth year, will celebrate the many ways these volunteer-run rural community buildings support local residents, groups and businesses – particularly during the current cost-of-living crisis.

Rural communities have come to rely on village halls as a safe venue to keep warm, access basic services and socialise without the expense of travel.

The celebrations commence next week.
The celebrations commence next week.

The week-long activities will take place from Monday (January 23) to Sunday (January 29) and will include village hall open days and a social media campaign featuring stories from users of community buildings.

Organisers of the annual campaign, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), found that in 60 per cent of countryside areas, community buildings are the only place for local people to socialise.

Village halls support an estimated 50,000 peoples' livelihoods. Aside from hosting a wide range of social and recreational activities, village halls provide vital services such as post offices, doctors' surgeries and convenience shops.

"We thoroughly support this as an important week in the diary," said Tim Parry, CEO of Connecting Communities in Berkshire (CCB). "Village halls are not simply places for social and physical activities.

"Often they are a real lifeline for people of all ages, offering essential services and at times emergency facilities. They're a critical part of the national infrastructure."

CCB is running a webinar on fundraising for village halls and community buildings on Wednesday (January 25) to celebrate Village Halls Week – which will include information on the new Platinum Jubilee Village Halls fund, managed by ACRE.

Visit www.ccberks.org.uk if you are interested in attending.

CCB provides support and advice to village halls across West Berkshire, including advice on legislation, risk assessments, health and safety, licensing, energy efficiency, insurance and more.

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