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Suffolk Village Halls Must Innovate For The Future

Credit to Babergh Mid Suffolk

Community buildings across the county will be challenged to do something different as part of Village Halls Week 2022 and make a pledge on social media.

Community Action Suffolk will be raising awareness of the contribution village halls make to rural communities, as well as inspiring the volunteers who run them to get creative and improve their offer to local residents.

#VillageHallsWeek is taking place on Monday 24 January – Sunday 30th January 2022. It will be the fifth incarnation of the popular national campaign which last year saw 800 halls complete an online ‘Domesday Book’ to mark 100 years since their foundation. 

Many village halls are already innovating. Offton and Willisham Village Hall have installed an EV charging point and low-energy lighting throughout, adapting for the future needs of the local and wider community. With Cop26 taking place this year, it is encouraging that some of Suffolk’s small communities are taking the lead and doing their bit towards reducing their environmental impact. Others are getting creative on a smaller scale but making equally important contributions to their community.

Jayne Vaughan, Development Officer, Governance and Community Buildings, said, “We’re pleased to be supporting Village Halls Week 2022, which will be a celebration of everything that village halls can, or could do, to improve their offer to the local community. These past 18 months have been very challenging for village halls and community buildings and the resilience and adaptability that they have shown in meeting the needs of their communities has been phenomenal. With Action with Communities in Rural England, we’ve been highlighting the role and achievements of halls 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’ve 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. Along with other members of the ACRE Network, we’ll 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 across England – are urged to contact their ACRE Network member to access a campaign pack or visit ACRE’s website where they will find more information about the campaign, along with ideas to help them get involved and a copy of the pledge form.