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ACRE: Village Halls Must Innovate for the Future

Village Halls Week 2022 is an annual campaign by national charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) to highlight the contribution that England’s 10,000+ village halls make to rural communities.

Halls do much to improve life for local residents, often providing the only local space where people gather, combating loneliness, and delivering a wide range of activities and services. But in these precarious times, community buildings can play a leading role in shaping a better future.

During the week, which runs from 24 to 30 January, ACRE will be encouraging halls to pledge to do something different – whether that be extending their offer to their community, reducing their impact on the environment or becoming more financially sustainable. This could be something pragmatic like hosting a new activity or event for the benefit of local residents, to putting in place initiatives that contribute to carbon net zero.  Halls will be able to download and use ‘pledge cards’ from the ACRE website to share stories about what they will be doing differently on social media.

To encourage as many groups as possible to share pledges, ACRE are asking stakeholders including parish and town councils to make their own public commitments to village halls using the pledge card as part of the week. Examples of what kind of things councils could be saying during Village Halls Week include anything your hall is already doing or would like to do to innovate for the future. This could be something grand (like installing electric car charging points or putting in place a new booking system) or much simpler (such as putting on a new activity for residents or thanking volunteers).

Download the resource pack for organisations on how to get involved in Village Halls Week. Be sure to use the campaign hashtag #VillageHallsWeek in any social media posts!