#Village Halls Week, Table Tennis Table offer, Red Cross training

You may be aware of the annual celebration of Village Halls – called ‘#Village Halls Week’, which CAN celebrated in January this year with a great event in Stannington Village Hall with Ian McMillan as the guest. 2017 saw 15 events, and halls from right across the country, were featured on 16 BBC channels. Though CAN is not organising a specific event this year, it is promoting the week which will be 20th to 26th January 2020.

If you/your hall wants to join in next year’s celebration –  sign up here to register – and receive a FREE marketing pack.  Please click on the link to register:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/J9XJ9M3

Ping in the Community offers table tennis packages to community organisations and venues, to allow them to introduce and embed social table tennis into their community. To celebrate 10 years of the Ping project, they are offering a full size indoor table tennis package at half price for just £100! You’ll get all the equipment you need, including bats and balls, as well as resources to help you advertise and activate the activity. For more information and to buy your own package, visit http://www.pinginthecommunity.co.uk

The British Red Cross is rolling out basic first aid (including CPR & use of defibs) to community groups across the region. There is no cost for this training which is tailored to each group’s abilities, although donations to the charity are always welcome. The sessions can last from 1  to 3 hours depending on the needs of the group and will deliver to a minimum of 8 people and a maximum of 15. (Please still get in touch if you only have a few people interested as we may look at joining groups together in some areas). The main areas in which the Red Cross hope to deliver the training is to those who support or have contact with the elderly, those who may misuse substances and the homeless. However they will look to deliver more generalised community training so please still get in touch. Contact: Nikki Willis M: 07803 013232   Office: 0191 2334183 Email: nwillis@redcross.org.uk

CAN’s Proposed Village Hall Heritage Project

If you haven’t already come across this, and are interested in getting involved and supporting the proposal, please complete the survey which is linked at the end.

Community Action Northumberland (CAN) was set up in 1951 with one of its primary purposes being to work with Village Halls. Over the years it has accumulated a large collection of documents and photographs linked to the history of these buildings, and has worked with a vibrant network of former and current volunteers who have dedicated their time and enthusiasm to running these vital buildings.

Village halls are at the very centre of community life in rural Northumberland and CAN is looking to run a two-year heritage project celebrating their history and culture. The aim is to recruit, train and support local volunteers to collect and conserve items related to the history of these vital buildings and record the oral histories of volunteers and users of the village halls. CAN hopes that the project will culminate in 2021 as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations.

The success of the project will, of course, depend on the support of our village halls and the local people within the communities they serve. CAN would be very grateful if you could take a little time to tell them what you think of the project and whether you would be interested in participating by completing a brief survey.  There are 2 versions of this:

1.  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/villagehallheritage1 To be completed by the village hall (please could just one person complete this on behalf of the trustees):
2.  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NZSX9FQ  Which is for interested individuals to complete.


New Funding Opportunities

Defra, the government department responsible for food, farming and rural affairs has  launched a £3 million fund for village halls called the Village Halls Improvement Grant Fund. Details of the criteria and the two stage application process can be accessed through the ACRE site. More information and links can be found here. Please note it is limited to providing a maximum of 20% of the total planned project costs.

Hire Charges Survey

It has been a few years since our last hire charge survey and the latest is now available. There has been a small but significant increase in most of the fees charged. For the first time we asked members what the County Council paid for holding elections in halls.  As you will see this varied hugely. Those halls paying the least should certainly consider renegotiating the payment. In those circumstances, our understanding is that the County Council would be prepared to increase their offer. For the survey, go here.