Like many charities, we are looking at ways to fund improvements in the hall by raising money through grants and other fund raising events. On each occasion, we are asked the same question. What does the community want from their local Village Hall?
Well I’m pleased to say that those that already visit the hall do seem to be quite happy with the progress that we’ve made so far – which is great if you’re over 55 or below school age as this seems to be our current visitor demographic. We have more wellbeing events and classes for the elderly and very young than ever before with over 65 hours of weekly activities already programmed into our four function rooms. You can exercise, sing, debate, learn a foreign language, discover arts and crafts, eat, lose weight or simply be entertained for a few hours almost every day of the week. We are also now providing more ‘one off’ events such as the Beer Festival, Cabaret Shows and Craft Fayres to the area that have been in short supply up until now.
But what would ‘float the boat’ of your average teenager? What activity would motivate the ‘professional worker’ to leave their home of an evening? What would appeal to a carer, parent or guardian to leave the ‘loved ones’ at home for an hour, or so, to meet new people and possibly feel less isolated?
So what would you like to see at your local Village Hall?
Last month we started a fact finding exercise through our facebook page to ask for new ideas of things that could be offered through the Village Hall to keep it growing. We know that not everyone uses social media which is why we’re using this local ‘social media’, the Darton Arrow, for you to contribute. It was a real ‘eye-opener’ when we were approached to support the local Beer Festival to raise money for the Christmas light, just how many people that live on our doorstep, said: ‘I didn’t know you were here’ or commented that they ‘….drove past the building daily but had never been inside’.
At the moment we are looking for a substantial grant in excess of £80,000 to carry out a major overhaul of just the main hall as it’s looking tired and dated. As well as the overhaul, this could allow us to install a professional stage, complete with a surround sound and lighting system, so we can attract new entertainment to the hall in the way of plays and pantomimes, concerts and possibly even school plays, prom nights and social nights for all ages. It might even be possible to introduce a large screen and projector to host film nights and other national events that modern technology enables us to tap into. This facility would then open up new opportunities for seminars and conferences that could support local businesses and other service providers.
Now it’s down to you.
You can provide feedback by visiting the hall reception office, via letter, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), facebook, through our website www.thevillagehall.ltd or telephone 01226 381006. Or if you really want to make a difference, why not become a Village Hall ‘Member’. There are no annual fees or subscriptions but you too can have a direct input into the future of Mapplewell & Staincross Village Hall, the charity.