Village Halls Week 100th anniversary: Community group says 'thank you' for support during pandemic

A volunteers group in Hogsthorpe is celebrating the 100th anniversary of village halls by thanking their's for its support during the pandemic.

Hogsthorpe Village Hall has been thanked for supporting the local Good Neighbours Scheme during the pandemic.

Hogsthorpe Good Neighbours Scheme has written to Hogsthorpe Village Hall saying what they achieved would not have been possible without the use of the premises.

Village Halls Week is a celebration of the role village halls play as the heart of the community, their volunteers and the services they offer.

In Hogsthorpe, the village hall offered to help when the group was donated 20 sacks of potatoes, 144 dozen eggs and many trays full of cauliflowers and cabbages and had nowhere to put them..

Flying the rainbow for the NHS.

"The village hall agreed to turn the heating off and allow us to store it there whilst we planned how to distribute it," the letter explains.

"We agreed on selling the fruit and vegetables from the village hall for an hour every day.

"It was given to those who could not afford it and delivered to those self-isolating.

"We were also able to exchange cabbages for other food items and so build up our own food bank. Again, the village hall allowed us to keep the food bank in the hall and this is still operating today for anyone who needs it.

The village hall agreed to store food donated for the community.

"At the same time we set up the fruit and veg stall we set up a book and jigsaw exchange.

"This was a real plus for many of the villagers and we were often told that was all that kept them sane during weeks of lockdown.

"As soon as restrictions allowed in September, we set up a community cafe in the village hall each Tuesday.

"We began cooking a hot dinner with pudding each week. This allowed our diners to meet people from the village they never knew before.

The sign advertising the fruit and veg store outside the village hall.

"It was lovely to watch new friendships blossom and to feel our community come together.

"Once the restrictions were tightened again we could not host the cafe but instead made it mobile, taking meals out to people's homes.

"Whilst this is not the same, it still provides a vital link between the resident and the rest of the community.

"It means a lot to the volunteers and the diners to have that link still once a week.

Volunteers were able to use the kitchen for the community cafe.

"Again, this would not have been possible without the use of the village hall.

The village hall has now had a new kitchen fitted and we cannot wait to welcome back our diners. We miss the fun and laughter.

"Going forward we hope to resume the craft groups to villagers of all ages as soon as the restrictions allow.

"We also wish to start youth groups and we already have youngsters and volunteers interested in doing this as soon as we can. We look forward to continuing to work with the village hall going into the future."