Ministerial visit celebrates ‘village hall lifeline’

Rushmere Village Hall
Trustees at Rushmere Village Hall

Community Action Suffolk has hosted a successful ministerial visit which highlighted the importance of our county’s village halls.

Baroness Barran, the Minister for Civil Society, spent an hour with trustees and users of Rushmere St Andrew Village Hall, discussing how the facility has developed to become a community lifeline to so many.

During her visit, Baroness Barran was told about the many ways in which Rushmere St Andrew Village Hall serves clubs, groups, families and not-for-profit organisations from the local area. Each day up to three local organisations are booked to use the hall.

Margaret Tarling, Chair of Trustees, said: “Being a Trustee can be hard work and challenging at times so it was great to hear what a good job we are doing and to have the opportunity to host the visit and showcase our hall.”

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Baroness Barran’s visit coincided with a celebration of the 90th birthday of the founder of the art club, who continues to be a member today. He attends the weekly occasion, enjoying painting sessions among friends and neighbours. 

Chris Abraham, CEO for Community Action Suffolk, said: “We were very pleased to be able to welcome Baroness Barran MBE to Suffolk this week.

“Our village halls play such a vital role in Suffolk’s communities, hosting events, enabling groups and clubs to meet regularly, and providing a place where people can socialise and reduce their risk of rural isolation.

“Myself and the trustees of Rushmere St Andrew Village Hall were able to enjoy some very useful and engaging conversations about the power of village halls, and this coincided perfectly with one elder member of the local community celebrating his birthday there.

“We welcome hearing from any community groups or trustees of village halls who want more guidance from Community Action Suffolk in how they can improve the offering of their facility at the heart of the neighbourhood.”

Baroness Barran congratulated Community Action Suffolk and Rushmere St Andrew Village Hall on the excellent work they provide in Suffolk.