Communities will lose halls

Volunteers who run community halls across Derbyshire will struggle to get the help they need unless action is taken, campaigners warn.

Rural Action Derbyshire (RAD) and the Rural Community Action Network (RCAN) provide a support service for volunteers but reduced funding and increased demand means their services are strained and may not be able to meet future demand.

Now RCAN is calling for Government, local authorities and other policy-makers to work together nationally and locally to decide how best to invest their reduced resources to help maintain the service.

Helena Stubbs, Village Halls Advisor at RAD, said: “Demand for the skills, experience and knowledge that we and our colleagues in the RCAN can provide is increasing.

“By contrast, easily accessible community development support services are reducing.

“Often the facilities and activities are not provided by local authorities so it is left to volunteers to make sure they are available.

“Communities could lose facilities and activities if volunteers helping to run them are not properly supported.”

Part of the help provided by fully qualified advisors includes specialist training for volunteers, help securing and improving facilities and helping them access capital funding programmes.

As part of the campaign, a new publication ‘Community Assets: keep their future vibrant’ will be distributed to local councils, MPs and other decision-makers.