Little Downham Village Hall volunteers awarded Hallmark 1 for dedication and hard work

PUBLISHED: 09:34 26 January 2018

Little Downham Village Hall volunteers awarded Hallmark 1 for dedication and hard work

Little Downham Village Hall volunteers awarded Hallmark 1 for dedication and hard work

Archant

A volunteer team in Little Downham have been awarded for their dedication and hard work to transform the 'old and valuable' village hall into a 'quality 21st Century venue'.

Sue Marchant, of BBC Radio  Cambridgeshire, with Mayor of Ely Councillor Richard HobbsSue Marchant, of BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, with Mayor of Ely Councillor Richard Hobbs

The trustees of Little Downham Village Hall management committee achieved Hallmark 1 accreditation, a nationally-recognised quality standard scheme for village halls and community facilities. In Cambridgeshire, the scheme is run by Cambridgeshire ACRE.

The visitors who carried out the accreditation inspection were impressed with the dedication of the trustees and the amount of work they have completed over recent years to ensure their historic hall continues to be well used and loved by their local community.

Jean Gallyer, chairman of the trustees, said: “Over the years Little Downham Village Hall had become sad and not quite fit for purpose.

Little Downham Village Hall volunteers awarded Hallmark 1 for dedication and hard work Little Downham Village Hall volunteers awarded Hallmark 1 for dedication and hard work

“Our current committee has to be congratulated in that, due to its hard work and use of its wide range of skills, the building and its facilities have been brought to the excellent standard that has enabled it to gain this prestigious Hallmark Award.

“We are very proud that Cambridgeshire ACRE has presented this award to us as it recognises the commitment that has gone into restoring this a very old and valuable community resource that will now provide a quality venue well into the 21st century.”

The inspectors said: “The trustees work hard on a continuous programme of improvement to their Grade II listed village hall and previous uses of the buildings include the local workhouse and school.”

Cambridgeshire ACRE presented the trustees with a certificate during Village Halls Week (January 22-26) and thanked the volunteers who work hard to keep it open and fit for community use.

The benefits of the Hallmark scheme for village halls includes formal recognition that the community facility has embedded good practice and procedures, giving residents and hirers confidence that their valuable community venue is being well managed and run by the trustees.

Alongside several local events, a national social media campaign is running to raise awareness of all that goes on in community buildings with the hashtag #VillageHallsWeek and features on national and local radio.

The aim of Village Halls Week is to raise awareness of how important these buildings are to rural communities. There are three levels to the Hallmark scheme.

Kirsten Bennett, chief executive of Cambridgeshire ACRE said: “This week is a great opportunity for us to reflect on and celebrate all the great work that goes on in village halls and community buildings across the county.

“This accreditation is confirmation of the hard work and dedication of the management committee and supporters of the village hall. I wish them every success as they progress through the next two levels of the scheme.”

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