Reopening the doors of Cambridgeshire's Community Buildings

Discover how we are helping those who run the County’s community building to safely reopen them and to encourage people to return to community activities.

About the project

Funder

We are grateful to Cambridgeshire Community Foundation for funding from their Coronavirus Recovery Fund which has allowed this project to take place.

Why is this needed?

The COVID-19 pandemic had had a direct and lasting impact on the way we live our lives. The restrictions and lockdowns endured have seen many activities that traditionally took place in community buildings moved online and people have needed encouragement to resume in-person activities now these are permitted again. It is particularly important to ensure that those who are most vulnerable are not left out and further marginalised.

Those who run community buildings are mostly volunteers and they have needed help and support to interpret Government guidance so they might safely reopen their facilities to the public again. Cambridgeshire ACRE has trained and supported community building volunteers so they are confident to get their buildings back open and ready for community activities to re-commence. Later in the year, we will run a Countywide awareness-raising campaign at a local level called “Village Halls – Open for your Community” so that community buildings can promote the fact they are safe, available and open for business. This will be accompanied by some basic marketing and social media training for community building trustees.

Additionally, we plan to:

  • Train and support volunteers who wish to re-establish or start-up new community activities and groups that will support better connectiveness in communities. The type of activities that will be encouraged include Coffee Mornings; Keep Fit; Arts and Culture; Computer and IT skills; and Working from Home Hubs.
  • Develop connections to activity providers (early years, older people, social, cultural and arts, health, care, fitness, foodbanks and employment & skills) that are available to provide activities in rural Cambridgeshire.
  • Develop online communities that allow peer networking between volunteers and local activity providers so they might share ideas, learning and best practices.

How can you get involved?

Anyone who involved in the running of a community facility is invited to take part in the various training opportunities and events that will be on offer. The sessions may also be of interest to those who would be interested in getting more involved in their community by potentially setting up community activities. More details of forthcoming events can be found on our Events page.

What impact has our work had?

Following the initial reopening training session, those who attended rated their confidence level regarding safely reopening their facility as 9 out of 10. Immediately prior to the session commencement, they rated their confidence at 7.5 out of 10.

Updates

A video recording of the initial reopening training session is available to watch.

Play Video

Testimony

“Thank you for a brilliantly informative session.”

Fran Armes, trustee, Linton Village Hall

Useful links

Who can I talk to about this work?