How we make Grewelthorpe Village Hall a warm and welcoming space

25 January 2023
This week we’re celebrating Village Halls Week (23 – 29 January) – a time when we recognise the vital contribution that village halls and community buildings make to our communities. This year’s focus is on how halls make their spaces warm, welcoming and inclusive. Here, Deborah Hodges, Chair of Grewelthorpe Village Hall, tells us how they’re doing just that.

Grewelthorpe Village Hall is a lively hub at the centre of the Village. Our volunteers provide a huge range of activities for the local community, as well as putting on events which attract visitors from further afield.

We pride ourselves on offering a ‘warm welcoming, inclusive space’, in a variety of ways:

Hackfall Cafe is entirely volunteer-run:

  • It is a friendly, welcoming place with a delicious menu of mainly homemade goodies, such as soup, cakes, traybakes and scones (including the widely acclaimed Hackfall Scones, made with wild garlic from the woods), with paninis and sandwiches also available. Everything is sold at very reasonable prices. We operate on a not-for-profit basis – all proceeds going back into the upkeep of the hall.
  • Once a month, our volunteers provide a two-course community lunch, at a very affordable price. This enables people to get together for lunch, with friends and neighbours, without having to travel any distance.
  • The Cafe is a great place to feel connected to the whole community. New people in the village and the surrounding area, make lasting friendships there. Residents who are less mobile or who have health difficulties, can rely on a helping hand to come for a coffee or lunch. And, our volunteers find they have a regular and enjoyable opportunity to use their skills and talents.
  • We welcome young people to our volunteer team, and are keen to offer work experience opportunities, either as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme or as an introduction to the world of work.

Other activities:

  • Our Cafe Talks are thriving. We have a huge pool of local talent and expertise, which we exploit on a monthly basis!  Everything, from lovingly restoring a Grade 2 listed house to riding for the disabled, farming in Romania, walking up Mont Blanc, cycling from Landsend to John O’Groats … and much more! The speakers give their time free of charge, and we ask for a small contribution from the audience, which includes a glass of wine or a soft drink. It gives the community the chance to spend an evening in a convivial group, being entertained by one of their neighbours. All proceeds again, go back to the hall.
  • Clubs and Societies:  National groups, such as the British Legion and the WI meet in the village hall, at concessionary rates, but we also have a growing number of local societies:  Knit and Natter; Book Club; Art and Craft Group; Music Appreciation; French and Spanish Language Classes;  Gardeners’ Club; French and Spanish Art Talks.
  • Fundraising events are crucial to our survival, in these tricky times. For example, we are lucky again, to be able to rely on our very successful music events, which are incredibly well supported. The organising team have brought some great artists to Grewelthorpe, and continue to do so!
  • The Big Village Quiz makes a welcome return this month too, having been a casualty of COVID 19.  Again, all volunteer-led, and accessible to the whole community.

Grewelthorpe Village Hall relies on the support of the local community, and on its energetic, dedicated, talented team of volunteers. We are also delighted to see visitors to the village. Lots of walkers and cyclists can be sure of a friendly welcome in the Café, with plenty of information and advice available on Hackfall itself, and other places of interest.

Please visit our recently updated website, which is project-managed for us by two of our volunteers, for more information.

Together, we believe we make it a ‘warm, welcoming and inclusive space’.