Go green this Village Halls Week

Village Halls Week 18-24 March
Hovingham Village Hall

Monday 18 – Sunday 24 March 2024

This year we’re commemorating the seventh annual Village Halls Week campaign, and this year it’s all about celebrating everything village halls can do to ‘go green’.

Throughout the festivities we will be sharing helpful tips on how village halls can become more energy efficient and sharing environmental success stories from across the Yorkshire region.

On Friday 22 March we’ll be hosting our very own Village Halls Week celebration at Sheriff Hutton Village Hall! In attendance will be some wonderful organisations which can help boost your green impact, including Hallmaster the hall booking experts, which will be providing a live online demo of their bookings system from 12 noon to 1pm. In addition, you can meet with Utility Aid (10am-3pm), the UK’s leading energy broker for the charity and not-for-profit sector. Bring them your bills and questions to find out what savings you could make, and how you could become more energy efficient. Head to our events page to find out more and register.

Don’t forget the best part – throughout the campaign Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is encouraging all village halls to host their own events and celebrate the beating heart of our communities. We’d love to see your activities so be sure to post on social media, tag us in your posts and use the #VillageHallsWeek hashtag.

ACRE have a wealth of resources to help you join in the celebration and you could watch the below video to find out seven easy things you can do to get involved in this year’s Village Halls Week.

Have a listen to our environmental podcasts

In celebration of Village Halls Week 2024, we’re taking a look back at our green friendly podcasts. We made them a little while ago to help tackle climate change, and they are still as relevant to this day!

Find out everything you need to know about running an energy feasibility study, hear first-hand from Hovingham Village Hall which implemented electric vehicle charging points, learn how to conduct an eco audit, and listen to Worsall Village Hall speak about the challenges and benefits of their green energy.

Be inspired

Hear from Whixley Village Hall and Hovingham Village Hall and see how they undertook green projects to help preserve their village halls for future generations to come.

And don’t forget to read our blog from Community First Yorkshire’s very own Digital Inclusion project manager Michael Fletcher, who is passionate about energy efficiency within village halls, in particular, smart heating.


Whixley Village Hall

In celebration of Village Halls Week 2024, we caught up with Sally Scales, chair at the bustling Whixley Village Hall, to hear about the hall’s impressive green project to transform their old and inefficient heating system.

Sally discussed why the green initiative is so important to her community: “Our village hall truly is the hub of our community, with regular social events taking place including badminton sessions, dance classes, pantomimes and festive parties. The hall is regularly used by visitors of all ages, so preserving it for years to come is hugely important to us all.”

To ensure that such a large project was a success, Whixley Village Hall’s committee came together to share the responsibilities. Sally explained: “Our green project is truly a team effort, with many of the committee members getting involved in different aspects of managing the project.”

Sally continued: “We knew we’d need funding to undertake our green initiatives, so we contacted Community First Yorkshire and with their help we were able to gain support and advice about funding applications, which proved pivotal in gaining funding for the project.

“Using the available grants, we’ve been able to install cavity wall insulation and will soon be implementing air source heat humps, installing solar panels on the roof and upgrading our radiators.”

Sally shared her top piece of advice for fellow village halls who are considering making a change to ‘go green’: “Just like our village hall, many others were built decades ago, and over the years better technology has become available and it’s important to make a change to help preserve our halls for future generations. It may be difficult to know where to start, so be sure to ask for help and enquire about readily available grants.”

Hovingham Village Hall

Located halfway between Helmsley and Malton lies the picturesque village of Hovingham and its popular community village hall. With a modern kitchen, large main hall and fast wi-fi, the hall has become the bustling heart of the community and is regularly the host of a monthly market, community cafes, bowls club and more.

We caught up with Mark Wilson from Hovingham Village Hall and Frank Colenso, project lead at Project Purple, who regularly run a repair café and helped to install electric vehicle charging points at the village hall.

Hovingham Village Hall

Frank discussed the green initiatives that the venue has installed: “Project Purple’s aim is to support the Hovingham community in achieving a carbon neutral status. To do this, we’ve undertaken many projects, including installing electric vehicle charging points at the village hall, enabling residents and visitors to gain easy access to electric charging.

Mark commented on the charging installations: “The electric charging points have been a brilliant way to work towards becoming a greener community. At first we were worried that they’d be an expense to the village hall, but after liaising with Project Purple and Community First Yorkshire, we’ve been able to get grants in place and have the costs reimbursed by our energy provider.”

In addition to the charging points, the village hall also hosts quarterly repair cafes. Frank explained: “The repair cafes have been incredibly successful and allow residents and visitors to bring their belongings, including clothing, furniture and jewellery, to get fixed by our expert repairers. Last year, 150 people visited Hovingham’s repair café, and we managed to repair 60 items.”

Mark added: “The repair cafes have been an incredible way to waste less and repair more, and we are dedicated to continuing them throughout 2024. No matter how big or small a green project is, every little helps in creating thriving communities.”

Blog: How smart is smart heating?

Learn the pros and cons of smart heating in Michael’s blog.

In addition, get to know Community First Yorkshire’s development officer, Nicky Ruddick who worked closely with Kilburn Village Institute to help them raise funds to undertake a full refurbishment project.

Looking to create a “clean, dry, and welcoming village hall”, the community raised £170,000 to help fund the refurbishment which included new plumbing and electrics, a kitchen revamp, new toilet facilities, insulation throughout and fresh windows and doors.

Watch the full story below.

Share your stories

Don’t forget, we’d love to see your Village Halls Week celebrations, so tag us in your festivities on social media and be sure to use the #VillageHallsWeek hashtag. You can find us across social media on Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.

Resources to help you go greener

Looking to turn your village hall into a greener space? Whether you’re searching for funding or enquiring about green technology, view our selection of resources to help your village hall go green.

A guide to funding green projects

Take a look at our quick guide to help you fund a green project.

Energy and green technology FAQs

See answers to frequently asked questions we receive in relation to energy and green technologies from community buildings and village halls.

Join our Community Buildings Network

Join our Community Buildings Network to gain support with managing your community venue. Areas of support include good governance, safeguarding, finance and funding.

Join our Reuse Network

Many people wish to live a more sustainable life which has led to an increase in voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations working to waste less and reuse, repair and recycle more. Responding to this need, we’ve set up a Reuse network to bring together VCSE organisations interested in reuse.

View our Climate Change Toolkit

This toolkit brings together simple-to-understand and useful resources to help individuals, communities and charitable organisations take steps to reduce their environmental impact and tackle climate change at a local level.