Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Our Village Hall .. 40 years on & why I'm prepared to shave my head

I thought I ought to explain why I am willing to shave my head  to raise funds for our village hall...... the following articles go some way to explain, hopefully...

This is a piece that was published in our Parish Magazine, "Towards", earlier this year about our hall.

40 Years On.....

Somerby Memorial Hall celebrates one of those milestone birthdays this year... there's no denying her age as the year 1975 is carved in stone on the front wall!
We are planning to celebrate later in the year & if anyone can help us with memories of when the hall opened we would be really grateful.

Most of us who have got to 40 know that we aren't quite the same as when we were 20.. and that is certainly true of the hall.
In recent years, most of the proceeds from fundraising by the committee and generous donations by the Somerby Vaudevillians & the Fete have gone towards buying equipment for use in the hall & community.
The time has now come to spend some money on the fabric of the building –
  1. the roof has developed a couple of leaks which we have had patched, but it really needs more than patching.
  2. The rear wall needs re-pointing
  3. External & Internal decoration is overdue
  4. Kitchen requires updating
  5. Roof requires additional insulation.

The hall is a community building for use by all who live in the village & surrounding area. It is a charity, run by volunteers. There is no trust fund nor any other independent means to finance it. The hall depends upon the community for its survival from the monies it receives from hiring and fundraising events.
The work required is going to cost several thousand pounds and while it may be possible to apply for some grants, these are much harder to come by now. All of which, means that the hall is going to need the support of the village more than ever in order to raise the funds needed.


whether you want to attend a group that meets there, you want to have your child's birthday party or your own celebration be it birthday, wedding & yes even funeral teas. In addition, the stage, lighting, tables , crockery & cutlery can all be hired for use both in the hall and off site.

Hopefully, with your help & support, we will raise the funds needed and the hall, with it's face “ lifted” will be fit & ready for the next 40 years to play its role along with the pub, shop, school and Doctor's surgery as an integral part in the life of both the village and parish.

Information on fundraising events & regular groups who meet in the hall can be found
on the Noticeboard at the front of the hall ,
or our facebook page

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Our chair, Lynne, came up with the following idea for fundraising

Somerby memorial hall

40for 40
40 groups to raise a minimum of £40
In order to raise some of the funds needed for the building works the hall requires we are looking for 40 groups of friends, family or businesses to raise a minimum of £40

How you raise the funds is up to you, a sponsored event or just all put some money in to reach the minimum £40.00
We have set up a just giving account for the hall 
or for those of you who aren't happy using computers, we can supply sponsorship forms
The campaign is running from June to September 2015
Upon completion of the campaign, the successful groups will receive a certificate and their names will be added to a Roll of Honour to be displayed in the Hall .
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I've lived in this village since 2000, for the first couple of years, I kept my head down, hardly went out, went to the odd village event but never stayed long. I think it was the day my house flooded I started to get to know people and found that they were very welcoming & their support over the flooding was brilliant.
A couple of years on and I was asked if I would take up a position on the village hall committee.. I did so albeit reluctantly. I found I enjoyed the monthly meetings but once again stayed in the background... it was the start of a slippery slope I guess. The more you become committed to a community the more important all the constituent parts become.
When the village GP was going to retire, the village got together to save the surgery, a fight which we won. When the Post office was under threat, people once again joined forces to try and save it, not so successfully this time although we still receive an outreach service twice a week. Since I have lived here one of the two pubs has closed & been converted to housing. We do still have the shop, surgery, pub, school and of course the hall but unless we are careful, it will be, oh so easy to lose more of these amenities over the next few years.
Too many of us keep our heads down, avoid eye contact, don't attend village events or even visit the pub!  However, by doing so, in effect,  we kill the community we wished to be part of. I'm not saying move to an area and sign up for every group and committee going, although most of these groups and committees are voluntary and appreciate help.Just try saying "hello", look folk in the eye, try popping to the pub for a swift half. I am a big believer in the saying " give to receive" - if you make the effort to give a little of yourself then you will get so much back from others.
This village is my home, very much so and I am proud to be a part of it. If it takes me shaving my head to raise money for the hall then I am more than prepared to make a fool of myself to do it. After all, it will grow back in a few weeks & hopefully the hall will remain a community asset long after I am gone.

so please, if you can donate, visit
or text SHVD57 to 70070 give £3 minimum

Thank you, the more I raise, the less I will mind wearing my woolly hat in midsummer :-)

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