Coxhoe Village Hall is a vitally important community hub ran by village volunteers and supported by Coxhoe Parish Council.
Chair: Paul Dodsworth
Secretary: Nicola Dodsworth
Treasurer: Gary Robinson
Karen Williams by email at
Coxhoe Village Hall,
Front Street East,
Village Hall future now at risk – can you help keep it going?
We are looking for people from our Village to contribute to the operations of, and help make decisions on, the future of the Village Hall; helping to make sure things happen and the Village Hall continues to function smoothly
We need people’s time, skills and energy. We know that the more people who offer to help, then the easier it will be for everyone – for you , the Village Hall and its future and importantly for the local Community. We will be making informed decisions based on the views of the wider community and looking to better meet our Communities needs. to achieve that
The current Chair and Secretary are to stand down from their roles at the end of this term of office and so, in order to continue with their excellent work, we need to start making contingency plans now, looking to bolster our Committee and Friends in readiness for the next stage of the Village Hall’s long and interesting history. The Committee only has four people on it and we need more, particularly as we are about to lose two key members of it.If no one comes forward then the future of the Hall may be in very serious doubt.
There is a role for anyone interested – no matter what your skills and knowledge base is, we will value it
If you could spare some time and would like to get involved then we would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0191 377 0344 and ask for Karen for more information
We need to hear your views.
Please be kind enough to take a minute or two of your time to let us know what you would like to see happening at Coxhoe Village Hall.
We are looking to introduce more activities at the Village Hall so that people can meet up, have a cuppa a laugh and a natter, make new friends and do things they enjoy. In order for us to gauge what would be of interest to your and meet the needs of our Community, we are asking you to share your ideas and let us know what you think would be good sessions to offer
We are really interested to know:
- What type of sessions would you want the Village Hall to offer? A few examples could be: Luncheon Club, Wellbeing Classes, Gentle Exercise classes, Children’s Activities (if so, what type?), Adult Activity Afternoons – quiz/bingo/dominoes with refreshments, Book Club, Drama Club, Singing Group, Healthy Eating etc etc. Please note this list is not exhaustive and additional ideas are very welcome
- What time do you think would be best to offer these sessions.? e. morning, afternoon, tea time, evening
- How can we make our Village Hall more appealing to you? – i.e. how can we improve our facilities to make it more inviting
Please send your views and ideas to Karen Williams
by email – email@example.com or ring 0191 3770344 (if there is no answer please leave a message and we will get back to you) – all replies will be gathered together and treat confidentially (i.e.no names will be assigned to any comments received)
No idea is a bad idea, however, we will only be able to offer activities where demand is identified
Thank you in advance for your time and ideas which will help us help you!
History of Change – A Sustainable Future Strategy for the 21st Century
Coxhoe Village Hall is a vitally important, established and real community hub which in 2011was at risk. In late spring 2012 a Working Group was convened comprising of members of the Village Hall Management Committee, Coxhoe Parish Council, Coxhoe Community Partnership, Durham Rural Community Council and local volunteers with a view to improving it and securing its sustainable future. This has resulted in the current progressive Management Committee which are now working hard to secure the Village Halls future.
About Coxhoe Village Hall
Coxhoe Village Hall is a vitally important, established and real community hub which is at risk. The Village Hall is effectively a true community facility and was gifted to the community last century. It is operated by a Management Committee for the charitable trust. The original Management Committee have done a magnificent job in keeping the hall open and so far surviving the impact of the recession. They were an ageing management committee who may need some help to sustain the future of this important community facility. Some sources of funding were potentially under threat with the County Council , for example, under significant funding pressure in the years to come. They have been looking at ways to move forward, including working with the Co-op to improve the parking area.
There are a range of regular activities taking place from play groups to older persons’ social meetings. The hall has been a centre for different dance groups. There are also less regular events such as events undertaken by the Parish Council and County Council. The local History Group also uses the Village Hall occasionally for their exhibitions.
The Village Hall had a range of different rooms available and has some important features including a a refreshment area and stage. Coxhoe Community Partnership has helped with some improvements to the access to the building and has also invested in the improvement of the Village Hall Memorial Garden. There is now reasonable disabled access to the ground floor but no disabled access to the first floor.
There was clear support for the sustained future and improvement of this important community facility. 95% of those who completed the Parish Plan household survey supported this. Lesser numbers felt that there were adequate activities at the Village Hall (60%). In addition, activities for young people and sport, leisure and culture are seen as key priorities for the community. Whole arrays of suggestions were made about what activities could be made available, ranging from, arts and crafts to drama groups to a range of educational classes such as relationships. Many people commented that the Village Hall should be given a complete re-vamp and needed new ideas. Some felt that it could be used more for a ‘parish centre’ with the Parish Council using the building more for its meetings. Others felt that it should be open more hours, particularly during the day when its toilet facilities could be made available to the general public. There was some evidence in the household survey that some people may be prepared to volunteer to help out (22% offered their services).
There is no doubt that the Village Hall is an important and well appreciated community facility. Its future was in doubt. It was evident that in the timeframe of the Parish Plan the original Management Committee would be looking for new management committee members to assist them in the protection of this important building they have worked so hard to sustain through difficult times. The village has had to rally round to save the Leisure Centre and available resources within the village wasthinner now as a result. The Parish Plan concluded that help needs to be given to the Village Hall Management Committee to help sustain its future.
The following gives a taste of what has been happening over the years.
Coxhoe Village Hall Working Group
The Coxhoe Village Hall Working Group was created to achieve this. the Working Group comprises of members of the previousVillage Hall Management Committee, Coxhoe Parish Council, Coxhoe Community Partnership, Durham Rural Community Council, the AAP and local volunteers. It was meeting as part of the monthly Coxhoe Community Partnership meeting.
Working Group Achievements
The Working Group made significant progress in achieving what it set out to do:
- Agreed its aims and terms of reference
- Developed an action plan
- Submitted a successful bid to the Its Up 2 U event which has resulted in people voting to award a £3,000 grant to engage an architect to develop building improvement options as part of the action plan
- Put together a schedule of ideas from the PP2 Household survey results
- Developed a page on the community web site
- Undertaken a survey of users on improvements
- Appointed an architect to develop options for the building
- Considered and commented upon early drafts of plans
- Visited a range of other centres to develop ideas for change
- Developed and gave consideration to some future options
- Started business planning
- Resurfaced the Village Hall Car Park through the Parish and County Councils
- Improved the security lighting around the Hall through the Parish Council
- Had detailed meetings with the Shotton IT Resource centre
- Received a BT award for free superspeed Broadband for a year
- Secured a recycled computer through the County Councils DS4D scheme
- Launched a Facebook page
- Held volunteer and management committee open evenings which has resulted in new volunteers coming forward and a brand new Management Committee
- Established a Friends of the Village Hall Group who have helped in a number of ways including redecoration
- Secured a drinks machine
- Developed a new bar
- Improved the range of activities including rock nights and the Village Hall Hop;
- Secured a £4,000 grant from the AAP for redecoration
- Publicised its activities in the Coxhoe Chronicle
In line with the action plan the Working Group prepared and submitted a bid to the AAP’s ‘Its Up 2 U’ event which took place at the Active Life Centre in Coxhoe on Saturday 21 July 2012 between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. The Village Hall exhibition at It’s Up 2 UThe Working Group put on an exhibition of the project on the day. The Village Hall’s bid was successful and it now means that the Village Hall will receive a grant of £3,000 to appoint an architect to advise on improving the Hall itself. The Village Hall is grateful that so may people came along to vote for Coxhoe projects. As people had to vote on projects a small amount of your time has made the difference in the bid being successful. Thank you.
In the meantime members of the Working Group conducted visits to nearby community facilities to learn from what they are doing.
A ‘brainstorming’ session was also held on 19th July 2012 at the Village Hall . The aim was to generate ideas about how the Village Hall may be improved both in terms of its fabric and in terms of activities that take place within it. This was open to everyone.
Finally the Working Group launched a questionnaire to seek ideas. There were nearly 60 replies.
The New Management Committee making massive change
The new Management Committee took over in the Autumn of 2012 and have made significant improvements to the hall and its sustainable future. they developed and improvemet plan and have made great strides in implementing it including complete redecoration, new bar, new kitchen, state of the art heating system, book and reading room, computer equipment, solar panel energy system and a great variety of activities and events including the excellent Village Hall Hop and associated regular music events. The Village Hall now has a sustainable future. There is just one piece of the jig saw left and that is an extension to provide additional accommodation and the heritage centre. Work on seeking funding for that has already started.
The Need for Volunteers
The Village Hall Working Group concluded their activities when new Village Hall Management Committee took over.The Village Hall still needs more volunteers. If it does not get help from the community the Hall’s future could be back in doubt. Even a little of your time or skill could help save this important community resource that while now performing well remains at risk because it depends on volunteers.
The new Management Committee are now developing and implementing their plans the Working Group has now become a ‘Friends of the Village Hall’ support group. You dont have to be on the management committee to help out
The important role of Coxhoe Parish Council
The Parish Council has played a significant supporting role in the change that has occcured. It has provided financial and human resource support. It has moved its offices from Landsdowne Road to the Village hall and there has helped to sustain the use of the hall and make itself more accessible to the community as a result. The Parish Council has since taken on the responsibility of the ownership of the Hall while leasing back the hall back to the Village Hall Association on a 999 year lease. As a result the community use of the Hall can be sustained for many years to come.
Village Hall Activities
You can check out all news, activities and events on the Coxhoe Village Hall website