|A major purpose of this site is to encourage the various community-support groups in our area to appreciate each other and to support each other when appropriate. We are developing this section of the site to help with that, focusing here on the halls and other venues that host those groups' activities. They are often key to the ability of community-support groups to support their communities. In fact, some of them ARE the main community-supporters in their area. Most of these venues are village/community halls or church halls. However, we recognise that there are other venues that also play an important role in their communities by providing function rooms or similar (pubs, inns, schools, etc.).
We hope to remind the halls & venues that, whilst they may possibly be competing with each other in some ways, generally they are all on the same side. They are trying to support their local community. We believe that Co-operation, Collaboration & Co-ordination (our 3Cs) will often be to their mutual advantage ... and to the advantage of those they are trying to support. This evidences a greater ambition than just wanting to help spread knowledge about the existence of community groups so, as a project, it will be kept small to start with and will spread only if it is found that others share that ambition.
One of the more common problems faced by community-support groups around the UK is the absence of 'hub facilities'. It is arguable that the opposite of that applies in the Golden Valley. We have so many village & church halls (and other relevant venues) that their supporters have difficulty finding activities to pay for their upkeep. Understandably, some venue-supporters view other venues as Competition. It would surely be better (and possibly easier) for them to work with other venue-supporters on increasing the level of activities region-wide that want to use their kind of facilities. Perhaps this might involve different halls specialising on supporting different types of activities. [Examples could include 'Flicks in the Sticks', Quiz Nights, Bridge/Whist Drives and Cooking Classes.] Perhaps using Community Transport groups to drive people to & between the venues would help people use their facilities. [See Idea#04.] We are open to ideas - and believe that most venue-supporters in the area will be so also.
It is not our role or wish to interfere with the running of any hall/venue. Indeed, we are keen to avoid that at all costs (!) and see no need for it anyway. We are very impressed by what so many people are doing to keep their local venues making such a positive contribution to their local communities. However, we think that it should be OK for us to make a few friendly suggestions.
- Do we think that we have ideas that no-one else has had before? NO!
What we offer is simple: an independent unbiased but supportive approach aimed at helping relevant groups (in this case mostly Hall Management Committees or Teams, in practice often just one person) share their ideas and appreciate that they have a common purpose which just might possibly be better served through the 3Cs of Co-operation, Collaboration & Co-ordination with other venues than through Competition with them. Will that always be appropriate? Probably not, but that does not mean that there is nothing to be gained through those 3Cs at least some of the time.
Matters we are keeping in mind include:
- Venues want to keep their independence.
- Some venues will not want any help at all.
- Ideas should save time & energy, not cost them.
- Ideas should generate more money than they cost.
- Keep It Simple and Keep It Friendly.
- The Best can be the enemy of The Good but ...
- Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
- Never criticise a Volunteer!
We all know that Life is not simple, that personalities, lack-of-time & short-term pressures often get in the way of long-term objectives. Nevertheless, that need not prove to be a barrier to co-operation and even to co-ordination of effort. In fact, Co-operation, Collaboration & Co-ordination (our "3Cs") sometimes provide the only way to get over a challenge.
Perhaps "3Cs" makes it all sound more formal than it is. Perhaps we have got carried away with "3Cs" as a kind of buzzword. The point we want to make is simply that many people get so tied up in what they are doing that they forget to look up and see that there are others around who may be able to lighten their burden. For example, if you want to ensure that someone can get somewhere, there may be no need for you to take that person yourself. There are others around who might be able to help with that (see Idea#04). By making sure you know who is around and what they are doing, you may be able to save yourself a lot of time & effort. You may be able to help them in return. Co-operation can work wonders whether or not it leads to Collaboration & Co-ordination. It is all about Communication. For more on this, see Idea#05 and Idea#06.
We are developing some ideas to help us find a way forward on this. So far we have the generic (apparently rather tame but with potential) Idea#05 ['We need to be both creative & co-operative to make the most of our venues (halls, pubs, etc.).'] and the specific Idea#06 ['We could facilitate the development of some kind of a Golden Valley Venues Network or Forum.']. They jointly led to our support for the 3Cs. We suspect that much of this could be supported simply by the holding of occasional informal Discussion Groups. However, that idea is still being researched. Watch this space!
As reported on IDEAS, we are open to ideas or suggestions (or thoughts) - but please remember that it is important for us to keep this Groups Initiative sustainable, and not to even think of imposing anything that would create a lot of work for already-overworked hall committees, so we are not envisaging anything that needs any significant ongoing effort! We really do believe that the simple act of improving communication between community-support groups will make life easier and more effective for many of them.
We are still investigating which venues to focus on. We started with this list of 170 community halls in Herefordshire (page in Herefordshire.gov.uk). We have already reduced that list to what we think should be a manageable level (see the 'Venue' section in the Directory's Activities Index). Our work on Societies Fair 2018 enabled us to identify some venues that are keen to be involved and some that do not want to be involved (something we respect, as reported in the 'Independent' tab). We will research the matter further in 2019. As reported in the 'Where?' tab on the About page, our initial thoughts involve establishing a 'Core' area for our work with Venues. Watch this (and that) space!