Tuesday, 10 February 2015 19:17

Flagship event kicks off Village SOS

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Flagship event kicks off Village SOS

A SPECIAL launch event will kick off a £1.4m nationwide campaign to inspire people who want to make a real difference in their rural communities.

The free event - due to be held in Darlington on 28 February - heralds the latest phase of Village SOS, a Big Lottery funded campaign that enables people to come together and make the most of where they live.

The drop-in day, from 10am to 4pm at the WM Morrison Enterprise Trust, is open to anyone from a rural community who needs inspiration, skills or support to get a great idea or budding project off the ground.

Whether it's as simple as a car share scheme, or as ambitious as opening a community cafe?, the Village SOS campaign can help.

The informal event is organised by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the lead partner in the UK-wide campaign, and research partner Rocket Science.

It will feature workshops, networking, and exhibitions and advice from funders and community support agencies.

Village SOS community manager Chris Cowcher said: "This event is for anyone across the country who wants to find out more about Village SOS and how it can help their community.

"We'll be running repeated workshops throughout the day around how to get a project started, where to look for funding and how to recruit volunteers.

"There'll also be a chance to hear from successful community enterprises in their own words.

"Village SOS is all about helping to keep communities alive and thriving.

"So whether your idea is big or small, why not drop in and join us for a cup of tea or coffee and some good advice on how to breathe new life into your village?"

Village SOS is also looking for potential volunteer mentors to sign up to support the campaign.

Mr Cowcher said: "Learning from communities who've already done it themselves is at the heart of our campaign.

"We want to hear from people who are willing to share the secrets of their successful projects with others who are just starting out.

"We'll provide training and cover expenses. Just drop in on the day to find out more."

For more details about the Village SOS event and becoming a mentor, please visit www.acre.org.uk or telephone Chris Cowcher on 01285 653477.

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