The Newsletter of Vital Villages Spring 2003
                                                                                                     WHAT’S                INSIDE?

                                                                                                     q   A cut and blow-dry with
                                                                                                         community spirit in
                                                                                                     q   Something for the young
                                                                                                         at heart
                                                                                                     q   Reading all about our mini
                                                                                                         libraries in Worcestershire
                                                                                                     q   Shopping with Vital Villages

                                                                                                         Vital Villages
                                                                                                         Providing sustainable
                                                                                                         solutions to improve the
                                                                                                         lives of rural communities
                                                                                                         in Warwickshire and

Sharon Ham, Projects Co-ordinator and Karen Humphries, Worcestershire Field Officer

The success of the Vital Villages               this or fill in the ‘gaps’ and, based on this   Warwickshire. And that means YOU.
scheme in Warwickshire and                      we will be presenting our new action plan       We need your comments and ideas!
                                                to an open forum event in mid-June.
Worcestershire was recognised                                                                   If you would like to know more about the
recently with an SRB                            Until now, the emphasis within Vital            Open Forum in June or would like to take
‘Achievement and Excellence in                  Villages has been on retail projects,
                                                                                                part, contact Grenville Sheringham at
Implementation and Delivery’                    together with training and employment,
                                                but now it is likely that we will be looking    the Vital Villages office in Malvern
award from Advantage West                       at other activities and areas of work that      on 01684 580875.
Midlands and the CSW                            can be addressed by the Vital Villages SRB
Partnership.                                    partnership.
Building on this, our team is currently
                                                                                                     VITAL VILLAGES
                                                Our open forum at Studley Village Hall
working on a new and even more exciting         will be a celebration of the achievements            The Vital Villages project covers the
action plan for rural regeneration in the       of the Vital Villages SRB programme and a             whole of rural Worcestershire and
two counties.                                   presentation of the findings.                          Warwickshire. Our aim is to work
                                                                                                         with community groups and
In the next two months we’ll be looking         Participants will be invited to take part in          individuals in rural villages to help
at what’s already happening in                  workshops to look at how a new VV                   them sustain or provide facilities and
Warwickshire and Worcestershire to find         project could best support the needs of                  services for the community.
out how Vital Villages can best support         rural communities in Worcestershire and

                                To find out more visit our website www.vitalvillages.org.uk
                                              Cut and blow
                                              dry with
Read all                                      spirit
about it…                                     The village of Baddesley Ensor in
...mini libraries add a                       Warwickshire was once the centre of
new dimension to                              a thriving mining community, but with
village life                                  the closing of the pits, the community
                                              has struggled. Jean Rhema, a well                       Jean Rhema in her salon
                                              known and colourful local hairdresser,
                                              already had a salon in nearby Dorden
                                                                                                     Vital Villages are currently processing a grant for
                                              but last year was persuaded to open a
                                                                                                     Jean to have new signs, ceilings, floor covering
                                              second in Baddesley Ensor to                           and other internal works done. According to Field
                                              revitalise the centre.                                 Worker Steve Patalong, it’s a classic example of
                                                                                                     thinking around the problem of local facilities.
Local Post Master, Steven Try, from Welland   “We offer so much more than hairdressing,” she         “At first glance this is a hairdressing salon, but
                                              said, “transport up and down the hill, a               it’s actually providing a very valuable social
The Vital Villages team is always             prescription service from the next village, home       service to the community and we’re delighted to
looking for new and imaginative ways          visits for the elderly or housebound and evening       be supporting Jean and her team.”
to support village life and a recent          sessions that include nails, beauty therapies and
idea certainly seems to be taking off         sunbeds. We’ve become a real hub for the               For more information about Vital
in both counties.                             community.”
                                                                                                     Villages in Warwickshire ring Steve
The village of Martley in                                                                            on 02476 531284.
Worcestershire is small and, whilst
there is a sports hall, there isn’t a
great deal else. A project team led by
Tom Pearsall came up with the idea
of putting a mini library (working in
                                              Vital Villages helps
tandem with the mobile service),
within the village hall, to be
complemented by computers and
                                              neighbourhood Watch
perhaps coffee and tea.                       When John Lakeman retired some                         If you would like to know more about John’s
                                              fifteen years ago he thought he would                  scheme or about the help given to community
“We’ve had a lot of help from Vital
                                                                                                     projects like his contact Karen Humphries
Villages,” says Tom, “because at the          have time on his hands. But that was                   at Vital Villages on 01684 580712.
outset we weren’t quite sure what             before Neighbourhood Watch!
would be possible. There’s very little
for young people here and we                  John was already involved with the scheme in his
thought that combining the                    home village of Abberley, in Worcestershire but
borrowing of books with access to             he set about forming a co-ordinated group called
computers and a meeting point,                Teme Valley Central, linking twenty one parishes
would enhance our village.”                   in the northern part of the Malvern Hills District
The team are hoping to have the               Council area.
mini library open by spring and are           “The area I created was at that time the
looking for grants in the region of           Kidderminster Police Authority area and, as we
£15 –16,000 from Vital Villages to            are joining the Worcester police authority in April
complete the work.                            this year, it made sense to put a co-ordinated
And the folk of Martley are not alone.        structure in place, linked to parish councils.”
Nearby Welland already has a similar
scheme open around 12 hours a week            Out of the twenty one parishes in the Teme
and several areas of Warwickshire are         Valley Central area, John already has sixteen on
looking at the idea too.                      board, with help from Vital Villages.
If you would like to know more or             “It’s not about crime alone, it’s primarily a way of
have ideas for your community call            developing the spirit of neighbourliness,
Karen Humphries (Worcestershire) or           increasing the feeling of security and reducing
Steve Patalong (Warwickshire) -               the opportunity for crime. With many villages
they’ll be pleased to help. Or visit          lacking a feeling of community these days it’s
our website at                                important to find imaginative ways of bringing
www.vitalvvillages.org.uk                                                                             Teme Valley Central co-ordinator, John Lakeman
                                              residents together in a common cause.”

     To find out more phone Vital Villages on 01684 580712 (Worcestershire) or 02476 531284 (Warwickshire)
You just never stop learning!                                                                          Shopping with
One of the original aims of Vital Villages was to
provide ongoing training, and it has certainly
                                                                                                       Vital Villages
proved its worth. In Worcestershire the Trustees
of the Early Years Centre in Clifton upon Teme,
itself assisted by a VV grant, undertook a training
course in Trusteeship. “It was invaluable and
reassuring, after two years, to make sure we were
doing things correctly,” says Chris Hurley, one of
the Founder Trustees. “We are also undertaking a
skills analysis with the help of Vital Villages,
because we feel it’s important that we have the
right Trustees. We’ve been very fortunate this
year to appoint Desi Green, who is a recently
retired district nurse with a wealth of local
knowledge and skills, to strengthen our board
still further.”

“In my opinion you never stop learning and Vital
Villages has already helped over twenty people in     New Clifton upon Teme board member Desi Green
our project to keep up to date.”

                                                                                                       Two more villages have
                                                                                                       registered for our Villages Direct
                                                                                                       scheme. They are Bishampton
                                                                                                       and Peopleton in Worcestershire.
                                                                                                       As you can see from our website
                                                                                                       (www.villagesdirect.com) the
                                                                                                       scheme offers residents the
                                                                                                       chance to place their order for
                                                                                                       fruit and veg locally and have it
                                                                                                       delivered to the local collection

                                                                                                       Thumbs up for
                          Roger Mannering, who is part of the Parish Plan team                         Long Marston
                                                                                                       The Long Marston community
                                                                                                       shop in Warwickshire has just
Quick wins as                                          Parish Plan                                     reached the end of its first full
                                                                                                       year of trading with a turnover
well as long                                           Roundup                                         of £82,000 and plans to keep
                                                                                                       growing. “Local people have

term plans                                            The Parish Plan is a fundamental part of the
                                                      Vital Villages grant scheme. They are a
                                                                                                       found that shopping locally
                                                                                                       really works and we’ve even
                                                      blueprint for the future of your community,      managed to add a liquor license
Eldersfield, on the Worcestershire/Gloucestershire                                                     to our operation (the first of its
                                                      an opportunity to set out a vision for the
border, is one very small parish that has recently
                                                      Parish and to guide its future development.      kind in the county),” says
set about a Parish Plan. “Three of us went along
to a surgery at Vital Villages in Malvern,” says                                                       Michael Moore, Chairman for
                                                      It should cover everything of relevance to the
Roger Mannering, “because we were interested                                                           the Long Marston project. The
                                                      people who live there including social,
but had no idea how to begin. It was wonderful,       economic and environmental issues, and since     most recent help they had from
giving us confidence and direction and we’re now      the plan is written by the community, everyone   Vital Villages was funding for a
ready to ‘go for it’. And what’s interesting is       should have the chance to contribute.            second volunteer to be fully
that already we are finding out what needs to be                                                       trained and certified as a
done and getting on with it along the way, like       It’s an ideal opportunity to talk with service
                                                                                                       licensee to comply with the law,
clearing our footpaths, so there are quick wins as    providers about your village’s needs – or to
well as long-term plans.”                             develop ideas about providing new services.
                                                                                                       which was a fundamental part
                                                                                                       of their license application.

or visit our website www.vitalvillages.org.uk
                                                      Contact details
                                                      Karen Humphries                         Steve Patalong                   To find out more visit
                                                      Vital Villages                          Vital Villages                   our website
                                                      141 Church Street, Malvern              Unit 25, Stoneleigh Deer Park    www.vitalvillages.org.uk
                                                      Worcestershire WR14 2AN                 Stareton Kenilworth CV8 2LY      and why not email us
                                                      (tel) 01684 580712                      (tel) 02476 531284               s.ham@ruralnet.org.uk
                                                      (fax) 01684 573367                      (fax) 02476 531296

Vital Villages is always keen to help the          VITAL VILLAGES STRENGTHENS
young, like those in Ettington near Stratford
on Avon. There the pre-school playgroup is
literally bursting at the seams with more on
                                                   ITS OWN TEAM
the waiting list than inside! “It’s important to   With the success of Vital Villages over the past three years, it’s been
maintain the nursery in the village,” says         important to make sure that our own team represents our
Vicky Dudley, treasurer of the group, “because
we’re closely linked with the primary school
                                                   community groups. Chris Hurley from Worcestershire’s Early Years
and can ease the children into formal              Centre has recently joined the Partnership Board whilst John
schooling gently. The group has applied to         Lakeman is now on our Grant Awards Panel, with Terry Barnett from
Vital Villages for an initial grant towards        Fenny Compton in Warwickshire.
planning their extension, and will be hoping
for more money when building commences.”           Steve Patalong has completed almost a year
                                                   as our Warwickshire Field Officer and is well
                                                   established. “It’s not just about money for
                                                   communities,” he told us, “we really do make
                                                   a difference in moving the community
                                                   forward.” Steve’s office has itself moved
   Playdough is                                    recently from the Market Place to:
fun in Ettington                                   Unit 25, Stoneleigh Deer Park, Stareton,
                                                   Kenilworth CV8 2LY
                                                   Telephone 02476 531284.
….AND FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART                       This year we have also welcomed Grenville
Not all school facilities are for children of      Sheringham to our team in Malvern as
course. In Haselor, near Alcester, the grown-      Programme Manager.
ups are getting a slice of the action too!
Having lost the pub and the post office,                                                                    John Lavictoire - heading ‘Down Under’
residents fought to save the school first,
then raised the money to build tennis                                                                     John Lavictoire, who’s been working with the
courts and now are building a school hall                                                                 Vital Villages’ team in Malvern for over a year
that will double as a community facility for                                                              is off to Australia. “I am in finance and
both Haselor and nearby Walcote.                                                                          working with Vital Villages has been
John Parr, Chairman of the Governors told                                                                 invaluable because I’ve been able to take a
us: “It’s been a tremendous fundraising                                                                   strategic view, sit in on Board Meetings and
effort and we hope to incorporate changing                                                                work with senior managers. It’s been very like
rooms, toilets with disabled facilities, stage                                                            working in a small business, and I’ve been able
blocks and lighting so we shall have a village                                                            to track real results from the money that we
amenity, available for everyone in the village                                                            have invested in the community.”
even after the children have gone home.”
                                                                                                          Good luck to John: we hope that he’ll be
Vital Villages has contributed £9,000 for                                                                 telling everyone ‘down under’ about Vital
fixtures and equipment, complementing                Grenville Sheringham, Programme manager              Villages!
grants made by Warwickshire County
Council, Stratford District Council and
Haselor and Walcote Parish Council, as well
as a magnificent £25,000 raised by the             Vital Villages Partners
people of Haselor and Walcote themselves.
                                                   The Countryside Agency                                 North Warwickshire Borough Council
                                                   Community First in Herefordshire & Worcestershire      Rugby Borough Council
                                                   Warwickshire Rural Community Council                   Stratford District Council
                                                   National Rural Enterprise Centre                       Warwick District Council
                                                   Royal Agricultural Society of England                  Wychavon District Council
                                                   Hereford & Worcestershire Councils Association         Wyre Forest District Council
                                                   Warwickshire Association of Local Councils             Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber
                                                   Warwickshire County Council                            Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce
                                                   Worcestershire County Council                          Senator Marketing
                                                   Bromsgrove District Council                            Post Office Counters Ltd
                                                   Malvern Hills District Council                         ViRSA
The Haselor team on site

  To find out more phone Vital Villages on 01684 580712 (Worcestershire) or 02476 531284 (Warwickshire)

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