Village hall near Banbury welcomes special visitors to help celebrate its first anniversary as a 'community hub'

There were “oohs” and “aahs” in abundance from younger children when they saw Santa and his mobile grotto

By News Reporter
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 10:24 am
Shotteswell Village Hall welcomed some special visitors to help celebrate its first anniversary as a 'community hub'.
Shotteswell Village Hall welcomed some special visitors to help celebrate its first anniversary as a 'community hub'.

Shotteswell Village Hall welcomed some special visitors to help celebrate its first anniversary as a 'community hub'.

There were “oohs” and “aahs” in abundance from younger children when they saw Santa and his mobile grotto at the recent Sunday Breakfast Club, while other residents enjoyed a chat with local MP Jeremy Wright over their cooked breakfasts.

It has been a year since the hall became what is known as a 'warm hub', an initiative set up by charity WRCC to tackle social isolation by bringing the community together in rural areas.

Santa and Jeremy Wright MP were the special guests.

So Shotteswell Committee members were determined to give the community a Christmas treat, while also taking Covid related precautions, including booking timed half hour meal slots, additional outdoor seating and offering takeaway and home delivery options.

As well as enjoying breakfast, with fresh produce supplied by local farm shop Carpenters, residents could win a free hamper of Christmas goodies by completing a short survey, including suggesting new activities they’d like to see in the hall. The children received presents and could decorate their own cards while listening to Christmas carols and songs. And they loved seeing the Gaydon crew’s fire engine too.

Jeremy Wright MP said: “It was a pleasure to help celebrate Shotteswell Warm Hub’s birthday. All those involved deserve huge credit for spreading warmth in every sense to the local community.” WRCC (who run Warm Hubs in Warwickshire, as well as the Mobile Warm Hub minibus service with VASA) and Cadent (who sponsor the project) were also delighted with the festive community atmosphere.

Jackie Holcroft, WRCC project manager, said: “Congratulations to Shotteswell on their first anniversary as a Warm Hub and it’s fantastic to see how much everyone is enjoying today’s event! We’re excited about working with the community to create new inclusive social activities in 2022.”

Residents enjoyed their cooked breakfasts at the Sunday Breakfast Club

Edward Allard, customer safeguarding manager at Cadent (who sponsor the project), added: “It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since we launched our first Warm Hub at Shotteswell. The Committee has worked to keep the community connected in the face of Covid restrictions, and Cadent looks forward to supporting more initiatives to target social isolation and improve residents’ wellbeing.”

Ben Zammett, chair of Shotteswell Village Hall Committee, added: “It’s been a challenging year for everyone but our monthly Sunday Breakfast Club is going strong. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far and plan to support our village in other ways by working closely with our Warm Hub partners next year.”