Horam Village Hall sets a green example

10th February

Horam Village Hall is becoming a shining example for premises that are aiming to be climate positive and making the most of available funding.

A Tesla battery has recently been connected to the building’s solar panels along with a new hot water cylinder, better insulation, new windows and LED lighting.

Secretary Leigh Ellen explains: “The whole project is using the most up-to-date technologies to harness solar energy and use it efficiently to better suit the needs of the hall and provide improved thermal comfort for users. The new hot water cylinder is designed to store hot water for longer, we increased the loft insulation to 270mm and replaced the old windows with new PVCu, toughened, double glazed windows. We also replaced the existing lighting that used T8 tubes with LED equivalent downlighter lamps. These improvements help us to optimise the current resources that we have and adopt eco-innovative and low carbon solutions that will improve the hall at the same time as contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment.”

In addition to the hall, the Village Hall Committee is also committed to managing the outdoor space such as the recreation ground responsibly.

“We have recently received planning permission for our GAP project – Get Active Pathway – to provide a 1km exercise path and pump track. We are planning to use surfacing made from recycled lorry tyres, and the spoil from the path excavation will be used in the construction of the pumptrack, saving on lorry trips to carry the soil away. The project will increase biodiversity through improved habitat management and tree planting, encourage people to get outdoors all year round and improve the access to the local environment. The recently installed playground, outdoor gym, skatepark and table tennis tables add to the GAP project and create an important health destination for a range of users, so that local people don’t have to drive elsewhere to exercise. We are aiming to install electric car charging points and cycle racks in our car park,” Leigh added.

The team surveyed various groups of people in Horam which showed they were supportive of green energy and expressed that everyone should do something to combat climate change to help the government meet climate change targets.

“They thought the project would educate the young users about renewable energy and the move away from fossil fuels. People had strong opinions that we need to all start with renewable energy or will we never work out a solution to climate change. People who had solar panels on their own homes were interested in latest technologies to store the electricity in the battery. Our mission is that reducing electricity costs by reducing heating demand will secure the future of the village hall which is the fabric of rural and community life.”

Over the last five years the Village Hall Committee, led by Chairman Mike Woodhouse, has been fundraising and applying for different grants. The refurbishment project started some years ago as a result of a decrease in hall bookings. The trustees recognised it needed to meet the requirements of prospective hirers.

Since the improvement have been completed the facility has gone from strength to strength.

“People have been very impressed and we have lots of bookings for parties. Our ethos is about the building being a community hub but we need private hire for parties and things like exercise classes so we can offer social events such as the annual free cream tea. We want to offer something for everyone.”

One of the popular community events is the Repair Café. The next Repair Café will be on 12 February, 9.30 am to 12 noon in Horam Village Hall.

Please bring your broken electricals, cycles, furniture, jewellery, guitar strings and any other household objects for our fabulous repairers to try and mend and to show you how to do this yourself next time!  And while you wait, have a cuppa and a delicious home-made cake and make new acquaintances.

Repairs are free but donations welcome to pay for rent and insurance.

Repair Cafe Heathfield

The team would love to hear from anybody who can lend a hand on the day: heathfieldrepaircafe@outlook.com  They meet every second Saturday of the month: https://www.facebook.com/RepairCafeTN21 .