“In the heart of Somerset, Fivehead is a rural but bustling community. Like a lot of villages, we lost our village shop some years back and although we still have our pub, this decreased the number of places for people from the community to interact and socialise. We had a village hall that had been set up on the old school site. It would be used for meetings and the like but it wasn’t really fit for any social purposes or other activities as it was too small.
“In 2005, we received some land and funding for a new purpose-built village hall. This meant that we would be able to increase the scope of activities and events we could arrange and ultimately enhance village life. Of course, as with most building projects, the costs overran and we needed to source some additional funding. This is when we went to Charity Bank for a loan.
“Charity Bank was instrumental in helping us complete this project and get our village hall up and running. Having a social lender like this available is great for small communities like ours. Working with Charity Bank has always been easy. They are co-operative, flexible and what you sign up for is what you get; there are no surprises.
“When we had the idea to install solar panels on the village hall roof, Charity Bank happily got on board and lent us additional money. The solar panels have ended up generating a fair amount of income for us so having the support of Charity Bank to do this has proved invaluable.
“Since the hall was completed, it has become a thriving community hub. Most days there are a range of activities on offer, from badminton to pilates, bridge club and dance classes. We host quiz and bingo nights and a Christmas fair each year. The space is also available to rent out for private functions; we’ve had three weddings this year. Although we’re rural, we are in an accessible location and so people from other areas have also been able to benefit.
“Our village hall has enriched our local community and has given the village a space to come together, socialise and interact. Charity Bank’s loan was a major contributing factor to making this possible.”
Fivehead Village Hall is just one of 38 Follow the Money visits. Explore further Follow the Money visits and see how Charity Bank savers' money is used for good.
See the previous Follow the Money visit – Cosgarne Hall.