News Stories

Elsing community tackles rural isolation thanks to new kitchen facilities
24 February 2015

Elsing Memorial Village Hall in Norfolk secured a £8,263 grant from Biffa Award; a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund. 


Built in 1999, the hall is a much loved and well used facility at the heart of the village community.  Overall, the hall is well maintained and offers good facilities; however, the kitchen did not comply with current environmental health standards and could no longer cope with the needs of the growing community. 


The Focus on Health and Safety project, which was awarded funding under Biffa Award’s Community Buildings theme, enabled the fitting out of a brand new kitchen.  Project works included the installation of windows, roller shutters, cupboards, worktops, sinks and the provision of new white goods.


Now that the project works have been completed the committee hopes that the improved facilities will provide a safer, more comfortable food preparation and cooking space; enabling the hall to comply with modern health and safety standards, increase cooking capabilities, and reduce energy usage and running costs.  In addition, the new kitchen will open up further opportunities to the community, including regular lunches for elderly residents, in a scheme to reduce rural isolation.  It will also provide a safer environment for volunteers and hirers for many years to come.


Pip Wallwork, Chair, Elsing Memorial Village Hall, said:


“We're absolutely thrilled to have received this funding from Biffa Award.  As an active, well used village hall we are committed to providing the very best possible facilities for our community.  The grant enabled us to improve our catering capability to a point where we can provide much better, more varied refreshments at our regular events in a much safer environment.  It also means that we can explore further uses for our village hall both in terms of providing meals for our elderly folk and possibly hiring the hall out for business functions, thus improving our income.”


Judi Graham, President, Elsing and District WI, said:


“The new kitchen is far more pleasant for the members of Elsing and District WI who meet in the hall monthly.  The larger range will mean that we can hold functions using the facilities in the hall rather than bringing cooked food in.  Also, having two sinks will effectively make the kitchen safer to use and the preparation of food more hygienic.  In addition, replacing the hatch doors will make opening and closing easier and safer.”


Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:


“This project is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can help develop local spaces for the community.  We are pleased to be able to support the project at Elsing Memorial Village Hall as it improves the facilities for the whole community, with a particular focus on addressing rural isolation.