16th November 2020
Residents in a north Cumbrian rural village have been enjoying activities together thanks to £500 from the William Milburn Charitable Trust Community First Fund.
Walton, just outside of Brampton, doesn’t have any shops, pubs or school for villagers to meet each other. The only community facility is the village hall, run by a local committee, and it received the grant to run some community activities.
Two workshops were attended by 75 people, who created artwork, which was then displayed in windows as part of a week-long ‘Window Walk’ trail, with almost every household taking part. Other activities included a lunch club for older people, as well as setting up a reading group, which now has 20 regular members and continues to meet every month (online since April), and a book swap shelf was created, which due to COVID-19 restrictions, was moved from the village hall to the bus shelter so that people could easily access it.
One local resident said: “I really enjoy Walton Book Club, it involves the whole community and has introduced new books to me, which I may have not read. I have met new people and made new friends through our interesting and lively discussions. It’s a lovely group and I enjoy listening to other views about different books. I hope this club continues for a long time!”
Emma Brocklebank, Treasurer, said: “The reading group has been a much looked forward to point of contact since April 2020 when we were in lockdown and couldn’t physically get together – the online sessions give people something to look forward to and the conversation always flows as we have a common theme to talk about. This made a big difference to people’s lives during lockdown. We have also set up a Facebook group, which all members are part of, where we share reading recommendations and news about online events with each other.”