Keith Halstead, Executive Director, visits communities in Norfolk and Suffolk supported through our Supporting Rural Communities grant programme

October 7, 2022

Our Executive Director, Keith Halstead, recently visited four communities in Norfolk and Suffolk which had been supported through The Prince’s Countryside Fund’s rural grants programme. All were providing in different ways a focus for their community where residents could come together and connect with each other.

The Rural Coffee Caravan was visiting Redlingfield in Suffolk and had set up on the village green to provide tea and cakes along with information and promoting the different sources of help available in the county. The caravan, which was actually a motorhome, visits those rural communities where no village hall or meeting place exists.

Next was Bealings Community Hub at All Saints Church in Little Bealing, near Woodbridge. Here the PCF was funding a new kitchen which was an integral part of a new community space and café which had been created.

Rural Coffee Caravan at Redlingfield, Suffolk.

Bealings Community Hub at All Saints Church, Suffolk.

Barsham & Shipmeadow Village Hall, Suffolk: Zane Blanchard at the serving hatch to the new kitchen funded by the PCF.

Blue Bell Café/Bar/Hub at Stoke Ferry, Norfolk: Morgan Smith (volunteer) at the bar serving customers.

The kitchen theme continued at Barsham and Shipmeadow Village Hall where residents were “future-proofing” the hall by adding new toilets, a new kitchen, heating and lighting to ensure this important local facility is sustainable for the future generations. 

Keith’s final visit was to the Blue Bell in Stoke Ferry – a community-owned café, bar and hub which is now the beating heart of village life. The PCF provided funding for new storage facilities for cold and dry goods, thus enabling existing storage space to be used for community meetings and events.

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