Back in 2013 our local Community Hall was on the brink of closure. No money for repairs, refurbishment or even to pay our monthly insurance contributions. The hall had become under-used over the years which meant the hall needed a lot of work and dedication from the Community to make our hall useable once more. It was cold and empty which made it impossible to invite the community to use it. But we were at a very low point with no money to heat the hall.
We set up a group of Volunteers, who became our Working Group. From there we started exhausting fundraising to raise money to keep the hall open. We held coffee mornings, variety concerts, auction sales. You name it, we did it!!Slowly we started to have money in the bank which meant we could start repairs and making it fit for use. The support from our local Community was just incredible and we were able to start holding events for the Community in our hall. The transformation was amazing andit was just the best feeling when people actually started to want to use ourhall to host their own events. The hall was no longer cold and empty, but warm and inviting and bursting with members of our Community. Our volunteers list kept on growing and people wanted to help and be involved.
In 2014 we applied for some external funding to help us to refurbish our kitchen. Our kitchen was in poor repair and meant we were very limited for Food type Events or for Groups needing to use a Kitchen which was safe. So with the support of our Community across the whole of Shetland we managed to secure this incredible funding which meant that we could install a brand new kitchen. This changed our hall over night. The profile of our hall had escalated. Everyone knew about it and wanted to help.
Once our new kitchen was installed we could start hosting much bigger events. We have been hosting musical concerts for local musicians and visiting artists from all parts of the UK, family nights for the local Community, children's parties, regular Sunday Teas, markets for local farmers and crafts, the list just goes on!!! We also host a Traditional Shetland Dance class which takes place weekly and boasts over 40 members from all over Shetland. In the last couple of years we have also hosted 3 weddings!!!!
Over the last few years there has been a physical deterioration in the fabric of the building stemming from the roof and external rendering to the south gable. With an increase in Energy Costs coupled with the water ingress and heat loss it has become necessary to move towards upgrading these problem areas. External Funding may be available but with the condition that match funding is in place prior to work commencing. Therefore the Committee and Volunteers of the Sandwick Carnegie Hall are working hard to create a Fund which will allow this Project to proceed early summer 2018.
This upgrade to our Community Hall will attract more usage which will encourage residents to become involved in more local events and activities, build and maintain friendships thereby reducing social isolation as well as encouraging residents to bring their own skills forward to help in the running of events. Having a successful, vibrant Community Hall makes for an attractive area to come and visit, live, bring up children and compliments other Community led Projects inour area.
We would love any support that you could offer us, no matter how big or small. We know that with your support we will be able to upgrade our hall, make sure it can become self-sustaining and remain such an important part of our Community.