North Waltham Village Trust

North Waltham Village Trust provides the village with facilities for recreational activities and space for society and club meetings, with occasional hire for private functions.

Through engaging with the local community Trustees strive to identify potential opportunities for development of facilities and events, the Trust works in collaboration with the Parish Council, St Michael’s Church, and village societies on identifying and hosting community events.

The Trust came about in 1953 when local farmer, William Rathbone, bequeathed land to the villagers of North Waltham for recreational use and with a view to building a village hall. This ‘Trust Deed’ was supported by villagers who raised one hundred and two pounds, fifteen shillings and three pence towards construction costs of the village hall. Today, the Trusts Management Committee consists of three life members alongside Trustees who are either elected or nominated by societies within the Village.


CommunityAd spoke to the Chairman of the Trust, Mike Robinson about what the Trust provides the community and his aims for the future of the Trust.


What services do you provide for the community?

Cuckoo Meadow is a large, grassed area, maintained for sport and recreation use, daily dog walkers and several picnic tables. A well-equipped children’s play area provides space for younger children, while the tennis court and basketball hoop cater for older children. The Trust hope to add an outdoor Table Tennis Table and Petanque Court later this year. The Rathbone Pavilion is used regularly by local clubs and societies and is home to Ofsted Outstanding Cuckoo Meadow Pre School and the ‘Big Lunch’ has taken place annually, since 2012, proving to be a popular event in bringing the community together.


How has the past incredibly difficult year been for the Trust?  

The past year has certainly brought unprecedented challenges for the Trust. Although the Trust has lost income, through clubs and societies unable to meet, this has largely been replaced by grants provided by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Grant monies will be used to benefit the local community through new outdoor leisure facilities, increasing community events, and contributing to ongoing maintenance costs.


As Chairman what are your long-term plans for the Trust and what do you hope to achieve?

Assessing the impact of the past eighteen months and planning when and how to recommence community events is our priority. We are also focusing on our strategy, including the role of the Trust and how best to meet our objective of providing recreational facilities for the community. Looking further ahead we are exploring some exciting new ideas for our annual events calendar. Then there is the big question of whether building a new/bigger village hall is feasible and beneficial to our community?

There has been some confusion in the past regarding the Trust’s role within the village. Many think the Trust is responsible for the entire village, with Cuckoo Meadow managed by the Council. My immediate objective is to increase understanding of the role of the Trust through community engagement and use of social media. As a small committee we welcome villager’s involvement, especially from our younger families, to ensure we are meeting community needs and take on board a range of views. Anyone can approach Trustees with an idea to improve our facilities and, if considered possible, the Trust will support with the organisation and promotion of the event.


Having lived in the village for 30 years and, as a life-member, how valuable is the Trust to the community in your opinion?

I believe the Trust has achieved a great deal over the years, in bringing community and village organisations together.  The facilities we enjoy; the children’s play area, village hall, and the new car park extension, which makes school parking safer, do not happen by accident.  People getting together through community projects helps us connect with one another.  Many of the friends I have made started while working at the fete or clearing debris off the Meadow! It is more than just providing facilities; it provides a much wider sense of community and friendship which we all benefit from.


You can find the Trust on their website and find out more about what’s on in North Waltham via the community Facebook page.

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