Located in Loves Green, Highwood, Essex, the Highwood Village Hall (Charity No 301343) is a modern, light, environmentally friendly community building. It was the 1st Village Hall in the UK designed and built to Passivhaus principles and opened in 2011 after 6 years of planning and fundraising by residents.
It has become the Heart of our community, providing facilities, services, activities and socialising space for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. We serve the parish of Highwood and surrounding communities and if you are interested in hiring our building we look forward to hearing from you.
Through the provision of this Village Hall, residents have set up outstanding community groups such as the Catch-Up Café, the Highwood Community Choir and a range of leisure activities and classes for all ages. Highwood residents now organise and hold annual community litter picks, have celebrated the Jubilee with a magnificent street party, perform at regular ticketed events to raise funds for those in-need within our community and network with statutory bodies to bring satellite provisions directly to residents’ e.g. mobile information network and winter flu jabs for the vulnerable.
Highwood is now seen by many as an exemplar of how working TOGETHER residents can build unity; it’s a community that we are proud to be part of!
The Mayor of the ‘City of Chelmsford’ 2011-2012, Councillor Bob Shepherd MBE, and Mayoress, Mrs Doreen Shepherd with Petra and Richard from Highwood Village Hall Committee, Head Teacher Helen Hutchings with children from Highwood Primary School and Steve Terry with students from Writtle School of Design.
In November 2011 the Village Hall Committee received a Certificate of Merit from grant provider “Essex Environment Trust” for “one of the best projects ever built in Essex with the Trust’s assistance“.
Within the main Hall area of the building there is a very special artwork. Eight large canvasses, collectively spell “HIGHWOOD” made by everyone in the School Community, children, parents (both past and present), teachers, governors and key members of the local community.
Each letter was given a theme that encouraged individuals to think about ‘What the Village Hall meant to them”.
- “H” – Hopes,
- “I” – Inclusive,
- “G” – Generosity,
- “H” – Home,
- “W” – Wishes,
- “O” – Opportunity,
- “O” – Opening Doors,
- “D” – Dreams.
Kate Milner art teacher from Highwood Primary School (2011) echoes words felt by us all:-
It is my hope that the canvases remind us of many things. In particular, that we all (children and adults alike) have individual needs and hopes for our lives. That said, however, they remind us that we cannot function without being part of a Community. It is something, unfortunately, we take for granted in our busy lives and we often overlook the fact.
These canvases remind us that our Community can, indeed, be the source of our inspiration”.