Despite inclement weather the first Hartington Rural Social Group meeting took place at Hartington Village Hall on Tuesday 27th February. The group has been created through collaboration between two charities, Hartington Village Hall and The Farming Life Centre that is now based in Bakewell.  21 attended the meeting, including two leaders from The Farming Life Centre, Mary McNaught and Rachel Metcalfe, and trustees from the Village Hall.

The Farming Life Centre has become firmly established over the past 17 years and provides health, well being and business support to the rural communities across the Peak District. During the past 12 months it has helped to establish a small number of social groups, the Hartington initiative being the latest one. The group were grateful for Tom and Graham, stalwarts of the Ashford group, coming across to give support.

Rachel and Mary spoke briefly about the background and work done by the charity to support individual farmers, their families and the wider rural community.

Fortified by tea, coffee and delicious homemade cake those present began to discuss some possible activities for the future, including topics for discussion, events, possible guest speakers and potential outings. However one of the main functions will be to meet up with old friends as well as the opportunity to meet new people. It may well be possible to join with one or more of the other groups for certain future outings.

The group will next meet on Tuesday 27th March at Hartington Village Hall between 2.00- 4.00. Following that there will also be a meeting on Tuesday 24th April.  The Village Hall lies next to St Giles Church in the centre of the village (Hyde Lane, SK17 0AW).

There’s an open invitation to come along and join the group on Tuesday 27th March to anyone from the Derbyshire Dales and Staffordshire Moorlands. At that meeting the idea will be to begin to put together a calendar of activities for the year, as well as to enjoy more cake! If you need further details please contact either Rachel Metcalfe, Rural social Life Coordinator at The Farming Life Centre (01629 810903/ or Liz Broomhead, Secretary to the Village Hall Trustees on 07763 727671 / ).