For more information please email Mark Hazell at

“Connecting ideas and skills to meet the needs of our villages”

Welcome to Village Connect!

“Great things can happen….when people connect”

For almost everyone, life in 2020 has been fundamentally different. It has prompted people to reflect on what really matters to them, with many refocusing on family, friends, and wellbeing. 

Throughout the pandemic we have witnessed neighbourliness, community spirit, and the immense difference people can make when they work together to support each other.

The current situation has also shone a light on the needs within our communities, some of which existed before March 2020 and some which have arisen during the pandemic.

Following the February launch we have continued to progress the existing projects and commence new submitted ideas.

Status of Existing Approved Projects as at 1st March 2021

Title/Status Description How you can get involved….. / Update
Village Litter Pick / In progress To establish regular monthly Litter Picks in the villages. Please let us know if any other clubs wish to run a month(s) Litter Pick in Hook, Hartley Wintney or Odiham. The Lions will establish the Hook model that other clubs can then copy.
Food Shopping / Service now live To provide food shopping, as a service, as part of the current Care Groups across all the villages. The Hook Care Group has now commenced this service. The Odiham and Hartley Wintney Groups already provide this service.
Odiham Library / In progress Following the closure of the HCC-run library in Odiham, the Parish Council, with the community groups, are planning to open a book exchange to ensure free access to high-quality books across the community. The transition grant has now been approved.  Volunteers to support this service will be particularly welcome. Please contact Sara Jones at if you want to get involved.
Village Club Directory / In progress To establish consistent formats, across the villages, of a directory of the various clubs and groups. We also plan to do a gap analysis comparison to see what is missing from each village. Once they are available, view the directories to see if any of the clubs/groups are of interest.
New Approved Projects As At 1st March 2021
Village Connect - Bitesize Whitewater Surgery, partnered with Odiham Health Centre, have launched Village Connect - Bitesize. The objective is to run Zoom Coffee Breaks, local content by local speakers for local people, planned for each Tuesday and Thursday 11.00-11.15am. Bitesize is led by Andy Parkinson, Health & Wellbeing Coach, at Whitewater Surgery.
See the latest schedule here and on Facebook pages.
Bite-size sessions were successfully trialled in January. The full launch March schedule is:- 
Tue 2: HW Voluntary Care Group / Chris Cornwell
Thu 4: Eco-church, Eco-community / Kim Foster
Tue 9: Bramshill Scouts / Paul Cluett
Thu 11: Whitewater Surgery PPG
Tue 16: Odiham Cottage Hospital / Ginny East
Thu 18:Our Youth Needs You.Sandra Tidy
Tue 23: Focus on Health / Ben Hazell Thu 25: Samaritans / Mark Harvey
Tue 30: Village Connect Update / Mark Hazell
Mobile Speed Device in Hook To establish a Community Speedwatch Group to help manage excessive driving speeds in Hook. The A30 and the North/South Griffin Way are the main roads to be addressed. We have started to form the Community Speedwatch Group. If you would like to support this initiative please contact Emily Cahill at

We will update and publish this table every month, in the local magazines and the Lions website, so it will be easy to track the status of existing and new submissions.

How can you get involved? / How can you contribute?

Although we plan to engage with all clubs and groups, we also want to hear from individuals who would like to:

1. Suggest a project or service

2. Volunteer to contribute a specific skill/expertise or would just like to help.

To submit a project, volunteer to help or for more information please email Mark Hazell at or visit

“Great things can happen….when people connect”

     Mark Hazell – Hook & Odiham Lions     Village Connect Team Lead

What is Village Connect?

Village Connect is a new initiative, led by Hook & Odiham Lions in partnership with Rotary Club of Odiham & Hook.

We aim to engage with local people, clubs and groups in Hook, Hartley Wintney and Odiham to hear your ideas for local projects or services that could address community needs and support the wellbeing of our communities.

We will seek to help make ideas a reality. This may involve helping new ideas to get started, enabling an existing project to expand its remit, or simply connecting people and groups who want to make things happen. If a project or service already exists, we will seek to raise the profile so that local people know what is available in their community. The scope will include both Covid-19 and non Covid-19 based suggestions and we aim to cover as many sectors of the community as possible across all age ranges.

A steering group has been established, led by Hook & Odiham Lions, and joined by the Rotary Club of Odiham & Hook, all three Parish Councils (Hook, Hartley Wintney and Odiham), Hart District Council (HDC), Hart Voluntary Action (HVA) and Odiham Cottage Hospital (OCH) to manage the overall process and assess the suggested ideas.

Village Connect is a form of ‘community needs assessment’.

What is wellbeing?

Our wellbeing is a combination of our physical, mental, emotional and social health. Wellbeing is shaped by many factors such as: the lifestyle we follow; our connections with family, friends and community; opportunities for employment, learning, and activities which give us a sense of purpose; and our environment such as access to high quality green spaces.

How will it work?

We want to hear ideas from individuals, groups and clubs.

Our vision is to conduct surveys, via video calls and possibly face-to-face meetings, when safe to do so, with all groups and clubs in the villages to ask the question…..which projects/services are missing from our community?” Hartley Wintney has recently conducted a Covid-19 survey so, to avoid duplication, we expect to conduct a lower profile type of survey campaign within the parish.

The first wave of engagements will be with the schools, churches and Doctors’ surgeries.

 Following that we will schedule meetings with the other groups and clubs in the villages over the next six months.

The steering group will review, facilitate and shape the submitted ideas. This group includes the HDC, HVA and OCH and will steer all suggested ideas to one of three typical outcomes:

1.A project/service to be managed or led by Lions/Rotary

2. A project/service where a 3rd party is best placed to lead or facilitate

3.“Out of scope” – a project/service that does not fall within the remit of Village Connect or is not deemed deliverable.

We also plan to work with the three Parish Councils and HVA to build and utilise volunteer databases.

Which Projects/Services ideas have been submitted so far?

Although we are in the early stages of this initiative a number of projects/services have already come to light from the Trial Survey Phase. The first of these is a regular monthly Village Litter Pick (in Hook, Hartley Wintney and Odiham) and our vision is to share the leadership of these between the Lions and other local clubs. The first village Litter Pick roll-out will be in Hook.

It is also becoming clear that just talking to people, in an open dialogue, is triggering some interesting and intriguing suggestions. Some of the ideas may appear obvious with hindsight but are only coming to light through encouragement and the opportunity for discussion. We will publish the latest table every month, in the local magazines and update the Lions website, so it will be easy to track the status of existing and new submissions.

How can you get involved? / How can you contribute?

Although we plan to engage with all clubs and groups, we also want to hear from individuals who would like to:

1. Suggest a project or service

2. Volunteer to contribute a specific skill/expertise or would just like to help.

To submit a project or volunteer to help please email

“Great things can happen….when people connect”

For more information please email Mark Hazell at