Kevin Sawers, the Community Halls Adviser at CAH, is here to work with the management committees of village halls and other rural community buildings. This involves giving information and advice on a wide range of issues to do with running a community building, such as fundraising, licensing and other legal matters, good governance, and safety issues.
The second year of our subscription-based Advice Service for village halls and other community buildings will begin on 1 July. Please do consider joining as this is now the only way you can access information and advice from our community buildings specialist.
Joining the Advice Service will give you access to all these services:
Our thanks to all those organisations that have joined in 2012-13. Please note we will be contacting you directly soon so you do not need to do anything at this stage.
Please contact Kevin Sawers (on 01962 857358 or by email) with any queries about the advice service or download an application form.
We will continue to send the Village Hall News publication to anyone who wishes to receive it but all other aspects of the Community Halls Advice Service are now open to subscribers only.
Latest Village Halls Newsletter - May 2013
Word version for easy online reading - May 2013
February 2013 issue
November 2012 issue
Many thanks to everyone who completed our survey on the PPL and PRS music licences needed for some usage of copyright-controlled music in community buildings.
PPL and PRS will be conducting their own survey in May and June, covering all their licence-holders. Please do respond and tell them about the impact of the licence fees on your Hall's financial situation.
In particular, we would like PPL to do two things following the survey:
As reported in the February 2013 issue of Village Hall News, the committee of Longparish Village Hall has just overseen a major refurbishment project. John Scott, the chairman, has kindly agreed to share their experiences and knowledge at a briefing session on 9 May.
If your Hall is in need of refurbishment, extension or any kind of major building work, then we strongly urge you to come and hear what John and the Longparish team have achieved. Their Hall is now a first-class community facility and we are sure you will take away some inspiration for your own Hall. The session details are as follows:
Where: Longparish Village Hall, Longparish, near Andover, SP11 6PB
When: Thursday 9 May, 7.30-9.30pm
Cost: Free for Community Halls Advice Service subscribers, £20 per place otherwise
Download the booking form
If your organisation is an Advice Service member then you can simply save the booking form to your computer, fill it in, and email it to Kevin Sawers
If this applies to you then be sure to book a place or two at our briefing session with Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC), which will help you develop an action plan for making your hall more energy-efficient.
The session will take place at the Meon Hall in Meonstoke on Wednesday 15 May, from 7.30 to 9.30pm. Places cost just £5 each and you can book your place now.
CAH has access to a range of information sheets covering many issues that affect rural and community halls. These sheets are produced by a national charity called Action for Communities in Rural England, or ACRE. They are available free by email (£3 per paper copy) to all Community Hall Advice Service subscribers. A full list of the sheets is available at ACRE's website but please get the sheets through the Community Halls Adviser here at CAH.
These model documents are now becoming available by email complete with full explanatory notes, rather than as before with the notes only being included in the paper version.
Advice Service subscribers get a 50% discount on the standard prices listed below for an email version, while non-subscribers receive a 25% discount when ordering through Community Action Hampshire. Subscribers only can also order paper copies of the model documents through us, at the standard price (inclusive of postage).
Please note the paper versions are now simply printed from the electronic version with a card cover added; the two formats are otherwise identical.
The Charity Commission is another valuable source of information. Their Essential Trustee booklet covers everything you need to know as a charity trustee. This means you if you are on the management committee of a village hall!
Below are the websites for some other organisations that give information and sell publications that may help in running your community hall.
Hampshire County Council
Community Support Service at HCC
Directory of Social Change
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Health and Safety Executive
Would you and your hall committee like to check that you are managing the hall effectively? Do you want to give potential hirers and supporters more confidence in working with you? Then you should think about applying for the Hallmark quality standards scheme, which is run in Hampshire by CAH.
The scheme is based on inspection visits carried out by trained volunteers from village halls across Hampshire. The Hallmark Visitors work through a checklist covering everything from the cleanliness of your hall through to the way your booking system works. Please see below for the application form for the first stage of Hallmark.
Find out more about Hallmark or view the application form for Hallmark 1.
Kevin can give advice on specific funding applications, with whatever support you need to get you through the whole process. He also has a detailed guide to funding opportunities and grant schemes. Please click below to view the list:
Funding sources list for village halls (PDF format) (Updated 19 February 2013)
Hampshire County Council also gives funding advice to charities and community groups, through their External Funding Unit. The Unit produces a monthly bulletin with information about new funds and updates to schemes already up and running.
Finally, make sure you are in touch with your local Council of Voluntary Service. They have information on local funding sources and can help you with general issues around running a charitable organisation.
List of Councils of Voluntary Service across Hampshire
It is important that your Hall has the appropriate insurance. This will certainly include buildings and contents insurance, public liability and (if you have any paid staff) employer's liability. You may well also wish to buy insurance for money while it is being moved or stored away from the Hall, cover for theft by a committee member or employee, personal accident cover, and trustee indemnity insurance.
Several companies offer specialist policies for Village Halls that cover most (if not all) of these issues. While we cannot recommend any specific policy to you, we are happy to provide details of companies offering insurance policies specifically tailored for Village Halls.
See the list of insurance companies
Village Hall Information Sheet no. 7 covers insurance in more detail and is available to Community Halls Advice Service subscribers from the Community Halls Adviser (contacts at the bottom of this page).
Kevin works 3 days per week, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
You can contact him by telephone on 01962 857358 or by email
Community Action Hampshire is grateful to Hampshire County Council for its contribution towards the Community Halls Adviser post.