Village Halls and Community Buildings
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.
Urgent request: how has the PPL music licence affected your Hall?
Can you help us take some solid information to a national event next week where we will have discussions with representatives from PPL and PRS, the copyright music licensing organisations?
If possible, please answer the following questions before Monday 22 April, so we can use the information at the meeting next week. Any responses you can send by the end of April would still be very useful, though.
- Your Hall / Centre's name (will only be made public with your permission)
- What was your most recent charge for the PRS licence?
- And what about the PPL licence, which covers the use of recorded music?
- What is the year-end date for your most recent financial year?
- What was your total 'defined income' in that financial year?
- And what was your annual income from hire charges for groups that actually use copyright music?
- Were the PRS and / or PPL fees charged as per the official guidance?
- If the fee wasn't calculated as per the official guidance, please explain what was unusual.
Subscribing to the Advice Service
The first year of our subscription-based Community Halls Advice Service runs to 30 June 2013. For community halls and other buildings that have not already joined, we are now offering a reduced price of just £33 for access to our advice up to 30 June.
Joining the Advice Service will give you access to all these services:
- Email and telephone advice
- Support and advice meetings at our office
(visits and attendance at your local meetings will be charged separately)
- Briefing and advice sheets, including the Village Hall Information Sheets produced by ACRE
(the ACRE sheets are free by email, £3 per paper copy)
- Discounts on ACRE's model documents for village halls
- A reduced price on training and briefing events organised by CAH
Our thanks to all those organisations that have already joined for 2012-13. 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.
Village Hall News
Latest Village Halls Newsletter - May 2013
Word version for easy online reading - May 2013
Training for hall committees
Carrying out major building projects
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
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
Would you like to reduce energy usage at your community building?
How about looking at the possibility of generating your own power?
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.
Village Hall Information Sheets and other resources
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.
ACRE model documents for village halls
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).
- Lease of land and trust deed: £10 (i.e. reduced to £5 by email for Advice Service subscribers)
- Transfer of freehold land and trust deed: £10
- Occupational licence: £5
- Preliminary declaration of trust: £5
- Articles of Association for a village hall limited company: £10
- Charitable Incorporated Organisation model: new document available soon
- Hiring agreement: latest version available soon
Please note the paper versions are now simply printed from the electronic version with a card cover added; the two formats are otherwise identical.
Other sources of advice, support and guidance
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.
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.
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.
Insurance for Village Halls
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.
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).
Contacting the Community Halls Adviser
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.