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Village halls and community buildings

CAH offers expert guidance and support for people running village halls and other community facilities.  Kevin Sawers, our Community Buildings Adviser, has been working with small not-for-profit groups since 2004 and specifically with village and community halls since 2009.

In addition to Kevinís knowledge and experience of supporting community buildings, CAH is able to access specialist support and technical resources from a national network of experts.  This network is co-ordinated by another charity called ACRE (Action for Communities in Rural England).

Here are some examples of our support for the managers and trustees of community buildings.

Helping Conford Village Hall save money on music licensing

Rob Abraham of Conford Village Hall said in July 2013:

ĎThank you for your assistance in helping us to resolve our PRS and PPL music licensing situation.  We have now reached an agreement with them, which was made much easier as you clarified the current situation very well and gave us just the information we needed.í

Woodley Village Hall: lease renewal and charity registration

Rod Simpson of Woodley Village Hall said in October 2012:

ĎOur lease had five years left to run and we needed to extend it in order to have a grant of £24,500 confirmed.  CAH advised us how best to do this and also found a problem with our Charity Commission registration.  Kevinís advice was crucial to resolving these issues and releasing the grant, enabling us to extend and improve our Hallís large meeting room.  This has given users far better facilities, including a hearing loop, and has improved usage of the room.í

Training in March and April

'Very helpful - lots to take back'...  'Excellent event, thank you'...  Good balance between questions, information and interaction'

These are just a few things people have had to say about our training sessions.  Read on for details of two sessions we have coming up for you.

Funding masterclass: Monday 31 March

Are you trying to raise funds for a refurbishment or an extension of your building?  Do you want to get a new activity started but don't have the money you need?  Or maybe you would like to review your hiring and marketing approach, to make sure you are maximising your income and getting good use from your building.

This session will cover all these aspects of funding so book your place now.

There will also be an overview of the Grantfinder database, a comprehensive source of information on grant funding for all kinds of not-for-profit activity.  CAH can provide access to this database for subscribers to our Community Buildings Advice Service.

Date: Monday 31 March
Time: 2-4:30pm
Venue: The new CAH office in Staple Gardens, Winchester

Open the booking form for this session 

Welcome and induction for new committee members: Thursday 24 April

When you have new people involved in helping run your community hall or centre, they need to be welcomed and supported into their new role.  Our welcome and induction session is ideal for this purpose and covers issues such as:

  • The basics of charity law
  • The role and responsibilities of a committee member
  • Good management practice
  • An outline of more detailed resources and support available

Attending this session will enable your new staff, volunteers or committee members to contribute more effectively and feel more at home in their role.

Date: Thursday 24 April
Time: 2-4:30pm
Venue: The new CAH office in Staple Gardens, Winchester

Open the booking form for this session 

Places on each session are limited to two per organisation and cost £10 each for subscribers to our Community Buildings Advice Service (£30 per place for non-subscribers).

For more details, please email Kevin Sawers or call 01962 857358.  Links to the two booking forms are below.

31 March booking form 

24 April booking form

Suggestions for future sessions are also welcome as we want the training we offer to be relevant and useful for you in your vital role as a steward of Hampshire's community and village halls.  Please let Kevin know if you have any requests or ideas.

How to access our support

Download an application form for the Community Buildings Advice Service

Joining CAH's Community Buildings Advice Service (which costs £33, or £27.50+VAT, to 30 Jun 2014) will give you access to all these services:

  • Email and telephone advice
  • Regular (at least monthly) email bulletins
  • 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, £5 per paper copy)
  • Discounts on ACRE's model documents for village halls
  • A reduced price on some training and briefing events organised by CAH

Our thanks to all those organisations that have already joined the Advice Service.  Please contact Kevin Sawers (on 01962 857358 or by email) with any queries or download an application form.

We will continue to send the quarterly Village Hall News publication to anyone wishing to receive it but all other aspects of our support for community buildings are now open to subscribers only.

Village Hall News publication

Latest issue of Village Hall News - March 2014

Word version for easy online reading - March 2014

December 2013 issue
September 2013 issue

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 (£5 per paper copy) to all Community Buildings 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
  • Charitable Incorporated Organisation model (new document): £10
  • Hiring agreement: £10
  • Occupational licence: £5
  • Preliminary declaration of trust: £5
  • Articles of Association for a village hall limited company: £10

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 building.

Hampshire County Council
Community Support Service at HCC
Directory of Social Change
National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Health and Safety Executive
Community Matters


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.

Funding advice

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 February 2014)

Hampshire County Council also produces a regular External Funding Bulletin which gives 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

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.

See the list of insurance companies

Village Hall Information Sheet no. 7 covers insurance in more detail and is available to Community Buildings Advice Service subscribers from the Community Buildings Adviser (contacts at the bottom of this page).

Contacting the Community Buildings Adviser

Kevin usually works Monday to Thursday but this is flexible depending on meetings and other commitments.

You can contact him by telephone on 01962 857358 or by email

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