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A Successful Village Hall: Based on 50 years in the management of a Memorial Hall

January 5, 2018

 

We asked one of our long-standing clients – Ann Abernethie – to outline the reasons why the committee of Verwood Memorial Hall are so successful in managing their Hall successfully and attracting hirers.  Ann’s comments are shown below.

 

Aim: to provide a multi-use village hall facility with charges set at a price which is seen to be affordable for hirers but also sufficient to cover all running costs and to put aside funds for major expenditure.

 

The Team:

  • Trustees:

    • appointed as directed by the charity's Trust Deed/Constitution;

    • must be willing to agree to a) implement Best Practice and Good Governance in the management of the charity, b) sign an undertaking to abide by the Constitution and c) to permit all their contact details to be made known to all other Trustees and to the Charity Commission (also  with date of birth).

  • Volunteers willing to:

    • work together, accepting and valuing each others skills, knowledge and experience;

    • be trained where skills/knowledge are lacking, being kept up to date with changes in legislation or as directed by the Charity Commission;

    • make a commitment to Best Practice and Good Governance in every aspect of the management of both the charity and the building, including decision making;

    • understand the need to ensure the implementation of all Policies that are Best Practice;

    • ensure tight financial controls, with records showing clear audit trails, with no one individual having sole authority to authorise expenditure.

  • Management Committee:

    • made up of Trustees and representatives of non-profit organisations hiring the premises and local people who have an interest in ensuring the continuity of the charity, all nominated and elected at the AGM;

    • responsible for making all major/significant decisions, including high expenditure e.g. replacement of heating/lighting systems, changes in the Constitution e.g. borrowing powers, etc.;

    • all meetings to be Minuted, with a copy signed and dated as correct by the Chairman of each meeting and copied to each Trustte/member;

    • delegation of day-to-day running of the charity and the premises to a smaller, working group, an Executive Sub-Committee, who may then delegate day-to-day building issues, e.g. water leaks, blocked loos, etc. to a Premises Sub-Committee; meetings of the Executive Sub-Committee to be noted/minuted, with copies of the Notes to the Managment Committee, to ensure that they are kept informed of what is happening;

    • Officers elected by the Trustees/Management Committee: Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Bookings Manager; members of the Executive Sub-Committee - the Officers and others;

    • Officers elected by the Executive Sub-Committee: Fire Safety Officer, Health and Safety Officer, Data Protection Officer. In practice and dependant on skills, interests and time available, some members may have more than one role.

Expenditure:

  • in excess of £5,000:, more than one known nominated contractor to be requested to provide a written quotation to the Executive Sub-Committee with final recommendation to the Trustees/Management Committee;

  • less than £5,000: e.g. replacement of window and/or stage curtains, etc., appointment of contractor at discretion of Executive Sub-Committee; all expenses claims supported by receipts.

 

Income: charges kept as low as possible;

 

Administration: kept as simple as possible, all Minutes and Exec. Notes held in an office record;

 

Building: attractive decor, curtains, flooring and lighting, up to date kitchen, with dishwasher.

 

Website: clear, informative and easy to use; see www.verwoodmemorialhall.co.uk

 

None of our success would be possible without the team of regulars who meet once a week for coffee and who ensure everything is maintained to the high standards that are set.

 

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