Our Annual Report is below, so you can read about the work that goes on to keep your Village Hall alive.

Chair's Report 21/22

It has been a strange year again. This time we have been coming out of Covid and trying to get back to normal.

I’ll begin by expressing my thanks to the VH Management Committee for all their hard work. Running this building really is a team effort. We may be a small team but we all work together really well, and have managed despite the difficulties of the past two years to meet together every few weeks to ensure that today the Village Hall is still standing, still being used and still a presence in our community. Thanks too to Jude for running our Village Lottery, which has been well-supported again.

We are grateful to all the volunteers from the village who give time and energy to keep the place clean and tidy, and for helping at events. Thanks go to Clover for signwriting skills, a task she has passed on to Sam now, and to Suzi for looking after the Coffee morning board on Idlicote Road. Thanks to Pete and Mu for looking after the garden, and to Ruth for tending the flower bed at the front for all these years. Thanks to Al for maintenance and to Paul for electrical jobs, including removing and replacing the lethal fan in the kitchen.

Thank you to the volunteers who planted the new hedge in the garden, and we are grateful to the Woodland Trust for donating the hedgerow plants. It will give more shelter to wildlife, and increase the diversity of habitats.

Last year the advice we were given from the National Lottery was to ensure that our building is as energy saving as it can be. We are aware of the importance of this, not just because of the cost of energy but also to help us do our best to reduce our carbon footprint. This has been a priority this year for the Village Hall and we will bear this in mind in our future management of the building.

Financially, we have been able, thanks to grants from the council, to improve the hall for everyone. We have acquired medical grade air scrubbers to keep the air as clean as we can. We have installed secondary glazing to the main windows, which will help a lot in the winter to keep the hall from getting too cold. Following mandatory 5 year fixed wire electrical testing, the most urgent improvements have now been made, and we have had the hall checked for asbestos. Hopefully that covers the main hazards!

In addition, we have continued to work with our architect in preparation for the building project. Unfortunately costs have risen so much that our initial application to the lottery for funding was no longer enough to enable us to continue, so we have to make another more realistic application for even more money. They have assured us that we still have a really good case for funding and we just have to ensure that the costings are up to date with increased prices. In terms of bringing us up to date we have also registered the land at last with the Land Registry. It was a bit complicated but will make future work a lot easier, and gives us more legal security.

In the recent storms we had some tiles escape from the roof. On closer inspection we are looking at a much bigger expense. The roof is in bad shape, not surprising when we think that it is dating from the nineteenth century, and there is no felting under the tiles. So our next priority is to get the roof repaired and reroofed to make it safe, install felting and stop the rain from ruining the ceiling. This is going to cost about £20,000. We will continue to fundraise for this and for the building extension, and we have already approached some funders. We now have to revise our fundraising plans and that will keep the committee busy for the next few meetings, I'm afraid.

As far as the use of the Village Hall goes it has actually been used more than before the pandemic, and we have at times struggled to find an evening free. This is really good news, as we have no other main source of income but we would love it if more members of the village could support the fundraising events we run. If you have any ideas, and can help, that would be fantastic, so don't be shy. The Committee isn't going to turn you down. It is your Village Hall, so please help us to keep it going.

Maggie Bannister Chair

Halford Village Hall Management Committee: Registered Charity No 504012