Positive Lympstone

Village Hall

Sep 26, 2023

Following on from the interesting article on Lympstone Village Hall (LVH) in the last edition of The Herald, it seemed an appropriate time to offer an insight into how the Village Hall runs. It has a history, a present and a future. For those who are new to the Village, or perhaps just unaware of how the Hall works, let me explain.

The Hall is run as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charities Commission of England and Wales. A CIO is a modern structure for a charity, by definition “a
corporate form of business designed for charitable organisations (in England and Wales).” In our case the members of the organisation are the Trustees. The CIO has a constitution and set of policies and procedures which can be found on our website. The benefits of the organisation being a CIO are that the property is held by the CIO rather than in the name of the Trustees and the Trustees have limited financial liability.

Our Trustees are principally drawn from members of various Lympstone clubs, societies, and organisations, but may also be just volunteers with no affiliation. In our case, Trustees fill the role on a voluntary basis, as well as represent various village clubs and societies. The CIO Board has four Trustees meetings per year plus an AGM, the most recent AGM having taken place
on 19th September. In addition to the Board meetings, monthly Management meetings take place where the general running of the Village Hall is discussed. Major topics and any significant decisions which need to be made are taken to the CIO Board for discussion and ratification. The Management team is made up of several Trustees and the Maintenance Manager and Bookings Coordinator.

The main purpose of the LVH CIO is to provide a safe, welcoming, and well equipped venue where local people can come together for community events and activities. The CIO is guided by a set of core values which are the anchor point for every decision and interface it has, managing both internal and external aspects of its business. And yes, to maintain the Hall in its excellent condition requires it to be run in a business-like manner, whilst not losing sight of the needs of the community. Unfortunately, that means that “you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you try to please most of the people most of the time.”

Over the years the Hall has benefited from the kind generosity of many villagers and village organisations in terms of volunteering, fundraising, and equipment donations. The Hall would not be where it is today without that support. With the collective hard work of so many within the community, the Hall continues to provide a first-class facility for the many organisations who hire the Hall on a regular or one-off basis. Other than the myriad of maintenance tasks and projects required to keep the hall running on a day-to-day basis while maintaining compliance with the necessary modern health and safety standards, there have been a number of major projects and improvements to the Hall:
• Installation of solar panels;
• installation of air conditioning with UV air sanitization,
• upgrade of the AV systems in all rooms and state of the art cinema quality system installed in the main hall;
• installation of modern theatre standard stage lighting;
• repainting and refreshing the main areas of the Hall;
• soundproofing and carpet installation in the Community Room;
• development, (including replacing the flat roof) of old changing rooms into a club room facility for the Tennis Club;
• refurbishment of the bar area,
…and the list goes on.

To accomplish the above, the very hard work put in by our Maintenance Team (one man!), Trustees and volunteer workforce must be recognised. The volunteers known as “Friends of LVH” bring a variety of skills and are regularly called upon to assist in maintenance tasks as well as mini and not so mini-improvement projects. The same team also helps prepare the Hall for club, society and many other events.

Currently, there are vacant positions for Trustees, (particularly those with business skills). The vacancies have been created by the recently announced resignation for personal commitment
reasons of three highly valued Trustees, Doreen Murray (Deputy Chair), Mary Turner (Secretary) and Caron Winter, (Bookings Coordinator). We do have a new Bookings Coordinator, but would encourage anyone who feels they can make a positive contribution toward running of the Hall to contact any of the existing Trustees to express interest and gain insight into the CIO and the role of a Trustee at LVH.

Ongoing Hall improvements are necessary to meet technical standards as well as supporting current and future needs of all Hall users within the Lympstone community. In a future article
we will provide updates on activities and planned projects.

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