How to get involved!

Why join the hall committee?

To give something back…to improve where we live…to meet more people…to make people happy…there are a great many reasons to get involved with running our community building. Joining the committee is a great way to get more ‘plugged in’ to village life, especially if you are new to the area. However much or however little time you have, you are very welcome.

Click here to hear from our newest committee member, talking about why he joined us and telling us more.

Some of our committee members have been in post for many years, and would like to retire knowing that they have successors. Fresh faces and fresh thoughts are good for any organisation – we need you.

Read more below – , email us at secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk or just fill in this slip and email/post it to us to get in touch!

What do committee members do?

We organise the management, maintenance and improvement of the hall, providing an affordable and comfortable venue in this semi-rural area. Everything is well set up, although we are always open to ideas on how to do things better.

We meet up four times a year: 3 evening committee meetings (February, May and October) plus the April Annual General Meeting. The AGM is followed by a very short meeting with only one item on the agenda – to elect the officers from the newly elected committee. Committee meetings are kept to 2 hours maximum and the AGM is usually done within an hour. We do understand that committee members may not be able to attend all meetings.

Outside meetings we meet and communicate as needed, usually by email. We recognise that real life comes first, and organise ourselves to ensure that there isn’t a rush to do anything. We arrange sub-committees for particular tasks to keep things simple.

What are the main roles?

There are five elected officers within the committee:

  • Committee chair: runs the meetings and is the ‘face’ of the charity (note that all trustees have an equal say, there’s no ‘boss’ in the structure – the ultimate team!). VACANCY – NEW CHAIR NEEDED!!
  • Vice-chair: deputises for the chair in their absence.
  • Committee secretary: sends out meeting agendas, takes and sends out minutes of meetings, acts as general point of contact, deals with the charity commission, the council, the insurance, handles publicity, manages hall maintenance. Also responsible for grant funding applications.
  • Booking secretary: keeps the diary and online calendar up to date, takes bookings and provides hiring forms, information and keys to hirers. Bookings now come mostly via a dedicated email address, sometimes by the hall mobile. There’s a hiring policy and all the info you need, as well as lots of committee experience to help. This job is the one where you meet our lovely hirers, and it is also our busiest role so assistants/deputies always welcome – this ‘job share’ system is tried and tested.
  • Treasurer: monitors the finances, sees that the bills are paid, pays out expenses, pays in cash and payments to the bank. Prepares reports to each meeting, plus the annual accounts for the charity commission. Our accounts are held online. We pay and invoice via online banking wherever possible.

Other committee members are ‘without portfolio’ although we can all change around – and all those roles are flexible. The governing document for our charity mandates a minimum of seven committee members – there’s no maximum.

The only donation we seek is your time. The treasurer will reimburse any agreed expenses incurred on production of receipts.

We work hard to communicate properly – we use email a lot now but the phone is still fine! The idea is that anyone can delegate and split their tasks. Real life comes before the village hall, which means we need to be organised.  The more of us there are, the easier it is.

What else needs doing?

General maintenance: weekly fire-alarm check, monthly emergency lighting and first aid kit check (these are already on a monthly rota, join the team). We also need people to take on the odd fixes and improvements that are always coming up. This means either doing them or (more often) arranging quotes for a professional to do them.

Improvements: we fund as much as possible from grants, so the first step is to apply for those once we have decided what needs doing. We then manage the professionals involved to get the works done. Recent projects have included refurbishing the entrance hall, replacing the lighting and our centenary project of solar panels, new heating and much more. For 2024 we’re looking to refurbish the toilets.

Publicity: posting on our social media pages (mainly on our 500+ follower facebook page) keeping the website up to date, occasional flyer distribution round the village.

Events: organising, publicising and staffing our annual fete/bazaar (next one 5 October 2024) plus anything else we decide to do.

Website manager: currently done by the secretary. We love our website, but it could be better. Have you got the skills to keep it working but make it smoother?

We pay a cleaner/window cleaner, groundsperson and handyman, plus all the trades we need to fix or improve things. So rest assured that there is no cleaning or gardening rota. Occasionally we need help with tiny jobs, the sort of thing where you simply cannot get tradespeople. Such as this…

What is the ‘ethos’ of the charity?

The hall is and always has been run by volunteers. We are a charity, so no trustee gets paid –  but everybody gets thanked and appreciated. We’re an open-minded bunch and always up for new ideas.

The original governing document determined that the institute should be run ‘without regard to sex, political or religious opinions’ and we continue to uphold those principles and more. The committee is and needs to be a cross-section of the village. We have people who have lived in the area all their lives, people who have moved here this year or last year, people from all sorts of backgrounds. We are very far from a stagnating committee!

How do I Join?

Trustees are elected at the annual general meeting, or if need be at a special general meeting. If you are thinking of standing for election, here’s what you need to know:

Trustee eligibility: As the hall is a registered charity, becoming a full committee member means becoming a charity trustee. This allows you to have influence on how the hall is run. For the current structure of the hall charity, trustees must be 18 or over and not disqualified from acting as a charity trustee. Here is the government guidance on being a charity trustee. Here is the one page ‘new trustee brief‘ produced by the Shropshire Rural Charities Council, and here is the declaration that we will ask you to sign.

We have no written time limits for committee membership. Anyone wishing to resign may do so at any time by writing to the hall secretary.

If you are unwilling or unable to become a trustee, we also welcome volunteers (of course everyone is a volunteer!) Like the trustees, you can do as much or as little as you want. We always have a list of small things that need doing to keep the place looking good and working well. Please note that volunteers cannot influence how the hall is run nor handle finances.

Due diligence: trustees will naturally want to be assured that the hall charity, the building, the finances and the management are in good order. They are – and here’s how we can show it:

  • building and hire management: we have a full set of policies covering everything from hiring forms to fire safety – and we follow those policies. Here is our polices and forms page. We subscribe to the ACRE village halls advice service, and so keep up to date with health and safety requirements.
  • financial management: our finances are in good order with reserves kept for unforeseen expenses. Our accounts and financial policy are available on request. We review all policies annually.
  • charity management: here is our entry on the Charity Commission website. As you see, we are up to date on our accounts and reporting, our trustee details are accurate and our contact information is up to date.

Interested? ! Feel free to get in touch to find out more. Email secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk