How to get involved!

Why join us?

The hall doesn’t run itself – but that isn’t the only reason to get involved at Pant Memorial Hall. It is a great way to get more ‘plugged in’ to the life of the village, learn some new skills, meet new people from all walks of life and give something back. However much or however little time you have, there’s always something that can be done to help.

What needs doing?

Things are ticking along nicely but more help and new ideas are always most welcome. Here are some of the things that need doing:

Centenary celebration: thinking ahead a bit – the governing document which founded the hall was signed on 9th February 1922 so 2022 will be our centenary year. In the hope of a post-pandemic world; what shall we do to celebrate? How can we involve the village?

Website manager: we love our website but it could be better. Have you got the skills to keep it working but make it smoother?

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

We pay a cleaner/window cleaner and a groundsperson, plus all the trades we need to fix or improve things.

Who are the trustees and what is the ‘ethos’ of the charity?

The hall is and always has been run by volunteers, building on the original committee members who set the place up back in 1922.  We are a charity, so nobody 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.

What are the roles?

The governing document for our charity mandates a minimum of seven committee members – there’s no maximum. Trustees do come and go due to life events, so there is always space for more people and new ideas.(We currently have eleven trustees) There are four main officers:

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!). There is also a vice-chair.

Committee secretary: (or operations manager)…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 papers etc,  handles publicity, manages hall maintenance.

Booking secretary: keeps the diary, takes bookings and provides hiring forms, information and keys to hirers. Bookings now come mostly by a dedicated email address, sometimes by the hall mobile. This means that the job can be shared and you don’t need to give out your personal details. There’s a hiring policy and all the info you need, as well as lots of committee experience to help. This job is a lot of fun as you get to meet our hirers. It is also our busiest role so assistants/deputies always welcome; we’ve a smooth system for transferring information.

Treasurer: monitors the finances, sees that the bills are paid, pays out expenses, pays in cash and payments to the bank. Our accounts are held online and we pay and invoice via online banking wherever possible. Much easier.

What else needs doing? Just a few examples: organising, publicising and staffing the bazaar, organising the remembrance service, weekly fire alarm check, monthly first aid kit and emergency light check, fixing things (we pay tradespeople, groundsperson and cleaner but there are always small jobs that need doing), letting in people that fix things, managing the website, advertising the hall.

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.

How do I Join?

Committee members are elected either at the March AGM or at a special committee meeting – we can organise the latter if it helps a new trustee join us. Anyone wishing to resign may do so at any time by writing to the chair of the committee.

Currently there are four evening committee meetings a year including the AGM. Outside meetings we communicate and meet as needed using delegated authority to get things done. We are all volunteers and real life/the day job comes first – that’s why ‘many hands make light work’. We hold meetings in the hall if it is available, or elsewhere (i.e. the pub!) if it is booked. During covid19 we also met over zoom, making sure to keep the trustees who don”t have internet fully informed.

What is all this about being a trustee?

As the hall is a registered charity, becoming a 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 are well aware of our responsibilities both to the charity and to our hirers, and we have all the required policies in place – you can see them on this page. (Our Financial policy is available on request) We review the policies regularly.

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.

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