Welcome

Our Village Hall & Community Buildings Adviser will ensure all affiliated village halls and community centres in Essex are provided with encouragement and support in managing their village halls.

We can provide specific advice on hall redevelopment projects and provide information on grant funding bodies and applications.

All affiliated village halls and community centres receive a free bi-monthly newsletter – Village Hall Update and this provides a means of updating Village Hall Management Committees with information on funding, regulations, relevant publications, charity news and success stories from around the county.

There are many benefits to becoming an affiliated member. Please take time to look at the other pages in the Village Halls & Community Buildings section and gather more information.

  • What we do
  • Benefits and Joining
  • A Voice for Village Halls
  • Events
  • Publications
  • Hallmark

Alternatively please contact our adviser or view our leaflet.

What we do

RCCE works to ensure all affiliated village halls and community buildings in Essex are provided with encouragement and support in their management.

RCCE Village Halls and Community Buildings Advice Service aims to:

  • Ensure all village halls/ community centres are well run
  • Encourage and support hall redevelopment projects
  • Provide grant funding advice
  • Provide information and advice on running a hall charity in your local community
  • Provide advice and information on all aspects of village hall and community building management

RCCE runs the Hallmark Scheme, a nationally recognised quality standards scheme for Village Halls and Community Buildings.

RCCE carries out Energy Efficiency Audits of Village Halls and Community Buildings, providing a report and recommendations on how to reduce energy useage and costs.

RCCE undertakes surveys and consultations to provide feedback to ACRE and Government on certain issues that concern members, particularly to provide a case for additional funding for Village Halls and Community Buildings.

We hold an annual Village Halls and Community Building Conference, which is open to all village halls, community buildings, parish councils and parties interested rural community development.

Our dedicated Village Hall & Community Buildings Adviser is available to attend meetings at your hall, provide advice and discuss specific issues/projects as appropriate

Benefits of joining RCCE Village Halls & Community Buildings Advice Service

We offer your Village Hall and Community Building committee:

  • Advice and Information on all aspects of Village Hall and Community Building management
  • Free bi-monthly newsletter, “Village Halls & Community Buildings Update”, which gives all the latest news on grants, legal regulations, charity news, and maintenance and administration information affecting community buildings
  • Free provision of 42 ACRE Information Sheets and other publications covering all the aspects of managing a village hall and a community building
  • Annual Village Halls and Community Building Conference, with preferential rates for affiliated RCCE members. Presentations by funding organisations, contractors, finance and legal representatives
  • Advice, support and guidance on the development, through to completion, of new build, refurbishment and extension projects, and other capital works projects, including sources of possible funding appropriate to the project
  • Advice and information on all aspects of setting up and running a charity in your local community
  • Access to the hall members-only section of the RCCE website, plus an opportunity for you to promote your hall on a dedicated webpage
  • An opportunity to enter and achieve the Hallmark Quality Standards Scheme
  • Access to training events
  • Discounted price for an Energy Efficiency Audit

To become a member, please download and complete the affiliation form and return with the remittance to RCCE. Membership is renewable annually in March

A voice for Village Halls and Community Buildings

RCCE undertakes surveys and consultations to provide feedback to Government on a number of matters and to provide evidence for lobbying Government on certain legislative and regulatory issues and particularly to provide a case for better funding provision.

Evidence of these consultations is available in report format available from RCCE.

RCCE encourages hall committees to take part in consultations and surveys which may affect legislation and regulation currently governing hall administrators.

Every 10 years, RCCE and ACRE distribute an important and valued document - the ‘Village Halls & Community Buildings Survey’ and all Essex hall management committees are encouraged to complete and return this document.

This helps RCCE and ACRE to provide information to government and other bodies, on the role and responsibilities of hall committees.

The last survey was completed in 2009 and the results published in ‘Rural Community Buildings in England 2009 – Key Findings’, available from RCCE.

Events

An annual Village Halls & Community Buildings Conference is held in October which is open to members and non-members of village halls, parish councils and other interested parties.

The event provides an informal opportunity for attendees to network, gather information and listen to presentations from funding organisations, regulatory bodies, contractors, financial advisers and legal representatives.

About Hallmark

Rural Community Council of Essex has launched this nationally recognised quality standards scheme for Village Hall and Community Building Members. Many of our halls in Essex are already operating to a high standard of administration and management. RCCE recognises that this scheme gives halls the confidence to know that their hall is well run against nationally set benchmarks and recognises the commitment and enthusiasm hall committees devote to running a community facility.

There are three levels to the Scheme, undertaken in sequence: Hallmark One checks charitable administration and management; Hallmark Two checks health and safety, security and licences; and Hallmark Three checks community involvement, social awareness and forward planning.

Once an application form is received, RCCE will arrange for two ‘Visitors’ to come to the hall and together with representatives from the committee, they will go through the Hallmark One checklist. ‘Visitors’ are either village hall committee members themselves or are volunteers who have worked with voluntary and community organisations.

The Hallmark Stages

Hallmark One

Assesses whether a hall is complying with the requirements of its charitable status. ‘Visitors’ look at hall meetings, trust deed, accounts, hiring, insurance and notices.

Hallmark Two

Assesses compliance with legislative issues. ‘Visitors’ look at health, safety, security and licences.

Hallmark Three

Examines the role of the hall in the community and how it interacts with its users and the wider community. ‘Visitors’ look at policies for hiring, finance, child safety, employment, marketing, trustee information packs, newsletters.

The Benefits of Hallmark

  • The knowledge and confidence that the hall committee is meeting nationally set standards of good management and charity administration
  • The opportunity to include on funding applications this known and recognised national standard. This will give funding bodies more confidence in the hall’s ability to deliver a project
  • Recognition by RCCE and ACRE of the dedication and work that the hall committee has given to provide a well managed and sustainable community facility

To apply for Hallmark One, please download the relevant documents :

  • Hallmark 1 Entry Form Aug 2008.pdf
  • VHMC Check list one August 2008.pdf
  • Hallmark committee docs for visit 1 4 08.pdf

If you have any queries or would like to discuss Hallmark, please contact Sue Sheppard, RCCE Village Halls and Community Buildings Adviser on tel: 01376 574330 or email Sue.Sheppard@essexrcc.org.uk

Halls that achieved Hallmark

Twenty one village halls & community buildings in Essex have achieved the Hallmark One Award:

  • STISTED VILLAGE HALL
  • BOREHAM VILLAGE HALL
  • GREAT WALTHAM HULTON HALL
  • COPFORD VILLAGE HALL
  • ASHDON VILLAGE HALL
  • EAST DONYLAND COMMUNITY CENTRE
  • BELCHAMP ST PAUL COMMUNITY HOUSE
  • GREAT TOTHAM VILLAGE HALL
  • DANBURY VILLAGE HALL
  • GREENSTEAD GREEN VILLAGE HALL
  • SOUTH GREEN MEMORIAL HALL
  • WEST BERGHOLT ORPEN HALL
  • RIDGEWELL VILLAGE HALL
  • WENDONS AMBO VILLAGE HALL
  • HELIONS BUMPSTEAD VILLAGE HALL
  • EAST HANNINGFIELD VILLAGE HALL
  • OXEARTH VILLAGE HALL
  • BRIGHTLINGSEA COMMUNITY CENTRE
  • TIPPS CROSS REMEMBRANCE HALL
  • SHEERING VILLAGE HALL
  • GREAT BROMLEY VILLAGE HALL

Congratulations to all the halls that have achieved the Hallmark One Award! If you would like your hall assessed for Hallmark One please contact Sue.Sheppard@essexrcc.org.uk.

Publications

VH1 Planning Fees for Village Halls
VH2 Parish Council Help for Village Halls
VH3 Providing services in village halls
VH4 Funding Trusts for Village Halls & Community Centres
VH5 Village Halls, Children and Young People
VH6 Village Halls and Registration for VAT
VH7 Village Hall Insurance Cover
VH8 Storage in village halls
VH9 The Village Hall and its Premises Licence
VH10 Alcohol in Village Halls
VH11 The Charities Act 1992, 1993 and 2006
VH12 Village Hall Car Parks
VH13 The Performing Right Society and tariff for Community Buildings
VH14 Asbestos
VH15 Health & Safety Legislation and Village Halls
VH16 How ‘green’ is your village hall?
VH17 Trustees – Roles and Responsibilities
VH18 Village Halls and VAT on Building Work and other purchases
VH19 Marketing your village hall
VH20 Health & Hygiene in Village Halls
VH21 Overnight accommodation in Village Halls
VH22 Village Hall as Employers
VH23 Steps to funding the fabric of community buildings
VH24 Village Halls and payment of Rates
VH25 Making Village Halls Accessible
VH26 Coping with VAT on Fuel and Power Supplies
VH27 Village Halls and Social Clubs
VH28 Creating a Business Plan
VH29 Bingo in Village Halls
VH30 The Village Hall: Heating
VH31 The Village Hall: Flooring
VH32 Recruiting and retaining volunteers
VH33 Gaming and Lotteries
VH34 Sale of Goods
VH35 Trustee Liability and Trustee Indemnity Insurance
VH36 Village Halls run by Parish Council as Sole Trustees
VH37 Fire Safety in Village Halls
VH38 Short guide to security in Village Halls
VH39 Village halls and incorporation
VH40 Village halls and governing documents
VH41 Accounting and village halls
VH42 Equality in village halls

Other publications available to purchase:

  • Plan, Design and Build Part 1 & 2
  • Model Hiring Agreement
  • Model Rules for Village Halls
  • Model Documents: ‘A’ for Freehold Properties; ‘B’ for Leasehold Properties
  • Accounting for Village Halls
  • Village Hall Management Health Check
  • Good Management Toolkit

To download these leaflets you will need to log in to our Members Area

Achieve savings of up to 30% on your current energy tariff with RCCE and Utility Aid!

RCCE has joined forces with the energy switching company Utility Aid to offer members and non-members the opportunity to achieve significant savings on your existing energy tariff.

Aimed primarily at our village hall and community building members, this offer is also available to other organisations such as:

  • Parish Council premises
  • Church halls
  • Church and faith buildings
  • Pre-school buildings
  • Premises owned or managed by charities or not for profit organisations

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, please download and complete the initial referral form below and return by email to: sue.gibson@essexrcc.org.uk or by post to RCCE, Threshelfords Business Park, Inworth Road, Feering, CO5 9SE.

UA offer a unique Wholesale energy purchasing scheme which RCCE members can join to achieve the best energy tariff for your hall. All you have to do is complete the attached Letter of Authority and return it to Sue Gibson at RCCE.

The Letter of Authority allows UA to check the tariff your hall is on, check your energy use, make recommendations of energy savings and offer a competitive energy tariff – all free of charge, confidential, and with no obligation to switch. Your hall committee will be given the timescale in which to discuss the proposals and if you wish to go ahead you speak directly to Nathan Jones, the contact at UA for RCCE members who will undertake the switching for you and be your main contact throughout.

UA helps charities by providing services that reduce their energy costs and help them become more energy efficient. Third sector groups can benefit from their wide range of services, including a free remote energy procurement audit and installation of smart meters. UA also advise on all energy matters, including a bill validation service that checks your bills for anomalies.

UA offer collective purchasing with volume Third Sector baskets already in place with the National Charity Tender and The Charity Wholesale Alliance. You can join regardless of the size of your organisation – you can even join and switch your personal domestic energy supply too!

If you have any queries, please contact Sue Gibson on tel: 01376 574330

RCCE & Utility Aid Letter of Authority