In the modern, light and comfortable surroundings of the village hall, delegates heard presenters give talks on topics of particular interest to hall management committees and this year the subjects covered new and interesting ways of fundraising and encouraging people into the hall, together with topics on IT, websites, financial services and music licences.

After a welcome talk by Nick Shuttleworth, RCCE Director, the programme got underway with interesting and informative presentations from: Petra and Richard, Highwood Village Hall, Matthew Morling of Essex Online, Keith Derry of Essex Environment Trust, Rhyanneth Robertson and Victoria Hill of the Reel Picture House and Shelley Rudling of Colchester CVS accounts service.

Following a lovely lunch provided by Sonia Clere catering, we welcomed Lord Petre, patron of RCCE and a Trustee of the Augustine Courtauld Trust to present the RCCE Augustine Courtauld Awards.  Representatives from the four winning applications came forward to collect prizes:

1st Prize of £1000 was awarded to Tollesbury Community Association towards the purchase of a projector and screen for the establishment of the Tollywood Filme Club.
2nd Prize of £500 to Colne Engaine Village Hall towards the essential replacement of the boiler.
3rd Prize of £300 to Radwinter Village Hall towards the purchase of a PA system.
4th Prize of £150 to Sturmer Village Hall for the purchase of a projector and screen for all hirers to use.

Delegates then heard from Sue Mitchell, a local resident and organiser of Catch Up Cafe, Yvonne Gibbs of Rowhedge Village Hall talked about holding quiz nights at your hall and Margaret Axon explained how the book shop at Danbury Village Hall worked.

Towards the end of the afternoon, Shelley Labett of RCCE explained the RCCE Oil Buying Scheme and Sue Sheppard, RCCE Hall Adviser rounded the day off with an update on PRS/PPl, governance, employment and energy saving ideas. 

Our thanks to Highwood Village Hall committee for their hospitality and we look forward to next years event at a venue to be decided.