Community buildings

Information and guidance for people who run community buildings, including village halls, community centres, church halls, social clubs, and other buildings that are available for hire by groups and individuals.

Introducing our Community Buildings Advice Service

If you are involved in running a village hall, community centre, or any kind of community building then we can help. Our Community Buildings Advice Service offers free guidance on a range of issues, such as:

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from Defra which has enabled us to offer this service free of charge for 2018-19.

Contact us for help with your hall or centre

Call 01962 857358 or email us.

Our Community Buildings Advice Service offers free support on the issues above and many more, through the following services:

  • Email and telephone guidance, which includes access to a library of Information booklets covering a wide range of issues
  • Regular email bulletins
  • Use of our online discussion forum on Basecamp (see below, under ‘Networking’, or email us to join in)
  • Training and networking events (some of these may have a small charge)
  • Face-to-face support at our Winchester office. Site visits can also be arranged, although there will usually be a charge due to the time commitment involved.

Your organisation needs to be a member of Action Hampshire in order to access our community buildings guidance. Don’t worry, though; applying for membership is free and you can do it online.

Regular news updates

We send regular free news bulletins by email, covering a wide range of topics of interest to local charities and non-profit groups. One strand of our news output is focused on community buildings so make sure you have signed up for our bulletins at this link. You can also see a list of our recent community buildings news items.

Networking – sharing ideas and expertise

We work with the Councils for Voluntary Service and district / borough councils across Hampshire to run regular free events where you can meet and share ideas with other people running community halls and centres.

See our community buildings training page for details of forthcoming meetings. The meetings are in a different venue each time so it’s a great opportunity to look around other centres and halls to see how they manage things. We expect you’ll take plenty of ideas and inspiration back home with you!

You can also connect online with your peers – sharing ideas, experiences, and difficulties with other people involved in running a community building. We have paid for a subscription to the Basecamp online discussion website so you can communicate directly with community hall trustees and staff across the Hampshire area. Just send us a quick email and we’ll invite you to join, completely free of charge.

Training

Action Hampshire organises regular training and briefing sessions for people involved in running community buildings. Details are here.

You can also see the latest news from Action Hampshire for information about other sessions we are running on topics of wider interest.

What our contacts have recently told us …

“That was one of the best training sessions I’ve attended.”
(Sandi Naylor, trustee director of SEHCO, after a training session on the role and responsibilities of charity trustees)

“Since becoming a trustee of a Town Hall I have required advice from Kevin on many occasions regarding a variety of subjects. The forthcoming help has been friendly, swift and very useful. "
(Brian Bennett, Stockbridge Town Hall)

What to do next