Support for village and community halls falls to Dorset Community Action as the Rural Community Council for Dorset and it provides this service through the Village and Community Halls Advisory Service and the part time post of Village and Community Halls Adviser. The Halls Adviser works closely with the Dorset Village Halls Association which is a members organisation run by and for Dorset's village halls.
These two roles come together to provide different aspects of support to Dorset's halls and the organisations work together towards this objective, the result of which is the Dorset Halls Network [www.dorsethalls.net, this site!]. The internet presence is backed up practical action 'on the ground' with one to one advice on strategic matters to village halls, providing training and monitoring quality on day to day hall management issues, and the general development and well being of the county's halls, both in villages and urban communities.
If we were to PIN-point our objectives they would be:
To help halls market their spare capacity as a venue for events, seminars, conference, parties and so on; especially during week day times and at weekends when local activities have less of a demand. We also help to put people in touch with those activities that are already going on in our halls.
There are many aspects involved in running a hall and, as management committees are formed of volunteers, from time to time information and advice is needed on all sorts of topics. Through this website we make available information sheets and briefing papers on a wide range of issues that halls may encounter.
It is surely desirable for hall committee members from across the county to meet with each other, share experiences, discuss issues and provide mutual support. Both through this on-line facilities and through regular events we attempt to bring people with a genuine interest in hall management together, to meet with each other and to share.
To benefit from these services a hall needs to be a member of the Dorset Village Halls Association. This costs just £10.00 a year.