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Dorset Halls Network - in depth

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What is the Dorset Halls Network?

The ‘Dorset Halls Network’ is an Internet based support and information system for Dorset’s village and community halls. You can access it at:


It is important to understand that this website has two faces! When you first access it you see the ‘Public’ face; the one the general public will see with information aimed at them promoting your hall and its activities. Once you LOG IN you see the ‘Private’ face; the one open only to people like you as members of village and community hall management committees.

Who can use the site?

We can only grant one LOG IN per hall HOWEVER you are free to let any member of your hall committee have these details, they can all log in using that same user name/password combination. We can only have one email address for each hall as well. It is vital that we are sending information to the right person within a committee and that they are ensuring that information reaches their colleagues.

How do you interact with the site and service?

You may want to have a discussion within your committee to see who is the most appropriate member to act as, what we have called, the ‘Information Pivot’.  We see this person actively engaging with the site and keeping the hall’s information complete and update date as well as receiving and disseminating information to others. This will become an increasingly important role as the service develops. 94% of our member halls have email access already (as at 1st March) and so we are using the Internet as our primary means of getting information to you. We are looking for 100% coverage of course so if you possibly can please find an ‘Information Pivot’ person!

What does the site give us?

The website has three primary objectives which are:

1.       To provide you with the means to advertise and promote your hall, your activity groups and your events

2.       To give you access to information and advice when you need it and not only when the DCA adviser is at work

3.       To stimulate a network  of communication and mutual support amongst halls who often have had to press on alone with little help from outside

How does the site do this?

See on the other side of this page!





Venue Finder

1.       Enables people to locate suitable venues for conferences, away days, seminars, parties, etc

2.       Provides the basic information a particular hirer might need without having to bother your bookings clerk unnecessarily

3.       Provides information and photos to allow people see the benefits of hiring your hall

Activity Finder

1.       Enables people to see what goes on in your hall and when, important to new people moving in to your community

2.       Enables people with a particular interest or need to find a hall near them that caters for that interest or need

3.       Enables clubs and groups of like mind to get in touch with each other and share activities, ideas, equipment, etc or perhaps joint events (sports matches for example)

Event Finder

1.       Enables halls to advertise ‘one off’ events that they, or others (like Artsreach for example), are running

2.       Enables people with a particular interest (say in car boot sales) to find events going on that they can support

3.       Demonstrates the vitality and life of a community or village


ACRE Documents

1.       Gives on-line access whenever it is needed to library of professionally researched and written papers on all kinds of hall management matters

2.       For halls needing an equal opportunities policy or a comprehensive hiring agreement there is a range of suitable model documents always available

3.       Do download on demand any of these documents to print out for others if required of to modify for ones own use.

DCA Advisory


1.       Has details of the Capital Grants programme complete with application form whenever you need it

2.       Information about the ‘Hallmark’ quality assurance scheme and how to apply for recognition to Hallmark standards

3.       Access to information on currently available training programmes run either by DCA or other suitable agencies

DVHA Information

1.       A chance to keep up to date with the latest news from the organisation that represents you and you interests

2.       See the minutes of committee meetings, learn about the latest issues and what is being planned or discussed

Knowledge Base

1.       Information and papers from a wide array of sources available to help and guide you, again, whenever you need it

Information Finder

1.       Find information on the site about any particular subject by using a category index facility

2.       Find information on the site about any particular subject by using a phrase search facility


Classified Ads

1.       Got something to sell, hire or lend that other halls might want? Use the classified ads!

2.       Looking for something to buy, hire or borrow that another hall might have? Classified ads could be the answer.

Discussion Forum

1.       Got a question? Ask it on the discussion forum and see if someone in another hall has the answer from their experience

2.       Got an opinion or a view and want to air it? Post it on the discussion forum

Events Diary

1.       See details of events of direct interest to hall trustees and management committees (training, exhibitions, seminars, etc)


1.       New to the site? Catch up with news, notices and announcements that were issued before you joined

2.       Lost that bit of information you know was in a newsletter? See the back issues here

Polls and Surveys

1.       Help us gather data for lobbying and fighting the cause of halls by participating in our easy to use polls and surveys.