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Dorset Village Halls Association

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The Dorset Village Halls Association is a separate body to Dorset Community Action. It is an association of village halls with its own constitution and management committee. It obviously has mutual interests to the Village Halls Advisory Service and we work together where possible on a range of projects. Here is introduction to the Association and what it offers ...


The Association was formed in 2005 as a self-help group for village hall management committees in the face of increasing legislation and declining assistance from central government.


To benefit all our members by more than the effort and funds we contribute.


The Association has three main directions:

  • To help its members locally by sharing knowledge, and providing information and advice towards good governance
  • To work with Dorset Community Action in giving grass-roots support to halls and to achieve continued support from the councils
  • To assist in lobbying central government through active contribution to the National Village Halls Forum

Benefits of Membership

  • Networking

Opportunities for meeting other hall management committee members with similar issues and problems, and avoid competition between local halls

  • Information

Sharing knowledge on general and specific subjects; for example, we were recently asked for suppliers of stage curtains, and provided the sources from two recent installations.  We share knowledge on newer sources of funding, now that the lottery is concentrating on funding the Olympics.

We can avoid being ‘railroaded by hearsay’ on potential statutory requirements – for example licensing and fire risk assessment

We have the opportunity to get better speakers for a larger meeting on specialist subjects when required

  • Cooperation

Joint buying of common requirements – Insurance has become more expensive each year, but recent new group schemes have saved member halls a significant amount.

We enable sharing of facilities – projectors, screens, sound & lighting, display screens, portable staging etc. once there is suitable storage.

  • Expansion

The website encourages bookings from outsiders.  We are building a database of the facilities in each hall.

We have promoted the ‘Connecting Dorset’ project to introduce Internet facilities into some 40 halls in the county.

  • Goodwill

Increasing personal reward of doing the job better, knowing we are not alone in the issues we face, and being able to give and receive help.

  • Benefits for others

A qualified and quantified voice to assist representation at district and county for the needs of the communities for which we provide facilities

We provide grass-roots feedback to go to the National Village Halls Forum

  • Operation

We exist for the managements of village halls in all of Dorset, including the unitary authorities of Poole & Bournemouth.

We have an executive committee with a chairman, secretary, treasurer and representatives from each of our areas. This meets several times each year to assist the areas and coordinate projects.

We have a full meeting once a year as an AGM, when the officers can be appointed.  We will hold training meetings on specific topics in various areas when there is sufficient interest.

We cover the basic operating costs from our annual subscriptions, but will also be canvassing for funding from the county.

But mostly, we are what you, our members, make of the Association

  • Membership:

Membership costs £10.00 per annum and runs from May each year to the end of the following April.