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The Great Dorset Halls Fair Report

Here is a brief summary of the 2013 Halls Fair which was a joint collaboration between the Dorset Village Halls Association, East Dorset District Council and Dorset Community Action, held at the Allendale Community Centre, Wimborne on 4th October 2013.

My thanks to all who participated or contributed, and especially to our District Council who provided the venue.
Baird Oldrey, Chairman


Our Aim was to help the Management Committees of all Community Halls in the County of Dorset in 3 ways:
1. An Exhibition of relevant Suppliers of Goods and Services
2. Presentations on Topics of interest
3. Advice sessions with experts in EDDC on Governance matters

and for our organisers:
To increase awareness of the Support services available from DCA and DVHA
To get a list of Managers with issues and their contact details
To help with understanding Council Services


Here are the organisations and their Halls Specialist contacts. Do please mention DVHA when contacting them.
Goods or Service   Name                   Best method to contact      Contact & Phone           
Adult education              Bournemouth & Poole College                          The Marketing Team 01202 205221
Association                     DCA                                Anita Hanson 
Association                     DVHA                               Baird Oldrey 01202 877458
Funding Entertainment     Artsreach                      
Funding Entertainment     Iain Campbell                                 Iain Campbell
Funding Entertainment     Moviola                                                         Emma Wyndham Blake 01425 480729
Insurance                       Allied Westminster                    Lorinda Whitaker 01937 845245
Insurance                       Aon Insurance                 or     07841 763105
Insurance                       Norris & Fisher                    Martyn Ingram
Insurance                       VH Plus Group                                Jennie Lane 01380 732807
IT Booking systems           Hallmaster                                              Bernard Hammick 01929 509842
Maintenance                   Frico Heating                                          Phil Alcock 07764 252155
Maintenance                   LedZip Lighting                                             Simon Hart 01202 577400
Maintenance                   MW Services                            Mike Wills
Maintenance                   Quick Test                                               Karen Croucher 01904 790017
Security                          Police Community Liaison          01425 476558                                      Brian Frecknall
Stage Equipment              CPS Group                                             01202 572000
Waste service                  Dorset Waste Partnership          01305 221040                                      Charlene in Commercial Dept


Trustee Responsibilities
Anita Hanson of DCA reminded us that where a Hall is also a Registered Charity, the Management Committee are all Trustees of the Hall, and so have a duty to look after the interests of the Hall, and not just the Club or Society whom they represent on the Committee.
DCA run courses for Trustees, and details are available on their website

Funding methods and Sources
Natasha Senior is the local specialist in DCA for help with finding funding for your Projects, large or small. This is a continually changing market, and DCA keep their finger on the pulse. Initial consultations are free, but any further specialist work in your requirements may be charged for under their Service Agreement.
Natasha outlined typical sources of Funding, and the services DCA can offer.

PAT Testing your portable electric equipment
There is a regular requirement to test and certify your portable electrical equipment to ensure it is safe for use. Several local Electrical specialists can do this for you, but if you have a large number of devices to test, it may well be worth getting test equipment to do it yourself (after suitable training). Karen Croucher of Quick Test Ltd. showed that this is not rocket science with their equipment. Talk to her soon to take advantage of significant offers to us.

Managing your Hall Promotion and Bookings
Bernard Hammick of Hallmaster Systems Ltd. talked about the requirement and methods to promote your hall and the events taking place there. This links closely to the need to manage the bookings for your hall, and administer invoicing for bookings as well.

Advice Services

Martha Perry and Ron Tomlin of East Dorset District Council (now becoming Christchurch and East Dorset Council) were on hand to discuss issues with local Governance, such as Planning and Rates , and to either outline the current Council policies, or provide contact details for the relevant departments.
Later in the Day, Charlene came from the Commercial Department of the Dorset Waste Partnership to answer queries about the planned changes in Hall Waste collections next year. See our News article on the website dated 25th September.


We had 32 delegates from 25 Halls attend the Halls Fair across the day, and were able to include the AGM for DVHA at the end - a separate report of this will be published shortly. It would have been nice to have met more delegates from a wider area, but we recognise that this event was taking place at one end of the county, and it's quite a drive from the other side.
Any event like this also provides the opportunity for meeting other Hall Managers with similar issues and problems, and we saw several discussions going on in the 'sitting out' area.
We broadly achieved the objectives of the three joint sponsors, and all the Exhibitors made good contact with current and potential clients. We hope to repeat the Halls Fair again next year, hopefully visiting another area of the County.
What was good was to be able to extend our reach beyond Village Halls to other types of Community venue - Guides and Scouts, Churches etc, as well as the Community halls in Bournemouth and Poole.