VILLAGE HALL AGM ANNUAL REPORT - MAY 2023
The last AGM was in November 2021 at which Mike Smith was the presiding Chair.
Mike resigned at this meeting and I would like to thank him for his time and his contribution to the management of the Village Halls.
I would also like to thank all the trustees from the individual groups, who resigned at this time as we started to operate as a CIO.
Philip Latham took over the role of Chair. I would like to mention the debt which our Charity and indeed our village owe to Philip. He was a much-respected motivational figure in Riding Mill and beyond for many decades, Philip served his community with modesty and distinction.
Despite an awareness that his time with us was limited, Philip gave generously as the first Chair of the new CIO until very shortly before his death. We shall continue to miss Philip’s quiet wisdom and steady hand for many years to come. Thank you, Philip.
There have been a lot of changes over the last year. We have said goodbye to several trustees and would like to thank them all for their time and contribution. We are however, delighted to welcome our new trustees, Kathleen, Chris and Adrian.
The trustees are keen to encourage the recruitment of additional members who can offer skills and experience that can help to ensure that the Charity continues to improve its facilities and services to the community.
We were very sad to lose Suzanne, our hall manager, 18months ago, because of health problems. We still do not have a hall manager, but in February last year, we welcomed Ashna as our cleaner.
Early last year there had been much discussion about the fate of the Oak Tree behind the Millennium Hall. It is old and needs regular inspection. It was eventually decided that it would have a ‘haircut’ and this happened in March and it looked awful until the greenery began to appear.
Continuing with the Millennium Hall, the problem with the underfloor heating has been sorted and it was discovered that there is also a ducted hot air system. This has been repaired and will give a quick boost to the warmth of the hall.
As many of you know, the Millennium Hall was out of commission from August until the New Year. It is now fully operational again, busier than ever having welcomed some new groups and there have been a number of ‘one off’ bookings.
The ownership of the Millennium Hall has now been fully transferred to the Charitable Incorporated Organisation, the CIO.
Colin Craig-Gilby offered to investigate and set up an online booking system for the halls. This became fully operational in January 2022. This means that anyone can access the digital diary and see when a hall is available for hire. Once a booking is confirmed and the details are entered the system will generate an invoice.
Last year we installed a new audio-visual system and hearing loop in the Parish Hall. This was funded by a grant from from the National Lottery, Awards for All. This has made a big difference to Film Night, presentations, slide shows and was also used during the pantomime to show the ‘village film’ in which some of you featured.
In January the Parish Hall was awarded Warm Hub status Warm Hubs are run by local people for local people. They are a place where people can find a safe, warm and friendly environment to enjoy refreshments, social activity and the company of others. This has been achieved by our wonderful volunteers. Thank you – all of you.
The market table and book exchange which evolved during lockdown, continue to flourish.
Community Action Northumberland was awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to run a project to preserve, record and share the heritage of Northumberland’s Village Halls. There are over 200 halls in Northumberland and we were chosen as one of 15 village halls that took part in the first year of this project, which was last year, 2022.
People asked - why do you have two halls in Riding Mill? We are the only village in Northumberland that has two halls. So that was our project, the history of the Millennium Hall.
As part of our commitment to working with the community to better serve the community, we carried out a survey of the halls users. The results of which, will be used to help with future plans and decisions.
We would like to thank St James’s and the Parish Council for their continued support and help, and finally to thank our trustees.
Riding Mill Village Halls CIO Charity No: 1192248 Open Meeting 24th May 2023 PDF click to download....