Whixley Village Hall AGM
Tuesday 26th March 2019
I am delighted to say 2018 has been an outstanding year: The Village Hall has benefitted from tremendous improvements to its facilities and has achieved planning permission for even further improvements. In addition, a new fundraising initiative has been successfully introduced, new clubs and activities developed, participation within existing activities increased and the hall’s financial and booking systems brought on-line.
Firstly, I would like to focus on the improvements made to Village Hall’s facilities.
- This last year has seen significant improvement to the Village Hall’s entrance foyer and toilets and this has been a major undertaking for the Village Hall Committee. The new design provides the Village Hall with a light, attractive, modern entrance foyer together with an adjacent accessible toilet, baby changing facility and three further toilet cubicles. The new facilities have been universally welcomed as providing a substantial and attractive improvement to the Village Hall.
- Redesigning the entrance foyer provided an opportunity to install a bar facility in the main hall. The new bar is well equipped with a glass washer, drinks cooler, stainless steel sink, wash basin and shelving. Again, this has an attractive modern look and has provided a much valued additional resource to the village hall.
- In addition, the main hall has had new steel curtain rails fixed and new curtains fitted. The overall effect making the hall lighter and a more attractive venue.
- Further work in the main hall has been to replace the flimsy curtaining to the front of the stage with timber cupboard doors, providing more robust and attractive access to the under stage storage.
- Outside, the new grass cutting contract, along with the support of Steve Wright, has greatly improved the playing fields, the children’s playground and has restored the football field. Unfortunately, as yet, none of these resources brings income to the Village Hall and therefore their upkeep remains dependent on fundraising activities.
- All the above developments have been made possible through the support of the friends of Whixley Village Hall and by the management committee’s success: in achieving financial grants, in encouraging local sponsorship, in improving fundraising activities and by prudent financial management.
I now wish to turn to the role of the management trustees. Put simply, as Management Trustees to Whixley Village Hall, our objective is to enhance the lives of those living in Whixley and its surrounding areas. To do this we need a building fit for purpose and a programme of activities responsive to local needs. I am delighted to report that not only have activities introduced in recent years grown in membership, but 2018 has seen exciting improvements to provision and income generation that will help to further secure the village hall’s long term viability.
- The Snooker Club, Bridge Club, Film Club, Luncheon Club, Yoga and Children’s Playgroup have all successfully increased membership over the last twelve months. I am grateful for the efforts of their organisers and I wish to thank them all on behalf of the Committee.
- “Strictly Whixley”, weekly dance lessons are a new development attracting around 18 participants each week. Moreover, this initiative demonstrates a successful response to expressions of interest captured by the Whixley Village Hall website.
- I am delighted Whixley Village Hall is now established as home to the 1st Marston Moor Cub Scouts. I am confident this relationship will provide a long term benefit to youngsters in and around Whixley and provide a healthy income stream for the village hall.
- The new bar installation in the main hall has provided further opportunity to increase the hall’s income and the recent introduction of a cashless system, enhances this even further.
- The launch of Whixley Village Hall local lottery has already attracted over one hundred participants. With participants making regular payments of £2 per month, for ten months, this venture has the potential to provide a substantial annual income.
Looking forward, my priorities for the Village Hall’s immediate future are twofold:
- Firstly, to encourage and sustain membership to the Village Hall Management Committee, I believe we need to explore means of removing the barriers which presently discourage participation.
- Secondly, in order to improve the Village Hall’s facilities to the standards we desire, we need to achieve further funding. To do this, we need to identify the ways in which the building’s shortcomings presently inhibit and discourage wider participation.
There have been considerable improvements to the Hall’s entrance hall and main hall. Nevertheless, the hall’s kitchen is in need of an upgrade and modernisation; and the Community Lounge and Store are simply not fit for purpose. I believe improving these facilities should remain the Management Committee’s long term goal.
Finally this evening I would like to thank all members of the Village Hall Committee for their support over the last twelve months.
- It should be remembered that the Village Hall is run by a small team of unpaid volunteers. Some committee members have young families, some have busy work commitments whilst others are retired. All have significant demands on their time. However, whatever their contribution, large or small, it is greatly valued and it considerably enhances the life of Whixley residents and those of the surrounding areas.
- Once again, the support of Committee members and others has been tremendous. Through their hard work in organising fundraising events: e.g. The Pantomime, the 10k and 5K runs, the Lottery, the annual bonfire, the Bridge afternoon and the Easter Bunny Egg Hunt, the Village Hall finances continue in a healthy state. I therefore wish to thank all Committee members for their support in achieving this success.
- However, I do need to thank two specific individuals: Vice Chairman, Ian McNeill and Treasurer and Bookings Secretary, Kevin Haines
- Ian has revolutionised communication in Whixley. The Village and Village Hall websites, which together with his monthly updates, provide a mine of information. Not satisfied with simply dragging Whixley communications into the 21st Century, Ian has also revolutionised the Village Hall’s booking and payment systems.
- Kevin has similarly re-engineered the Village Hall’s hiring system and financial accounting systems. In addition, he has modernised our stock control procedures and developed a lucrative business contract with Majestic Wines.
In addition, I must thank the many friends of Whixley Village Hall, who whilst not committee members, nevertheless contribute many hours of hard work to support the Village Hall to ensure its continued success.
In conclusion, during 2018 the Village Hall has benefitted from significantly improved facilities, increased provision and increased participation. The Village Hall now has a healthy bank balance and far more robust income stream. 2018 has been an outstanding year.
Chairman, Whixley Village Hall Management Committee