ACT's Community Buildings Service offers guidance covering three main areas: Governance; Funding and Project Planning; and People Skills.
Click here for an information sheet detailing support ACT can offer. Additional free support may also be available for some community buildings and village halls if ACT has funding to work in your area, contact us to check whether you’re eligible.
We have a wide range of resources, including Guidance Sheets and Workbooks available online via the Resources and Publications page. Should you need specialist advice we can put you in touch with people with the necessary skills. We can also provide national village hall information sheets, free of charge on request, to halls in Cumbria.
We can help you think about the needs of your local community and to consider ways in which the assets you already manage: village halls, open spaces, allotments and so on, might be used to meet those needs. For example, some communities in Cumbria have started community cafes or ‘Community Exchanges' using their village hall as a social hub where local people can access a variety of services as well as enjoying meeting one another.
Our Community Buildings Directory provides information on village halls and community buildings in Cumbria - useful for anyone looking for a venue, and a great opportunity for halls to promote what they have to offer. If your community building’s details are missing, or need to be updated, please complete this form and send it to us at ACT.
We've updated our 'Village Halls Guide to Funders' with guidance to help you write funding applications, and summary information for many of the grant funds your hall project may be eligible for.
Hallmark is a nationally recognised award, promoting good management and practice by Community Building Management Committees. Community Buildings with Hallmark can benefit from insurance discounts and gain recognition on funding applications as the award acts as evidence of the high standard of the committee members and the merit of the hall.
There are 3 Hallmark awards covering: 'Charity administration and management'; 'Health, safety, security and licences'; and 'Community & social awareness, communications, forward planning and development'
Case studies highlighting the experiences of community buildings, their learning, and celebrating their achievements are also available. These include short video interviews with village halls committee members who have been involved in a variety of projects, and an interview with The Big Lottery providing advice for community buildings looking to access funding.
Guidance to help you look at the income you get from your room hire, and whether this is enough for you to cover your costs. If you aren’t making enough from people hiring your hall, you will be eating into your reserves and you may need to find other sources of funding to keep your hall open.
This toolkit aims to help village hall committees consider the main risks for their hall and to access further information to help manage these risks effectively. Risk is often a topic which focuses on Health and Safety, or a crisis situation. This toolkit takes a more holistic approach to the range of risks for halls, and categories these under four key headings of: Law and Governance; People; Money; and Buildings.
Contact us to find out more about ACT's Community Buildings Service and visit the Events page for more information about Community Buildings training and events.
Many thanks to the following organisations for supporting our work with community buildings:
Communities across Cumbria are preparing for Village Halls Week – a national celebration of village halls, their volunteers, and the services they offer their communities. This year Village Halls Week runs from Monday 20th to Sunday 26th January, and begins with a launch event at the House of Commons, hosted by Defra Minister Lord Gardiner of Kimble.
Hellen Aitken from Cumbrian community development charity ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) will be attending the launch in London, together with David Anderson, Chairman of Kirkby in Furness Community Centre, one of three Cumbrian halls to recently benefit from funding from the Defra funded Village Hall Improvement Grant.
Members of the Cumbria Village Halls Network got together last week for a free workshop on using websites and social media. The group met in the cosy community room at Dufton Village Hall, using their recently installed broadband. With help from web-designer Phil Guest, the workshop was a whistle-stop tour of what makes a good website and how to make best use of social media for promotion.
The Village Halls Network is a way for committee members and trustees of community buildings across Cumbria to share practical ideas, relevant experience and to ask for help and advice. Members get together periodically, as well as supporting each other remotely.
Not only have the dedicated volunteers at Hunsonby Community Centre raised £300,000 to refurbish their community building, they’ve also been awarded a nationally recognised Hallmark quality standard for good governance.
Ofgem is carrying out a call for evidence for households who are not connected to the electricity distribution network, which we know at ACT is an issue for a significant number of Cumbrian residents
On the 13th November it is World Kindness Day, so as part of the #KindCumbria campaign we’ll be encouraging people to think about random acts of kindness and celebrating this on 13th November with our own very special 'Kind Cumbria Day'. Read more to find out how you can get involved.
The census rehearsal is in full swing and residents are being urged to complete their questionnaires online or at a community hub in Carlisle. The rehearsal will enable the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to test some of the systems and processes it has put in place ahead of the digital-first 2021 Census.
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