Community Buildings Advice Service

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The Community Buildings Advice Service (CBAS) is a ‘must have’ service for anyone who manages or runs community halls and public buildings. 

Emergency Planning Training, Purley on Thames

Community Buildings Advice Service (CBAS) can help with:

  • Legal advice for compliance with relevant legislation
  • Risk assessments
  • Fire prevention
  • Health & Safety
  • Insurance
  • Building maintenance
  • Licensing
  • Energy efficiency
  • Access to a digital platform – ‘Basecamp’ enables members to directly access information sheets/model documents, see a program of training opportunities and chat with the advisor and other village hall trustees on the messaging site.
  • Hire charges
  • Employing staff
  • Fundraising and grant application
  • Planning/Development/Refurbishment projects
  • Management committees
  • Trustee roles and responsibilities
  • VAT & Tax
  • Business plan
  • Buildings maintenance

Meeting your needs   Your CBAS advisor will support you in the way that best meets your needs; Site visit – phone support – email support – committee meeting

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Kate Meads, CBAS Advisor

Training    We provide training on all aspects of running your community building, including; Trustee Roles, Fire Risk Assessment, Funding, Food Hygiene, Safeguarding, GDPR and much more. Training is either FREE or at a reduced cost to CBAS members.

E-newsletters    Bi-monthly newsletters keep you up to date on current issues e.g. Charity Commission, Gift Aid, Tax changes. It is packed full of useful information and editorials e.g. Insurance issues, general housekeeping tasks, and stories from local halls.

2022 Village Halls Launch

Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE)   As a member of the National ACRE Network, your CBAS advisor has access to a comprehensive resource and information library to support all your needs.

Membership in CBAS is open to anyone running a community building or village hall. Annual Membership is £180 and may be subject to a reduction in some local council areas. 

To join or find out more Email: kate.meads@ccberks.org.uk Tel: 0118 961 2000

Examples of the help CBAS membership can provide

Village Hall in Berkshire: “Our Hall’s status changed and we were now deemed to be in a High Risk flood area. Our insurance premium hugely increased and we were asked to pay a £10,000 excess on any claims. Advice from the CBAS advisor, Kate, enabled us to get a £200 reduction in fees and much better insurance terms. We saved more than our annual membership fee!”

Training in Berkshire: “I attended a workshop for Parish Councillors, Village Hall and Recreation Ground Trustees. We learned about the complexity of governance structures and how we can work to support each other. It was great to work in groups to understand more about the issues we face and how we can solve them.”

Environmental Audit Training
Beech Hill Memorial Hall

Village Halls Podcast –

In the UK, there are more than 10,000 village, church, and community halls or centres, each run and supported ( as we know!) by incredible groups of volunteers. Village Halls are not simply places for social and physical activities, often they are the lifeblood of local communities and a real lifeline for people of all ages, offering essential services and at times emergency facilities. As such they’re a critical part of the national infrastructure. This podcast provides useful advice and support to those that are involved closely with village halls and is well worth a listen: https://thevillagehallspodcast.com/

Activating Village Halls

With funding from charity Get Berkshire Active we recently ran a successful ‘Activating Village Halls’ project. Outcomes included halls providing new low-impact movement classes for the elderly, disabled, isolated, and Boxfit for your people. Ten new courses of activity were delivered in 6 different locations in Berkshire helping reduce isolation and improve physical activity for their residents.

Case Study; You are Not Alone – help and training support provided to Village Hall Trustees in Berkshire Post Covid-19 lockdown

Village Halls and Community Buildings play a major part in community life in Berkshire and pre-Covid provided a fantastic meeting point for fitness & dance classes, indoor markets, afternoon teas, weight management programs, brownies/cubs meetings, lunch clubs, birthday parties, toddler groups, theatre performances and many more ‘coming together’ opportunities. The role that village halls play in helping local people to combat loneliness and isolation should not be undervalued and like many other groups and businesses have suffered from a lack of income during the lockdown and a new set of seemingly confusing and ever-changing rules in re-opening. Kate with help from our national network Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), pulled together a course specifically designed to help and re-assure trustees regarding how they can re-open safely and measures they need to arrange to ensure that can happen safely. The course was very well attended and received some fantastic comments from learners.

“Very informative especially on how to risk assess and when to safely open the hall.  Advice about checking the objectives of the Charity so that specific activities may re-start rather than just keeping the hall permanently closed.  Have had confirmation that the hall will receive a grant and this will help hugely to cover loss of income and to pay for necessary PPE and extra cleaning.”

“Faced with a daunting amount of paperwork, I was very worried about what we needed to do about reopening our Hall. Kate’s presentation was very reassuring and gave me the confidence to get on with the job!