Have you booked your place yet?


We are running a special finance session for all Treasurers and trustees who have a particular interest in finance. The event will cover questions such as:

  • What are the Charity Commission requirements?
  • What information should be on the Annual Report?
  • Can we pay trustees?
  • Do we employ Staff or are they self-employed?
  • What are the financial implications?

The morning session 10am to 12:30pm – covers the role of the treasurer and trustee, governance requirements, Charity Commission register, book-keeping, and financial information for meetings.

The afternoon session 1pm to 3:30pm – looks at the Charity Commission requirements and reporting, annual account requirements, annual report, employment and payroll using HMRC Basic and RTI.

Course fees

Cambridgeshire ACRE Members: Free of charge for 1 delegate per hall/building. Additional places for delegates from the same hall/building will be charged at £15 per person and will be subject to availability.

Non-Members: £54 per delegate which covers your course fee and gives 1 year’s membership of Cambridgeshire ACRE. Additional places for delegates from the same hall/building will charged at £15 per person and will be subject to availability.

A light lunch will be provided.

This event will be taking place at the Cambridgeshire ACRE offices, 72 Market Street, Ely, CB7 4LS.  (There is FREE all day parking available in the town).

To book your place please register on-line, places are limited to 10 for this event.  Alternatively drop me an email.


Hallmark is underway

This week we visited and inspected our first hall to apply for Hallmark 1 accreditation, we will be announcing the outcome of this visit in the next few weeks.  If you are interested in taking part in the Hallmark scheme the process is straight forward and we are here to support you every step of the way.

Hallmark is a nationally recognised quality standard scheme for village halls and community facilities the benefits to your committee include:

  • Knowing that the committee has embedded good practice
  • Continued improvement in procedures
  • Gaining recognition for obtaining good standards in management
  • Give local communities confidence in your committee

There are 3 levels to achieve:

Hallmark 1 – covers charitable administration and management, assesses whether the hall is complying with the requirements of its charitable status.

Hallmark 2 – covers health, safety, security and licences, assesses compliance with legislative issues.

Hallmark 3 – covers community, social awareness, forward planning and development – examines and assesses the role of the hall in the community and how it interacts with its users and the wider community.

To take part:

    • Simply complete an on-line entry to register your interest http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/hallmarkentry/
    • We will provide a simple checklist to help you self-assess against the standard
    • Two fully-trained visitors will be assigned to complete a peer inspection of the venue
    • A report will be completed and the hall informed of the outcome

If you are interested in taking part but not sure where to start please give me a ring and we can have a chat about the process and how we can support you through the process.

Lisa Chambers on 01353 860850 or email: lisa.chambers@cambsacre.org.uk

Health & Hygiene in village halls

Our next coffee morning event will include the discussion topic of health and hygiene in your village hall.  The discussion will be centred around the ACRE information sheet 20 which can be downloaded from the members area of our website.

The information sheet covers everything you need to know about kitchens facilities, food preparation, toilet facilities, water regulations and cleaning procedures.  The information sheet also includes some useful templates for suggested check sheets to ensure set procedures are being followed and example information posters to display in your hall.

With trustees coming together at our coffee mornings this allows us all to share our experiences and ideas – an opportunity to discuss what policies and procedures are currently in place and what changes we may want to make.

If you are interested in attending the event it takes place on the 5th April (10:30-12:30) at Needingworth Village Hall.  Please contact me via email to book a place by following the link Lisa Chambers.

Chancellor urged to issue Budget VAT refund to village hall charities

ACRE is urging Government to pledge £3 million in the Budget to refund the VAT paid by village halls on improvement work such as modern kitchen and toilet facilities and new meeting rooms.

The cost of VAT on improvements hampers fundraising to improve these vital community buildings   ACRE Chairman, David Emerson CBE, has written to the Chancellor on behalf of ACRE’s Village and Community Halls Network to ask for VAT refunds for village halls and other similar charitable community buildings such as church halls, community centres and scout huts, all of which provide essential facilities for a wide range of community groups such as pre-schools, youth clubs, WIs, lunch clubs for the elderly and sports groups.

Mr Emerson says “A closely targeted VAT refund scheme would assist volunteers running charitable village halls and similar community buildings to update and adapt older buildings to better serve their communities in the light of changes in society, such as an ageing population and increased pre-school hours.

A VAT refund scheme would achieve immediate social and economic benefits without having to wait for a review of VAT rates post Brexit. It would demonstrate that the Government intends Brexit to achieve benefits right to the grassroots of communities throughout the UK”

Small village hall charities are not VAT registered so they cannot reclaim the 20% VAT on building work to update older halls, which means that a £200,000 refurbishment project incurs an extra £40,000 in non-reclaimable VAT. This tax on voluntary effort is widely felt to be unfair. Charitable community buildings underpin community life, particularly in rural areas where alternative facilities such as pubs, shops and schools have closed.

VAT refund schemes now operate for search and rescue services, hospices and historic churches which pave the way for a modest refund scheme for village hall.


Playground Safety

This article has been kindly provided by Ed Huston from Insure Your Village Hall, if you would like to contact Ed for further information please see the bottom of the article.


Every year many children are injured as a result of playground accidents. In many cases these accidents could have been avoided if the play area had been correctly maintained.

The obligation regarding duty of care is significantly increased whenever children are concerned.

Statistics have highlighted an alarming increase in the number of injuries to children in play areas, especially head injuries. It is therefore essential that the committee ensure that children are provided with as safe an environment as possible.

  • The siting of a play area should take into consideration:
    • Proximity to roads – safe crossings
    • Any potential water hazards for risks of drowning, health and pollution
    • Electricity pylons and substations for mechanical, electrical and electromagnetic hazards
  • Seek expert advice before installing any equipment and take careful note of the British Standards that apply regarding safety.
  • Impact absorbing surfaces are strongly recommended in order to minimise the likelihood of serious injury.
  • It is important that the playground equipment is inspected annually by a professionally qualified and independent person. If you need advice on this aspect we suggest you contact the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) or the Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII).
  • Arrange weekly inspections by a responsible adult and formally record findings. Check that all equipment and surrounding areas for litter, glass etc. and clear immediately.
  • If any equipment is found to be damaged or in a dangerous state ensure that it is taken out of use or repaired immediately.
  • Slides need to be placed facing away from the sun as chutes become extremely hot and can cause burns.
  • Erect signs stating that no dogs are allowed in the play area.
  • Enclose the play area with fencing and a gate which are designed to avoided trapping or impailing.
  • Supply waste bins and empty them regularly.
  • In the event of an injury, maintain a written report in your Accident Book and report the matter to your insurer immediately.
  • Siting and condition of trees and bushes should avoid the danger posed by climbing, eating poisonous berries or tripping over exposed roots.

For more detailed advice, visit the RoSPA website at http://www.rospa.com/play-safety/advice/

For guidance on all insurance matters contact – Insure Your Village Hall on 0330 123 5990 or visit us at www.insureyourvillagehall.co.uk

Insure Your Village Hall, 18A Drake Crescent, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 0XH.

Email: ed@precisionpartnership.com