Re-opening your community building

The Government has laid out its recovery plans in ‘Our Plans to Rebuild’ and these plans are contingent on the “R” rate of CV 19 infection not increasing. The plans may be adjusted or rescinded either nationally or, possibly, in certain parts of the country in the light of any changing situation.

Within the plan Government is aiming for nurseries and Pre-Schools to open from 1st June 2020, providing the infection rate does not increase.

The next step would be that public buildings could open from, at the earliest, the 4th July, however, it is unlikely crowded events for example theatrical productions, wedding receptions or similar events will be permitted until sometime later.

ACRE will issue separate guidance on the wider opening of community buildings and ACRE representatives are currently in consultation with Government on this information. We are expecting further news about how community buildings will re-open to the wider public in the next few weeks.

ACRE has today released guidance on Opening for Pre-Schools as from 1st June 2020, you can download a copy of this document by clicking on the link below:

Zoom meetings the new normal?

In the last few weeks we have found ourselves quickly adapting to a new way of living during lock down. Some of us are lucky and we can easily work from home and this has seen us use video conferencing much more to keep in touch with work colleagues, family and our volunteering commitments.

Our recent survey of village hall trustees informed us that many of you are using video conferencing to keep in touch, hold meeting and importantly take vital decisions for your charity at this time. With this in mind we wanted to share with you our short fact sheet on using Zoom, this can be downloaded by clicking on the button/link below. So if you haven’t yet tried this as a way to hold committee meetings you may like to give it a go!

If you haven’t yet had chance to complete our short survey on the impact of COVID-19 lockdown we would be very grateful if you could follow the link and take part, the information we can gain from the survey will enable us to continue to support the community building network during this time and ensure you are represented both locally and nationally.

Click the link to take part in the survey

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Covid-19feedback/

If there is any support or guidance we can offer you at this time please contact us by emailing lisa.chambers@cambsacre.org.uk or phone 01353 865048

ACRE national survey date extended

The national community building survey being undertaken by ACRE, was originally due to close on the 31st March but this date has now been extended to Thursday 30th April 2020, it’s so important that as many venues as possible take part.

A massive thank you to the 64 community buildings in Cambridgeshire who have already taken part!  However, there are around 300 community buildings in our county and it would be brilliant if we could encourage as many as possible to take part. Your views are valued and will allow us to continue to represent the network both locally and nationally.
 
ACRE wants to encourage all kinds of community buildings that provide facilities for their communities to take part. Not just traditional village halls but community centres, sports pavilions, church halls, churches providing community use, community centres, WI halls and community pubs providing meeting rooms.  So please share this information with any other local facilities you are aware of in your area.

What do you need to do to take part?

Simply click the links below and help ACRE help you.

 https://acre.org.uk/cms/resources/survey-instructions.pdf – Survey instructions it is advisable to read these before starting the process.

https://acre.org.uk/cms/resources/national-village-and-community-hall-survey-2020.pdf – Copy of the questions to view ahead of completing the survey you may like to discuss this with your committee members

Please allow around an hour to complete the survey

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NationalVillageandCommunityHallSurvey2020 – This is the link to complete the survey on-line.

https://acre.org.uk/our-work/national-village-and-community-hall-survey – ACRE website with further information if required.

Please remember to share this message with any community facility in your area so we can get the as many responses as possible.

If you have any questions please contact Lisa Chambers via email lisa.chambers@cambsacre.org.uk or phone 01353 865048

National survey date extended

The national community building survey being undertaken by ACRE, was originally due to close on the 31st March but this date has been extended to Monday 20th April 2020, it’s so important that as many venues as possible take part.

A massive thank you to the trustees who have already taken part.  There are well over 300 community buildings in our county and it would be wonderful if we could encourage as many as possible to take part.
 
ACRE wants to encourage all kinds of community buildings that provide facilities for their communities to take part. Not just traditional village halls but community centres, sports pavilions, church halls, churches providing community use, community centres, WI halls and community pubs providing meeting rooms.  So please share this information with any other local facilities you are aware of in your area.

What do you need to do to take part?

Simply click the links below and help ACRE help you.

 https://acre.org.uk/cms/resources/survey-instructions.pdf – Survey instructions it is advisable to read these before starting the process.

https://acre.org.uk/cms/resources/national-village-and-community-hall-survey-2020.pdf – Copy of the questions to view ahead of completing the survey you may like to discuss this with your committee members

Please allow around an hour to complete the survey

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NationalVillageandCommunityHallSurvey2020 – This is the link to complete the survey on-line.

https://acre.org.uk/our-work/national-village-and-community-hall-survey – ACRE website with further information if required.

Please remember to share this message with any community facility in your area so we can get the as many responses as possible.

If you have any questions please contact Lisa Chambers via email lisa.chambers@cambsacre.org.uk or phone 01353 865048

Coronavirus: Rural Halls and Small Charities

National ACRE has provided the following information, you can also view this via the ACRE website, please click the link:

Thousands of village halls will be temporarily closing their doors to the communities they have supported; some for over 100 years. For the community there is dismay and uncertainty about when they will be open again and their committees will be taking a hard look at the long-term future of their Hall.

We have spoken to committees who feel they are in a precarious situation but also to those who have enough reserves to keep them going.

So, what is ACRE doing?

  • In the early stages of the crisis we provided guidance to the ACRE Network on the process for Halls considering closure of their Hall
  • We have been in discussion with the rural team at Defra so that they are fully informed of the issues facing village halls now. Defra are working closely with the Communities Team at the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. Thank you to those village hall committees who have come forward and provided detail of the likely financial impact should the hall need to stay closed for a long period.
  • ACRE Board and Senior Management are working alongside other infrastructure bodies to clarify how the proposals for supporting businesses can also support charities.
  • ACRE is now in discussion with Government for financial support fund for halls at risk.

Meanwhile the National Village Hall Survey is live until Monday 20th April 2020.
Please complete it; tell us all about your Hall as this information will now be so important as evidence of the valuable roles of halls in rural communities. If you have started to complete the Survey now is the time to log back in and complete it!

National Village Hall Survey is available here

Insurance information update

As Trustees you may be concerned about your village hall or community building being unoccupied over the coming weeks and months, please see below the statement from Allied Westminster:

Following the Government announcement of Friday 20th March, we have updated the position on Temporarily Unoccupied Buildings.  

  • Firstly, what does ‘temporarily unoccupied’ mean? We would consider this to be where you have followed Government advice to close your Insured Premises and it will be out of use for up to 90 consecutive days.  
  • There is no need to notify Allied Westminster that your Insured Premises has closed temporarily due to the Covid-19 outbreak”

With this advice in mind please check with your insurance company to see if they have adopted a similar policy position.

You may also be interested to read the Norris & Fisher post today with advice and support for village halls and community buildings, please click the link to view the webpage.

Insurance information for Community Buildings

Please see the statement below from Allied Westminster, please also check for guidance from your own insurance company.

Statement from Allied Westminster

Coronavirus and Village Halls:

  • Loss of revenue cover comes into force only after damage to property caused by an insured peril. It is designed to cover loss of income when the hall is closed for a period of time in order for repairs to be carried out. Unfortunately, if the hall has to be closed due to a breakout of the virus, no property damage has occurred so there is no business interruption cover in place. 
  • Property insurers would not cover closure due to pandemic.

Protecting Your Village/Community Hall at this time:

  • Halls may become unoccupied or operate on a significantly reduced level, and this increases the risk of losses. 
  • If your hall is running on a significantly reduced basis, and especially unoccupied due to the pandemic, letting your insurers know, and keeping them informed of any developments, is essential. 
  • It is essential that you let your insurer or policy administrator have a second and ideally third contact in the event of an insurable loss, allowing them to process the claim with an authorised and recognised person (GDPR!) 
  • This will help speed along any claims and avoid hold-ups. This is especially important right now when key contacts may suffer as a result of the illness.
  • There are some considerations that should be kept in mind to protect their assets and people: 
  • Risk assessments must be carried out on the changing risk/lack of supervision in place
  •  Heating left ‘ticking-over’ but other critical services powered down if not required, unless to support protection or detection systems
  •  All external areas must be clear of waste and combustible materials
  •  Consider waste build-up and the controls needed if waste collection services are affected
  •  All fire protection, detection, and security systems to remain active and monitored remotely where possible
  •  Maintenance on all protection and/or detection systems (where in place) must be a priority to protect the property
  •  All physical security and locking devices are working and in place
  •  There are no leaking fluids or spills

 Sources and Useful Links