Who would be a trustee or committee member?

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Attribution: Alpha Stock Images – http://alphastockimages.com/
Original Author: Nick Youngson – http://www.nyphotographic.com/
Original Image: http://www.thebluediamondgallery.com/wooden-tile/t/trustee.html

If you ask many small charities and groups, the answer to the above question is “not enough people”. If you ask most members of the public, they would probably look at you blankly and ask what a trustee does. Almost nobody volunteers for a charity because of the quality and excitement of their trustee meetings. People get involved because it is a cause, an organisation, a mission they are passionate about; people want to make a difference by doing, campaigning, interacting and not by meeting to check the safeguarding policy is up to date or the annual returns have been posted! Too often trustees are press-ganged into the role, I have lost count of the number of trustees I have met over the years who were dedicated supporters and/or volunteers of a charity and have…

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Did you know that your Village Hall or Community Building can take part in the #CommunityBusiness weekend?

This will be a fantastic opportunity for you to promote what you do, find new customers, volunteers and members!

Why not get your community together as part of Community Business Weekend 2019 #CBWkd19 (16-19 May) to showcase your impact.

Find out how you can get involved at the dedicated Community Business Weekend 2019 website.

If you use social media to take part in this weekend, don’t forget to tag Cambridgeshire ACRE in! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for the welcome and Health and Safety

Hello and thanks for the welcome to Cambridgeshire! I’m looking forward to working with committees and supporting Lisa with a number of village hall project areas.

For those of you who I’ll have contact with, you’ll soon find out that Health and Safety is one of my favourite topic areas. So with this in mind, Martyn Ingram of Norris & Fisher (Insurance Brokers) Ltd has kindly provided a reminder about managing risk in your hall.


Risk Management & Self Assessment Discounts

One of the most important issues for any Village Hall management committee is to ensure that your hall is safe for use by both hirers and volunteers. In order to encourage and reward good risk management, Ansvar Insurance are now offering discounted premiums for committees who demonstrate that they are carry out Risk Assessments.

Risk assessment is not a difficult process but it does take time. It is sensible, therefore, to spread the load as far as possible and for volunteers to carry out risk assessments in their own specialist area where they best know about any likely hazards. The same requirement to assess risk applies to activities that are held away from your premises. The process should be overseen and co-ordinated by the person who has overall responsibility for health and safety.

You should systematically look at each activity (including use of the buildings) and note all of the hazards and risks and any existing safety measures. You should also note any person who may be specifically at risk. You must then record any additional safety measures or ‘controls’ which will reduce those risks as far as possible. As well as the interior of buildings, you must also look at the grounds and other external areas.

This can be an involved and tedious process but we have written a Risk Management guide in association with insurers which is designed to assist in identifying and minimising the typical risks faced by Village Hall committees. A copy of the guide is available on our website or we would be happy to send a hard copy.

Subjects covered include fire safety, food hygiene, general maintenance and bouncy castles.  There is a section on firework displays and the guide also includes advice on staging events – fun runs, for example.  One question that is often raised is whether your liability is increased if you clear snow and ice – the guide deals with this matter.  The guide also includes a Risk Assessment form which you can copy and complete to meet your obligations.

Amongst the many topics in this guide the following subjects relevant to Village Halls are included:

Accident Reporting ● Bouncy Castles ● Electrical Safety ● Fire Safety ● Firework Displays ● First Aid ● Food Hygiene ● Fun Runs & Walks ● Health & Safety Policies ● Litter Picking ● Parking & Car Parks ● Premises Security ● Sale of Second-Hand Goods ● Snow & Ice ● Working at Height

If you are on top of risk management issues, then it may be worth your while to complete our self-assessment form.  This is intended to offer improved rates and thereby reduced premiums for halls which are well managed.  If this is of interest to you then please get in touch to request a self assessment form or download a copy from our website.

If you have any specific queries regarding insurance, you can address them to Tom Ingram at Norris & Fisher – tom.ingram@norrisandfisher.com 

Fire prevention in your village hall

Our next Village Hall Trustees coffee morning event will take place on Wednesday 20th March from 10am till 1pm at Offord Village Hall. The subject for discussion is fire prevention in your village hall and our speaker will be Rob Allport from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service.

If you would like more information or to book a place at this FREE event please contact Lisa Chambers

Picking a fundraising site

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I tap to buy my sandwich, I order books by asking Alexa, if
I need cash then I have to raid my kids money boxes!

As more people become more used to paying electronically it
is essential that small charities and community groups are able to collect
money using cards and online. This is where the plethora of funding sites came
in, all are different, all charge different amounts and it is important that
you pick the one that best suits your needs. If, like us, you were signed up to
BT Mydonate then you will have had the email that they are closing it, and you
will need to find an alternative.

 ImageCreator – http://www.imagecreator.co.uk/

I have been inundated with options and adverts since
complaining on Twitter that the closure would affect many small organisations

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#5000Reasons to help an older person who is lonely this Christmas

Cambridgeshire County Council is running a 50000reasons campaign to encourage people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help the 50000 older people at risk from loneliness. Christmas can be a difficult time when older people reflect on what they have lost from their life making feelings of loneliness worse.

These 12 simple gestures could make a big difference to a lonely older person this Christmas.

Start with a Hello or a Good morning
Or a simple wave as your drive or walk by. It is a great way to start.

Start a conversation with your neighbour – small talk can make a big difference
If you have never really spoken with your neighbours the festive season can provide the ideal opportunity to do so. Starting a conversation should not be scary. Everyone has a story and something interesting to say, so try and be open to having a chat. Make eye contact. Smile. Talk about the street, how long they have lived in their house, the neighbours, the weather…. or all four. For some people who are isolated, this might be the only conversation they’ve had in weeks.

Send a Christmas card
This Christmas why not make an extra effort and send a Christmas card to an older person living on your street? Be sure to write clearly and it would be extra-special if you make an offer to help or give assistance should then need it, write your phone number in the card. Even if the gesture is not taken up, it is reassuring for somebody who may be experiencing loneliness to know that there is someone there if they are needed. When you drop the card off, you have an opportunity to start a conversation. Mention the offer that is in the card. And try to build upon this.

Mince pie moments
This Christmas why not join with a couple of neighbours and share a mince pie moment together? Host a small, informal gathering on a Saturday or Sunday morning and invite your older neighbours to come along? You could put the invitation in their Christmas card…

Should they decide not to attend, call by with a mince pie and tell them they were missed.

Offer to help write Christmas cards for someone and deliver them
Help older people who are housebound or living alone by offering to write and deliver their Christmas cards to loved ones and friends.

Making a connection with older neighbours
Understandably, there can be many barriers to older people opening their doors to strangers. A good way to reassure them is to get another neighbour to introduce you.

Alternatively, drop a note through their door introducing yourself and telling them you will be calling just to say Hello at a given date/time (always in daylight). Going along with your children or pets can also be reassuring.

One step at a time
If you call on a neighbour, make your first call short. Give them the opportunity to see who you are, that you are genuine and show interest in them.

Check on an older person living alone if the weather becomes cold or wintry
If the weather becomes cold, please check on neighbours to see that they are keeping warm and well. Read our tips about how to stay well this winter.

Phone a friend, or go and visit…
Take 10 minutes each week to phone a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while. Better still, go and visit them or arrange to meet up for a pint, a coffee or a cup of tea.

Write a letter
How many people are there in your life who have made a massive difference to you? It could be a teacher, a parent or an old friend, but it is rare that we get a chance to say thank you. In the hustle and bustle of the modern world writing a letter might seem a bit old fashioned. But whoever is on the receiving end will appreciate the time and extra effort you have taken.

Encourage the kids
To say Hello or at least wave when they see an older neighbour. For many of us, our friends tend to be a similar age to us. But that means we are missing out on perspectives and stories that might change our life. Whether you are eight or 86 we all have things in common, and we can all learn and gain from each other. Children often find it easier to start a conversation.

Offer to clear leaves or snow for someone
This can help older folk to get out and about to do shopping, see friends and family or go to community activities.

Further information
For more information on loneliness and how you can help go to www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/50000-reasons