Hallmark is a nationally-recognised quality standard village halls and community buildings. Many halls in Cambridgeshire are already operating to a high standard of administration and management, however achieving the Hallmark standard will give halls an independent assessment of their hall so they can have confidence that their hall is well-run when assessed against nationally-set benchmarks. The awards recognise the commitment and enthusiasm management committees bring to running their community facilities.
There are three levels to the Scheme, undertaken in sequence:
Hallmark One checks charitable administration and management;
Hallmark Two checks health and safety, security and licences; and
Hallmark Three checks community involvement, social awareness and forward planning.
A Hall’s experience of taking part in Hallmark 1
“Little Thetford Village Hall received Hallmark 1 accreditation on 18/04/18.
More than a year ago our hall was on the brink of closing when a meeting was called and a group of volunteers took on the roles and responsibilities as trustees of the village hall. There was no guidance obviously available to us, but Cambridgeshire ACRE was mentioned to us as an organisation to speak to and a meeting with Lisa has lead us to where we are today.
With her knowledgeable and very accessible guidance we have grown in confidence and awareness of the procedures necessary for running our village hall.
It has been quite a long process to reach Hallmark 1 as other matters of importance had to take priority over the accreditation and, as mentioned above, all time is voluntarily given. However, team work, especially in collating evidence, has enabled us to achieve our goal.
Hallmark 1 has given us structure and reassurance that we are working in the right direction towards an effective and efficiently run hall. We now intend to work towards Hallmark 2″
Christine Howard – Trustee
Hallmark visits are carried out by volunteers, who all have experience in village hall management. Visits are undertaken in a friendly manner while understanding there is a serious job to do looking at the policies and evidence that the committee and facility are well run. The visits also provide an opportunity to discuss village hall matters and share experiences.
If you are interested in becoming a Hallmark visitor, or if you would like to express an interest in your hall working towards the first Hallmark level, then please get in contact with Lisa Chambers, Community Facilities Development Officer, using the details on the Contact Us page.
Mandeville Hall in Kimbolton are the first hall in the county to achieve all 3 levels of Hallmark!
What is required to achieve Hallmark 1?
The first stage of Hallmark covers charity administration and management. This is where we will first look to see if you are working in accordance with your governing document – this happens before the visit takes place.
During the visit the Hallmark volunteers will want to see copies of agendas/minutes, set of accounts and hiring/booking information. Visitors will also ask to see policies and want to understand from talking to trustees that your policies are embedded into your working practices.
We provide a check list to the committee well in advance of the visit so you can prepare your files and documentation to present. We are also happy to come along to visit your hall to do a ‘practice run’ of the visit if you are worried about the process.
What is required to prepare for Hallmark 2?
In order to progress to Hallmark 2 you do need to achieve Hallmark 1.
Hallmark 2 covers health and safety, security and licences. In order to complete this level our visitors would expect to see all your relevant policies and evidence these policies are acted upon for example – fire evacuation procedure, electrical and gas safety notices and accident reporting.
On completion of Hallmark 2 you can then progress to the final stage Hallmark 3 which covers community, social awareness, forward planning and development.
We are of course there to help and support you through each stage of Hallmark, to offer guidance and advice where required. The check sheets are very clear and detail exactly what you need to achieve in each section. If you would like to discuss any aspect of Hallmark please get in touch with Lisa Chambers.