Conference 2018


Our Village Hall and Community Building Conference took place on Wednesday 9th May at the Fulbourn Centre with over 60 delegates attending, 14 market stalls as listed below and 4 inspiring speakers during the morning.  Please see below for a copy of the delegates programme.


Please also see below links to some of the presentations from the day:

Kirsten Bennett – Cambridgeshire’s Village Halls: Learning from the past and preparing for the future

Liz Brownsell – Becoming a CIO

During Liz’s presentation she referred to a trustee liability guide and this can be downloaded here by clicking on the link.

Dan Jones – Transforming community buildings into 21st century community hubs

After lunch there was an opportunity to join one of three workshops:

  • How using Social Media might bring your hall to the attention of a new audience
    Led by: Hugh Russell, Digital Skills Trainer, Cambridge Online
  • Becoming a CIO: introduction and overview of legal process and key considerations
    Led by: Liz Brownsell, Co-Head of Charities and Social Enterprise, Birketts LLP
  • The value of good design when building new versus remodeling a village hall
    Led by: Dan Jones, Director, Civic London

We have received excellent feedback from this event and we very much hope to be able to repeat this type of conference in the future.  Our grateful thanks goes to our main event sponsors Norris & Fisher and Hallmaster, without their financial support we would not have been able to deliver this event in the county.


Feedback on the event

We collected feedback from attendees at the conference using a feedback form; this is what they said.

100% of respondents scored the Conference 8 out 10 or higher, with 43% of respondents scoring it 10 out of 10. Comments included:

  • All the speakers were high quality and there was a good range of marketplace stalls relevant to village halls.
  • I am going home feeling very inspired and determined to improve our hall.
  • Meeting other people with similar outlooks at different stages of improving their village halls and gaining ideas from them.

In the afternoon, delegates attended short workshops on three different topics. We asked them to rate their knowledge before and after the session so we could measure the learning from the event.

  • For the workshop on Social Media, participants rated their knowledge before the event an average score of 2.8 out of 5. After the event, this had increased to an average of 3.7 out of 5. This equates to a 32% increase in average knowledge level.
  • For the workshop on Becoming a CIO, participants rated their knowledge before the event an average score of 1.4 out of 5. After the event, this had increased to an average of 4.0 out of 5. This equates to a 185% increase in average knowledge level.
  • For the workshop on Building Design, participants rated their knowledge before the event an average score of 2.7 out of 5. After the event, this had increased to an average of 4.4 out of 5. This equates to a 63% increase in average knowledge level.

We also sought feedback on what we should do differently if we ran a similar event in future. The following points sum up the comments made:

  • Better visual and audio projection (slides were a bit faint and sound quality was poor).
  • Allow more time for delegates to view the marketplace stalls.
  • Improve queuing systems for refreshments and label the food.
  • For practical subjects like social media, provide more hands-on tutorials in smaller groups rather than trying to tackle in a workshop setting.

All feedback will be taken on board when designing future events and conferences. Thank you to everyone who took the time to give their views.


This event was sponsored by the following organisations:

Norris and fisher logo


Our market place was bursting at the seams – full of companies and organisations to help and support you in managing your village hall or community building.

Please see below information and special offers from our market stall holders:

Roger Hyde Logo

Roger Hyde Limited has been one of the UK’s leading wood floor refurbishment and installation companies since 1968. We are proud of our flooring works within community buildings.

All site surveys in Cambridgeshire are offered free of charge and all of our works are guaranteed. Whether your floor needs repairing, replacing, refurbishing or maintaining, our expertise will ensure value for money, and the best materials used, so that your floor looks better for longer.

We are also the preferred maintenance contractor for Junckers: “Roger Hyde Limited is recognised as a resealing and aftercare specialist, and preferred maintenance contractor for Junckers floors.” Adrian Rash, Product Manager, Junckers UK.

Get in touch to discuss your flooring needs and book a free, no obligation site survey.

We are offering 5% off works to all Cambridgeshire ACRE members with the code: ‘ROSE50’. Please quote when booking.

01787 463348 |


HeatingSave is a simple-to-use, turn-key Hall Room booking system that manages, via the Internet, all your booking needs, cuts energy bills and secures your building.

HeatingSave is manufactured by Tensor plc and is HM Government approved to cut heating costs and approved by the Energy Savings Trust and is OfGem CERT approved.

Tel: +44 (0)1480 223923


HAGS is one of the largest manufacturers of recreational products – providing play, sports & fitness, park & urban, EZ Dock and shade equipment around the world. If you are looking for the perfect product to complete your project or need some advice on how to get started, visit our creating an outdoor space section for your guide to HAGS Equipment.



Established in 1991, Cameo Curtains is a manufacturer, supplier and installer of stage curtains, large window drapes and tracks. We have supplied and installed in village halls, schools, churches, theatres, schools, colleges, hotels and venues throughout the UK.
We aim to provide a friendly professional service and deliver stunning, high quality curtains every time. We offer free site visits to discuss requirements and take measurements so that we’re able to provide an accurate quotation. We only use high quality, fire-retardant, durable materials and heavy duty fixings to ensure curtains look stunning and last for years.
For more information please click on the link: Cameo Curtains


At Hallmaster, we understand how difficult it is to generate income for Halls and Venues. Many are run by Volunteers in their spare time, so managing the Bookings and Invoices can be extremely time consuming.

With the Hallmaster Online Booking and Invoicing System, you can address these issues as Hallmaster enables Trustees and Committee Members to come together in one simple Online Hall and Venue booking and invoicing payment tracking system. This helps to maximise the ability to rent out empty rooms, halls and clubhouses and prevents duplicate reservations.

Hallmaster can be integrated into your own website and instantly display availability of your rooms and facilities, take provisional bookings for you and let people find out what’s happening in your area and where to find details of events or classes you hold.


For more information please see the links included here for our Charities and Social Enterprise website page, which contains lots of information about our services. Of particular interest might be our Charity Trustee Induction and Refresher Training (only £50 plus VAT per delegate for a half-day workshop including lunch) and our Fixed Fee packages for charities.

If you are interested in receiving our publication, Essential Trustee, you can opt-in to our mailing list here. There are several other publications, which might also be of interest. Delegates should simply tick the boxes of the publications they are interested in.

Finally, we have a free GDPR guide, if anyone would like a copy of that. Details of how to request one can be found on our website.

For further information please contact:

Liz Brownsell – Senior Associate Co-Head of Charities and Social Enterprise
Direct: 01473 406383