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Caston Village Hall Charitable Trust

Chairman’s Annual Report – Thursday 2nd June 2018

2017 – 2018

Clearly the highlight of the year has been the commencement of the long-awaited refurbishment of the hall structure.  Work eventually started on part of the plan on 19th November 2017 and was reopened on 31st March 2018.  Work was undertaken by Paul Lincoln and his building team and involved the demolition of the eastern end of the hall including the existing kitchen and toilets.  A new entrance porch was also created which gave added weather protection to the entrance area as well as creating much needed storage cupboards.  Hot water services were introduced and a new fitted kitchen was installed including oven and microwave facilities.

The Caston Parish Council kindly funded the new kitchen fittings.

Funding was provided from various sources including the Trust’s own funds and grants from Garfield Weston and Breckland Council.  The new facilities have been well received and the Trust is now seeking to continue with the upgrade of the remaining areas of the hall.

The overspend on the project has put considerable strain on the Trust’s funds and it is grateful to the short-term loans kindly made by five of the trustees.

The village community seriously missed the hall facility during the eighteen or so weeks the hall was closed and many organisations had to make alternative arrangements.  However, virtually all the organisations have returned to the venue.

The weekly Friday “Drop In” coffee mornings were much missed during the hall’s closure but thanks to several various diligent volunteers who man the kitchen each week the Friday morning is now firmly back on the weekly calendar.  The Trust much appreciate the work done by Kay Farmbrough and Stephanie Blincow in organising the rota and basic supplies.

The Trust also greatly values the work done by various members of the committee and much appreciate the booking roll undertaken by John and Dawn Hill following the resignation of Dave Edwards whilst Steve Farmbrough has undertaken the additional roll of facilities manager carrying out routine repairs and modification around the hall.

I have concerns regarding the number of active volunteers to help with the running of the hall on a day to day basis and folk who will willingly undertake the organising and running of money raising events.  Clearly, we need more income if we are to achieve the completion of the hall upgrade to which we aspire.  I for one would appreciate ideas as to how we can attract volunteers and enthusiastic contributors.  Many of the existing trustees and committee are reaching their more mature years and new personnel will be required to maintain the status quo.

My thanks to the trustees and committee for their input during this unusual year and I hope that we find the way forward to ensure the continuing roll of the Village Hall in our community.  In the short term we need to re-establish a positive financial situation and seek to repay the outstanding loans.

David Blincow
Caston Village Hall Charitable Trust.

June 2018