Chairman’s Annual Report
2018 – 2019
The hall continues to be a very valuable facility which is central to many village activities and contributes to community spirit.
Following the phase one refurbishment of the Hall, as reported last year, there have been improvements to the outside lighting which now is activated automatically by movement thus making walking around the building and car park much safer on dark nights. The lighting in the toilet spaces has also been changed so that it reacts automatically thus removing the need for switching and overcoming the problem of lights being left on when the hall is not in use, A new flagged pathway is being laid to the west of the building thus providing vehicle free access to the entrance from the car park.
The trust continues to appreciate the work done by the Facilities Manager, Steve Farmbrough, who oversees the day to day maintenance of the hall.
As can be seen from the financial report, the short-term loans which were required on completion of the refurbishment have all been paid off, a positive financial situation is re-established and the reserve funds are gradually improving helped by the diligent oversight of our treasurer.
On a regular basis, the hall is used by the Caston Art club, The Caston Photographic Club, The Carbrooke Dance Group, The Caston Women’s’ Institute, Dog Training, Upholstery Group and the “Drop In” Friday coffee morning continues every week, now in its ninth year. We continue to be grateful to the many volunteers who man the kitchen on Friday mornings and are continually grateful to Kay Farmbrough and Stephanie Blincow who oversee the rota and supplies.
Occasional hiring of the hall enables folk to hold birthday parties for young and old, celebrations of special occasions and conferences and other commercial meetings. Special fund raising evenings have also been held including a presentation by Vice-Chairman Malcolm Valentine on “Farming Without Rain” and Brenda Southgate organised a Bingo night.
Booking Secretaries John and Dawn Hill continue to perform an excellent job in overseeing and organising the hall bookings and Sue Tanner as Secretary keeps the records updated.
I continue to have concerns that our active volunteers are not getting any younger and that some younger active folk will be required to maintain the day to day operation of the hall. If we are to achieve the next stage of our hall refurbishment programme we need more ideas for fund raising events and volunteers to run them. Our Fund raising guru John Hill continues to seek sources of funding support and to this end our membership of the Breckland Lottery has proved to be a valuable source of income.
Once again, I must thank the trustees and committee members for their input during the past year and I look forward to their continuing support as we seek to secure the ongoing availability of the hall in the heart of our Caston community.