Chairman’s Annual Report
2021 – 2022
Corona Virus and Hall Closure
The Corona-95 Virus impacted greatly on the activities during and post the lockdown period ordered to limit the spread of the epidemic covering the opening period of this report. The year under review commenced with the hall in a condition of closure with no activities taking place. During the period the trust received several grants from Breckland County Council to assist the trust’s finances during the period with no income. The hall eventually opened in late May with small business meetings for Caston Parish Council and the Trust’s Annual General Meeting on 24th May 2021. Masks were worn, hand sanitising in place and all attendees separated by at least two meters and all windows open. The normal operation of the hall gradually got underway again with the dance group and weekly Friday “Drop In” recommencing in July followed by monthly WI meetings and is now again being well used and supported.
The trustees and committee have been planning the completion of the hall building improvement project and a revised quotation was received from Paul Lincoln to give the finance target to commence the work. John Hill, Fund Raising Officer, has been doing a great job attracting suitable grants and the required sum was deemed achievable. Regrettably, however, the cost of building materials continued to escalate with a resultant increase in the estimated cost. The builder consequently was not able to give a fixed price for the work. In early April 2022 the builder advised that a severe increase in the prices of cement and timber was due at end April and suggested, should we still wish to proceed, that we should start the work before end April and, with committee and trustee agreement, work started on foundations and external structure on Monday 11th April. Completion is expected late summer 2022 but additional funds are being sought to complete the internal outfitting. However. several Trustees and parishioners have agreed interest free loans should they eventually be required
The weekly Friday “Drop In’ is now fully re-established and several successful quizzes and whist drives are back on the calendar. The Yoga group and Art Group are now back to weekly meetings.
The trust is currently managed by a committee of fourteen of which seven are trustees. Our Treasurer David Leach has settled into the job of Treasurer and serves the trust well as does John Hill our Funding Officer who continues to source funding for our ongoing building project.
Kay Farmbrough and Stephanie Blincow oversee book sales and catering plus other peripheral activities and Philip Doughty organises quizzes and other activities. Bar duties are well managed by Steve Farmbrough. Meanwhile our secretary Sue Tanner keeps a faithful record of the Trust’s activities. We are also grateful to Caston parishioners who assist with hall activities especially Lynsey Doughty who runs quizzes and John and Wendy Chapman who run our regular whist drives plus all the Parishioners who man the kitchen every Friday for “Drop In”.
The activities of the hall continue to recover following prolonged closure. I continue to be well supported by the committee and trustees and appreciate their ideas and input to the running of Caston Village Hall as it recovers to being a main facility for Caston’s social life.
Caston Village Hall Charitable Trust
Registered Charity Number 1164836
The work on the rear extension was completed in November 2022 and is now fully operational. The two rooms are divided by a roller shutter and it can be opened to provide an ideal room for larger parties and receptions or to provide a bar facility. Details from the Booking Secretary.