Chairman’s AGM Report Tewin Memorial Hall 27.3.13
Thank you everybody for turning out on yet another freezing cold March evening and supporting your Hall and it’s Commmittee.
May I also extend a warm welcome to Geoff Whitbourne our new Treasurer and Merralyn Sanderson soon to be our new Secretary our sincerest thanks for responding to my desperate pleas for help. The replacement of Peter as Treasurer was causing me considerable angst.
This years report will involve many THANKYOU’S and I make no apology for my excessive but well justified use of this word. However, I do apologise for not naming in person everybody that has made this yet another very successful year for your Hall the numbers are so great that I simply do not have the time at this meeting or sufficient space in your Parish magazine to list all of you but thank you nonetheless!
Several years ago we embarked on a major refurbishment project for our Hall. At long last we are about to close off the final chapter in this truly arduous and time consuming process with the building of an extension to our scout hut. This particular project has been led by Keith St Pier and has not been without its frustrations especially on the planning front. The end result will enhance the appearance of this building and also increase its insulation properties so that in time we will be able to recover the additional costs incurred through reduced heating bills. The purpose of all this is to allow the Cantons and Burleighs of this Parish to actually use their respective garages for items other than jumble sale gear. But also to provide storage for our own new tables that would otherwise have to be laboriously collected from and returned to neighbouring village halls and scout huts for events and annual fete days. It really is about time we relieved Stuart Kirkham and Todd of this onerous task. Finally, we must not overlook the generosity of the East Herts District Council for their grant of £10,000 given to us as winners of the East Herts Village Hall of the Year award 2012.
Even now our efforts on the refurbishment front are bearing fruit. Modernisation of our facilities has clearly made the hall more attractive to hirers and helped increased our annual rental income by over £3000 and reduced our heating costs by £1000 from their peak in 2010. We must also not overlook Jane our Caretakers efforts to promote the additional hirings and the support of her family.
It gives us great pleasure to welcome Mel and Tina as new managers of the Under 5s and Tewin Tots respectively and to see these very popular well run organisations continue to thrive in our village.
In addition to this the installation of a high-tech audio visual system with hearing loop has encouraged the development and popularity of the Screen on the Green initiative ably led by Linda Adams. Which now regularly provides an informal and entertaining evening for our fellow residents. We must also thank Kevin Brazier for his contribution to this effort and for so generously loaning us his projector in the initial stages.
Although, much of this work has been funded following the submission of time-consuming grant applications. We continue to receive generous donations from THACs, The History of Tewin book sales and the Friends of Tewin. We thank all those people and other individuals not named here for their most generous loyalty and support.
Now a few words on fundraising front which has and always will be a crucial element of income generation. Our Jumble Sale Emporium! led by Todd and Jean Canton has had yet another successful year earning a staggering £3261 at the autumn sale alone despite the recession. Then as if to dispel any doubts about their stamina raised a further £2879 at the spring sale. Once again we are indebted to our wonderful jumble sale team, may I take this opportunity to convey our special thanks to Rose ** surname**who celebrated 30 years of loyal service as head of the highly successful linen department. Don’t hesitate to sign up and join this team it’s a wonderful social gathering twice a year.
Following weeks of preparation by the Fete team led by Lynn Farr with Adrienne Thorpe on programme design and advertising and Linda Mandall sorting out raffle tickets and prizes we pulled in an impressive £5175. Thanks to our numerous helpers who made all of this possible. Although it was a success we desperately need to recruit more volunteers for this year’s fete even if you can only give us a couple of hours this will make real difference.
Book sales continue thanks to David Gregg and Linda Crawford even with the burgeoning popularity of Kindle and similar devices the books are still flowing in and out providing other much needed monies.
Finally, we must not forget Lisa Bove who works tirelessly for us behind-the-scenes running our supporters club. This is despite running a successful business that takes her away from home to all corners of the world and simultaneously overseeing a big building project at her home in Tewin. So any of you out there who believe you haven’t got the spare time to give your village even a few hours volunteering please think again!. One thing is for sure you will enjoy the camaraderie and the opportunity to make new friends in our special village. Or at the very least sign up to our Supporters Club via Lisa, Tewin Stores or the village website.
Still on the website theme Frankie Mortimore has kindly offered to create a Tewin Memorial Hall website with a direct link to our Village website. Despite increased hirings this past year we need to build on this and ensure that we up our game on the Marketing Front. The costs of maintaining our hall for the village and its residents will only increase in the future and there is no guarantee that we will continue to have so much success from grant applications or our own fundraising. So we cannot be complacent and must continue to exploit its hiring potential for weddings, business meetings, family social events, hobbies exhibitions, training sessions etc so please spread the word to friends work colleagues and family.
Now for some sad news! The departure from our committee of our Treasurer Peter Burleigh and Secretary Lynn Farr who have been loyal and devoted servants of the Hall for so many years. Editorial constraints and lack of time do not allow me to adequately document their major contribution to keeping your Hall alive and kicking in especially in recent years. They actually joined the team 13 years ago when a plea was issued to save our Hall from financial collapse. Some of you will already know that is no exaggeration to state that much of our success with refurbishment projects and fundraising over the past five years and beyond simply would not have happened without Peter and Lynn on the team. They both delayed their departure purely so they could support this process and not leave us in the lurch a truly unselfish act on their part. Despite having to wait so long because of my difficulties in securing replacements they will continue to be involved Peter supporting our new Treasurer Geoff and excellent Assistant Treasurer Pat Fulford. Lynn is planning and setting up this years Fete.
They have certainly left their mark having been instrumental in transporting the Hall from the point of potential closure to winning the East Herts Village Hall of The Year Award. For me working alongside them has been a humbling process knowing the countless hours they spent on Hall work. To put this into perspective The Heritage Lottery Fund Recommends that when match funding a bid that a single days volunteer work should represent a total of £350. This being the case Lynn and Peter have saved the hall literally thousands of pounds in administrative costs( as have Keith and Rod on the maintenance front ). I would like to end this paragraph with an additional thank you to Alison Burleigh, Jim and Rachel Farr for supporting them and allowing them to provide such a high level of commitment to Hall matters. Despite receiving telephone calls at all times of day and night 7 days a week they always answered the phone with a polite helpful and friendly manner in spite of the disturbance.
To conclude may I convey my final thanks to all our volunteers (especially those I have been unable to name but you know who you are! ) and village supporters for their help in allowing this to be such a positive report. Please get out there and help us advertise the Halls facilities, actively encourage people to join our supporters club and recruit new volunteers or committee members. We really do need your help with this.