The Year’s Story of a New Committee Member
I joined Ashingdon and East Hawkwell Memorial Hall’s committee from an invitation from the Hall’s Manager. I officially became a member on 27th February 2020, which was my late father’s birthday. What an eye opener the following months would bring.
It was obvious the hall was in a terrible state of repair and needed a lot of love, the bank balance I found out later (in June) was in a terrible state and it was obvious to me that the committee I had joined were prepared to dedicate a lot of time and energy on it. To lavish the love it so deserved and bring it back for the community to use to support them in their livelihoods, education and Celebrations.
So what happened.... well, as you all know we went into our first Coronavirus Lockdown, the committee came together on Zoom to decide how best to carry on. We overcame the lack of information provided to us and the New Committee pressed on. We contacted the hirers each to confirm their bookings were still safe and to introduce ourselves. We managed to achieve a lot even with Covid restrictions in place the list is long, we:-
•built a new online booking system
•built a new fresh, informative website
•took control of the bank
•applied for grants
•decorated the bar
•had the maple dance floor repaired and resurfaced
•re-carpeted the entrance
•cleared the chairs in the main hall to give more space
•installed remote controlled water heater switches
•installed a new broadband service
•installed a broadband access point
•changed the men’s urinals to a waterless system
•removed the coin operated electric supply for hirers
•produced Heath and Safety and fire procedures
•Produced a hirers information pack
•printed fire posters
•created and printed hall layout diagram
•added Covid sanitiser stations
•added women’s sanitary bins
•a new light in the ladies loo
•fixed the light in the foyer
•did some gardening
•created Covid safe events for our children in the community for Halloween and Christmas funded by the committee
•created a multimedia account on Facebook to connect with our community
•obtained a new telephone number
•updated our sign
•contracted a cleaner to deep clean and keep the hall Covid safe
•had two Covid safe quiz nights complete with raffle
•decorated the hall for Christmas
•continue to answer the phone and reply to emails
•have official email addresses
•supported our community during Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday
•keep our website up to date with Hall News, Celebrations and community news.
•did a community leaflet drop
•did online training to support the community
•spent hours on the phone sorting out the halls utility bills.
•spent hours trying to find the water meter
•had a gas safety inspection
•cleared old rubbish and furniture
•created Covid signage
•created free connectivity broadband usage to our hirers
•each became caretakers of the hall opening for the hirers on rota so to save the financing a new caretaker
But all in all we supported each other. Our partners and spouses supported us. We started as strangers and have ended up as friends. Each of us with tremendous strengths each bringing something different to the team. We have all worked so very hard with the same goal in mind. To provide our community with a hub, a place to turn to, a place to meet, a place to enjoy. We have so many ideas, so much to offer, and there’s so much we want to do. We would love a choir, a pantomime, a cafe, an Internet cafe, a mother and toddler play group, a teaching kitchen, a craft fair, a fish and chip quiz night, rebuild our porch, put back the outside door to the committee room, open up the windows at the side to the committee room, toilets and kitchen, double glaze said windows, have an open day to invite the community to meet us, our list is endless. But most of all we want our community to join us in bringing this all together. Bring our community back. Support each other in the good times and the bad, and we are forging through the bad. Aren’t we?
So as I sit here, on New Year’s Eve, I’m grateful for 2020 and what it has bought me and for what it has taught me. It wasn’t the ride I expected or even told I would have as a committee member for the hall, but the ride has been exciting and fulfilling. It’s pulled me back into my love of technology and bought me back up to speed with life. Thanks to everyone who supported me on this journey. I’m so looking forward to what next year will bring.
Here’s to 2021! 🥂
All we need now is the residents of Ashingdon and East Hawkwell to come forward with offers of support to help us bring the hall back to its former glory. It is a wonderful asset for the community and must be preserved for future generations.