News & Events

2017 Village Hall Survey & Launch of 'The Friends of Isfield Village Hall'

The closure of Isfield Preschool after 40 years in the village is a sad loss to the community which impacts Isfield Village Hall severely; Preschool's subsidised hiring fees amounted to 42% of our income last year, and has been a much higher percentage in previous years. This is a huge blow but we are financially stable and expect to be able to meet our day-to-day running costs with both the ongoing support of our users and by continuing to run our own events, and by monitoring our expenditure even more closely, because we have:

 

- Refurbished the hall completely in August; this was badly needed, is a great success and should last a good few years, keeping maintenance costs down,

- Increased our revenue by diversifying over the past three years; by undertaking extensive marketing to ascertain which activities would be successful and to promote them (as far as budgets allow) and by finding and nurturing providers (e.g. Wine Club, Art Group, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Vintage dance classes, Floral workshops etc.) and also by holding our own events (e.g. Frost Fair, Open Day, Race Nights, Film shows).

 

To combat the loss of Preschool, we are introducing more revenue raising initiatives to meet unexpected events, to build up reserves for regular maintenance costs (e.g. floor, decoration) and to make more improvements (e.g. to the toilets, including a disabled toilet). The Friends of Isfield Village Hall is an important part of this initiative.

 

The management committee ran a survey in the village to evidence the level of interest in our ideas and ensure viability. The survey, sent out in the last Isfield newsletter, sought to find out:

 

i) How important is the Village Hall to Isfield's residents?

ii) What activities and events does Isfield want at its Village Hall?

iii) What support is there for The Friends of Isfield Village Hall?

 

We have received 55 survey responses which is a tremendous result; thank you to everyone who responded and gave us so many good ideas which we are now analysing. All responses strongly supported the need for the Village Hall, and all but 3 stated they would join 'The Friends of Isfield Village Hall' (one of the 3 has subsequently joined the Friends). The prize draw was held at the Laughing Fish on Sunday 10th September and the worthy winner, who came up with lots of good ideas, has received her prize.

 

'The Friends of Isfield Village Hall' was launched on 15th September by a mail drop throughout the village asking the community to join the Friends and to donate what they can to the village hall's emergency and maintenance reserves. We are proud and delighted to report that we have received very strong support across the whole community with many Friends joining and donating to our long term maintenance reserves for which we are very grateful. Friends continue to join and there is no end date to valid entry. We envisage running Friends' events (e.g. summer barbeques, Christmas film shows) and setting up a Friends' Advisory Group to help us involve the wider community in setting Village Hall priorities.

 

Upcoming Events at the Village Hall

 

This Year's Frost Fair; Sunday 26th November 2017

Last year's Isfield Frost Fair was spectacular and this year's will be even bigger and better; local artists, crafts people and suppliers will create imaginative and very attractive stalls offering unique, locally produced gifts (knits, soft toys, ceramics, antique jewellery boxes and writing slopes, artworks, prints, jewellery, aromatic soaps and toiletries, chocolates etc.) and Christmas fare (cards, Christmas wreaths & table centres, Christmas tree ornaments, cheeses, curry mixes and chilli sauces, chutneys & jams, mustards, Christmas cakes & puddings, gift packs etc.). The fair will be a great success thanks to our wonderful stall holders and volunteers donating cakes and raffle prizes, offering teas and cakes, and running the raffle.

 

Our Completed 2017 Renovations

As custodians of a beautiful early 20th century building, the Village Hall management committee have carried out much needed major renovation and maintenance work during the August school holiday period this year; kitchen, toilets, full internal and external decorating, curtains repaired and rehung, new kitchen windows and floor maintenance. Village Hall Trustee, Ron Levett, ably assisted by his wife Margaret, has done an enormous amount of work that has saved us a lot of money, and has kept the whole project within budget.

 

The hall is looking magnificent, the best it ever has looked. To thank our generous donors to the renovations, local companies KPS Composting Services and Millwood Designer Homes, Isfield Parish Council, and the newly launched Friends of Isfield Village Hall and regular Users, long-term and new, for their support, we welcomed the village to take a look at what has been achieved in a relatively short time at the official opening of the renovated hall on 13th October.

 

This was a very happy and well attended event. Lynne Smith, Sales Manager of Millwood Designer Homes, opened the renovated hall saying that Millwood support community efforts wholeheartedly, and were delighted that so many residents of their development were already actively participating in events at the hall. Danny Smyth, Director of KPS Composting Services, sent his warm wishes and regrets that neither he nor Paul Smyth could attend 'this lovely event.' Peter Holmes, Secretary and Trustee, thanked Ron Levett, supported by his wife Margaret, for his tireless efforts project managing and also doing work to save us money. Father John Wall spoke the words of a hymn and blessed the hall, after which everyone enthusiastically joined in a champagne toast to the ongoing success of Isfield Village Hall.