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 over the past three years by introducing new activities (e.g. Wine Club, Art Group, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, Vintage dance classes, Floral workshops etc.) and holding our own events (e.g. Frost Fair, Open Day, Race Nights, Film shows).

 

Nevertheless to combat the loss of Preschool, we need to introduce 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 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?

 

We have received 60 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.' 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' will be launched later this week asking the community to donate what they can to the village hall's emergency and maintenance reserves. We envisage running Friends' events (e.g. summer barbeques, Christmas film shows) and setting up a Friends' Advisory Group.

 

Upcoming Events at the Village Hall

 

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

Last year's Isfield Frost Fair was spectacular; local artists, crafts people and suppliers ran imaginative and very attractive stalls offering unique, locally produced gifts (knits, ceramics, artworks, prints, jewellery, aromatic soaps and toiletries, candles, plants, bird feeders & nest boxes, hampers, French macarons, Free trade raffia handbags & hats, handcrafted wooden toys, gardening gifts, etc.) and Christmas fare (cards, Christmas wreaths & table centres, Christmas tree ornaments, cheeses, specialist charcuterie, chutneys & jams, mustards, Christmas cakes & puddings, gift packs etc.). The fair was a great success thanks to our wonderful stall holders and volunteers donating cakes and raffle prizes, offering teas and cakes, and running the raffle. The exhibitors are keen to participate at our next fair, along with some very interesting new stands, and we are holding it on Sunday 26th November 2017.

 

Millwood Designer Homes Donation and Our Completed Renovations

As custodians of a beautiful early 20th century building that needs constant attention, 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. Village Hall Trustee, Ron Levett, ably assisted by his wife Margaret, has worked in the hall almost every day during the renovations and has done an enormous amount of work that has saved us a lot of money. The hall is looking magnificent now and we very much look forward to welcoming the village to take a look at what has been achieved in a relatively short time.

We would not have been able to meet the cost of this work (over £17,000) without a very generous donation from Millwood Designer Homes who presented a cheque for £5,000 to Keith Taylor, Chairman of the Village Hall, and Peter Holmes, Secretary, at a special ceremony held at the Lavender Fields show house on 9th March. We thank Millwood Homes most sincerely for this donation. The balance of the cost will be met from our own fund raising events over the last few years, and we are in the process of applying to other funding sources. The Management Committee agreed to continue with the much needed renovations, most of which were already fully committed, in spite of the drop in our revenue due to Pre School closing.