Lavendon Village Hall: COVID-19 & Re-opening Update


Prospective Hirers and Visitors to the Lavendon Village Hall may like an update on re-opening conditions following the recent introduction of the Government’s ‘Rule of Six’.

The Village Hall is essentially ‘COVID-19 Secure’, meaning that the managers have conducted a Risk Assessment and as a result introduced appropriate signage, cleaning routines, sanitisation stations, social distancing arrangements, one-way system, Hirer’s Special T&Cs, and various other procedures, to help render the Hall safe. A local overall limit of 30 visitors remains in force.

Hall Managers continue to receive guidance from ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), an organisation which is in daily contact with relevant government departments concerning the responsibilities of Hirers, Managers and Hall Trustees. The latest version of the Government Guidance for Community Facilities issued on 14th September, section 3c, (see link below) indicates that community halls are able to remain open and, for example, to host formal or informal clubs, hobby groups, and amateur choirs and orchestras, provided the venue is Covid secure.

The guidance stresses that activities and clubs must be limited to attendance in groups of no more than 6 people following social distancing rules. Only “where there is a significant likelihood  of groups mixing and socialising (and where it will be difficult to prevent mingling and therefore breaking the law) should activities not take place in a community facility”. We are advised that the listing of activities such as Women’s Institutes, sewing clubs, book clubs, craft clubs, reading groups, amateur choirs and orchestras does not mean they cannot take place: it is a flag for organisers of such activities to take particular care to ensure that individuals attend them in component groups no larger than 6, and that these small groups (which might only be one person) remain socially distanced from each other and do not mingle while on the premises.

People meeting in a club or group context at a community centre must be encouraged to socially distance from anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble. Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can run children’s groups and other youth activities, subject to their own capacity limits and specific Government Guidance. Indoor sporting facilities, fitness centres and dance studios can also operate. Hirers providing such activities, must likewise adhere to specific government guidance concerning sports and leisure facilities.

Where community facilities need to be used for physical meetings, these meetings should be managed within the social distancing guidance and principles set out elsewhere. Meetings may include civic or community group meetings, eg such as the hall’s own charity board of Trustees and Management Committee.

The above summary is simplified and only indicative: more detailed information can be found at:

Lavendon Village Hall: Re-opening


The Management Team has been preparing to re-open the Village Hall in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter, of course, poses many problems for re-opening the Hall, the normal purpose of which is to facilitate the kind of communal activities that are potentially at odds with ‘social distancing’. Nevertheless, there have already been a number of enquiries asking when the Hall can be booked for carefully managed events.

The Village Hall is a charity and dependent on booking income which at present is zero despite continuing outgoings, insurance, utilities, etc. It is therefore important that we re-open as soon as possible. Safe opening will very much depend on responsible and safe usage in the future. We are not currently planning on increasing hire charges to help off-set the extra costs that will fall on the Hall, eg for hand sanitisation and to cover lower attendee footfall, etc.

We are expecting to re-open the Hall in early September: Hirers and Visitors alike may therefore wish to have some idea as to how this will be managed and what special precautions will be put in place to allow this to happen. The following is a brief summary of key points:

  1. The Management Team will ensure that the Hall is managed in full compliance with Government Regulations and to this end we now subscribe to a body known as ACRE – Action with Communities in Rural England – which provides us with up-to-date guidance on national policy, etc.
  2. The Team has prepared a full COVID-19 Risk Assessment for the Hall that will be available for inspection on the internet and in the Hall. Hirers will also need to consider whether a bespoke Risk Assessment is required for their own particular event.
  3. In addition to the usual Terms & Conditions, Hirers and event organisers will be required to accept an additional set of Special COVID-19 T&Cs that have been prepared by the Team based on ACRE guidance. These put significant responsibility on to organisers to ensure full safety compliance on behalf of their own attendees, eg Hirers will list attendees for NHS ‘Test and Trace’ purposes.
  4. For the time being there will be a limit of 30 people permitted in the Hall without more bespoke control being put in place by Hirers, eg stewarding, pre-booking, etc. Only two people max at one time are permitted in each of the toilets, kitchen, bar area, and stage side lobbies.
  5. With certain exceptions face coverings are required upon entry to the Hall. A one-way system will be utilised when larger numbers come and go, with entry at main door and exit at front side door. Hand sanitisation is essential upon entry and exit – an automatic dispenser is now installed at the front entrance. Other hand dispensers will be available in the kitchen, toilets and the main hall. Social distancing must be respected, especially where older or more vulnerable visitors are transiting.
  6. A variety of Signage will be evident especially along the main corridor, on doors and on the floor where social distancing and one-way reminders will be affixed.
  7. Hot and cold drinks, and also pre-packed food may be prepared in the kitchen, but for the time being hot food may not be cooked and served from the kitchen in order to minimise the use of crockery and cutlery, etc. Hirers must bring their own tea-towels and cloths for wiping up, though the normal soaps and surface sanitising spray will be provided by the Hall.
  8. A COVID-19 emergency First Aid box will be available in the Bar Area for general emergencies; this will include PPE and other essential items, but they are not intended for general issue.
  9. We shall expect Hirers to take note of the additional COVID-19 T&Cs and associated Hall Risk Assessment, and we will also encourage feedback to the Management Team, as appropriate.
The MK Community Foundation supports Lavendon Village Hall