LAVENDON VILLAGE HALL RE-OPENING PREPARATIONS: A NOTE FROM THE MANAGEMENT TEAM
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.