Support for community halls and centres across Hampshire


If you are responsible for a community building/ centre there is some networking and support available from Action Hampshire on how you can reduce your bills.

County-wide online networking session

Thursday 26 May, 10.00am-12.00pm on Zoom – main topic: getting more people involved

Join for a morning of sharing challenges and ideas with reps from community buildings across the county.  The main focus for the session will be on getting more people involved in running your building and helping out with activities; there’ll also be time to ask questions and discuss other topics / issues.

Please email, to note your interest and do also mention any questions or topics you’d like to cover.  There’ll be another briefing and networking online meeting on Wednesday 29 June, 1.00-3.00pm so save the date.

Saving energy and reducing your utility bills

Money is tight at the moment, for many people and organisations.  One way of addressing this is to reduce the amount of fuel, electricity, and water you use.  For some ideas, read this article from the Centre for Sustainable Energy.

The CSE has free resources to help with lowering your bills and your impact on the environment – go to the CSE website.  Your district / borough council might also be able to help you with advice, resources, and perhaps even funding.

Another important task is to ensure you’re getting a good deal on your utility bills.  If you have the time, it’s helpful to shop around – just like with your household suppliers.  There are also energy brokers whose goal is to get you the best deal on your utilities.  Our national partner charity ACRE is sponsored by Utility Aid and there are many other energy brokers you can choose from.  Here is a list.

Funding and free stuff

I’ve updated my funding sources list, which you can download from Action Hampshire’s website (under ‘Funding’).  The new items are:

Workplace Charging Scheme for electric vehicle charging points
Low Carbon Across the South and East energy efficiency / generation scheme
Community Ownership Fund to help voluntary / community groups acquire important assets and run them for community benefit

Free stuff: following a successful pilot in the Thames Valley area last year, A Good Thing is now rolling out across the UK.  It has built an online matchmaking platform that links charities up with local businesses who have things to donate – like laptops, stationery, furniture, baby blankets…

For furniture and equipment, also take a look at the Recycled Assets Company – who are based in Portsmouth.

Basecamp – sharing ideas and issues with fellow trustees and managers

Our online message board (run using the Basecamp system) is an ideal way of sharing issues and ideas with your fellow trustees / staff of community buildings.  We’ve got over 190 subscribers, all involved with managing a community hall or centre.  If you’d like to know more about Basecamp please see their short how-to video.  I’ve also got a simple beginners’ guide which I’ll send to new joiners.  To get started, just email Kevin and I’ll set up an account for you.

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