AGM 2019 – Chairman’s report

Good evening everyone and thank you for coming. My name is Marie Justice and I have been the Chairman of the Victory Hall Trust for the past two years now. I am a Community Trustee, along with Caroline Aird, Miriam Smith, Carole Smith and Sally Parfitt. In addition to our Community Trustees we also have space on the Trust for three Trustees from our Parish Council. Two of these spots have been occupied for the past year by Josie Walledge and Kevin Smith. We have had a space for an additional Parish Council Trustee but I am pleased to be able to say that this has now been filled as well.

I once again need to thank my fellow Trustees for all their efforts over the past year. Everyone contributes so much to enable the hall to run smoothly and also, on a personal note, to support me and I am extremely grateful. I would like to just remind the community that the Trustees do all of this on a purely voluntary basis for the benefit of the village.

I would also like, once again, to thank Elaine Coles our administrator and Sandra Vinnicombe our cleaner for their work over the past year. A lot of you will know Elaine, who deals with enquiries and bookings and day to day issues which arise. Not so many people see Sandra as she is usually behind the scenes. We continue to receive very positive feedback from hall users about both the booking/enquiry process and the cleanliness of the hall. We are very grateful for both Elaine and Sandra’s continued hard work.

In my report last year I talked about the Trust’s long term plan, over three years or so, to update and improve the hall. After a few years of upheaval the final major part of the plan was to install a projector and screen which we hoped could be used for film nights and presentations. I am very pleased to say that the projector and screen were installed and have already had use by some of our groups. The Trust have also run a couple of film events to promote the new screen which were extremely well attended (the most recent was a sell out). As a result, Barry Carr is looking to set up a film club, interest permitting, and we are hopeful that further members of the community will benefit from this additional facility.

As we had hoped, the work on the hall was finished in time to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. It was very well attended and hopefully some of you were able to come along. I would like to thank everyone involved in organising that weekend; it was a real community effort, with involvement from the trustees, members of the village and and groups who use the hall. I think we are all very proud of the commemoration and also the addition to the memorial, which was also the result of the hard work of a number of people.

Exminster Parish Council have continued to provide the Trust with financial assistance to enable us to finish off the hall improvements and this is greatly appreciated. I am pleased that with their help we are able to offer a space for so many people in the community to utlilise in one way or another, whether by attending a regular group, hosting or attending a one off group or using Coffee on the Corner.

It has been another positive year for the Hall overall and I am proud of what we have achieved. We have lost some regular bookings but we have gained some new ones in their place. The village continues to grow in size and now that the major changes and improvements have been carried out I am hopeful that increasing numbers of the community will use this great resource and that we will have another successful year.