Work is slowly progressing towards completion of work on the new Stroud Village Hall and the trustees are now expecting handover at the end of September. First fit electrics are in and the Heat Recovery Unit, which was a late addition at the planner’s request, is expected to have been delivered and fitted in August.
Whilst there isn’t a lot else to report – until a definite handover date is known and then a timeline for the fit out is put in place we cannot start to take provisional bookings etc – the trustees are confident work is moving towards a conclusion. To help monitor this a ‘clerk of works’ – local architect Graham Gard of ASCE Designs in Liss – has been appointed to oversee the final stages and report on any snaggings identified.
In addition, the trustees have received a donation of 100+ folding wooden chairs – suitably ‘Covid compliant’ – from FatFace and believe they may have been able to source some tables as well. These were the main items expected to prove most difficult to obtain during the fit out stage so having them available now is a huge relief.
In the meantime, there is much other work necessary to ensure that, whenever we do open, we are ‘Covid-compliant’ and we are members of a Village Hall managers network where current practice understanding – and clarifications – are shared. We are fortunate this network is within the umbrella of Action Hampshire who share updated guidance from ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) as and when it is issued.
Jo Sweet, the Hall Manager, is starting to pull together the names of people who have said they would be willing to help out in one way or another at the Hall on a regular or irregular basis. If you would like to add your name to this list perhaps you would drop her an email – [email protected] – with your name and contact details or, if you do not have access to email then do the same by a letter or note to me, Jeremy Mitchell, at Fairlands, Finchmead Lane, Stroud, Petersfield, GU32 3PF.
Finally, I am going to stick my neck out and say that we are looking forward to welcoming you to Stroud’s new Village Hall before the end of the year – whether that be in ‘huddles’, ‘bubbles’, ‘cohorts’, or whatever collective terminology is in use at the time to define prevailing social distancing requirements.
In the meantime, the most effective means of avoiding Coronavirus remains regular hand-washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and avoiding close contact with anyone outside your household or ‘bubble’ etc. Finally, self-isolate if you feel any symptoms such as cough, fever, high temperature. Keep up to date by visiting https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.