Village Halls and Coronavirus 1 Trying to make sense of it all Helena Stubbs, our Village Halls Advisor has been trying to work through the mass of information to provide some useful pointers for village hall committees. The Government announcement on Monday 16th March in light of the coronavirus, significantly affects how the public should now act and behave into the foreseeable future. In response, it's vital that the managers of community buildings are taking the necessary precautionary steps and are keeping abreast of the latest information issued by the government. The primary aim is to delay the spread of the coronavirus and help protect those at higher risk due to their age or pre-existing health conditions. The key government message is to avoid social contact as much as possible. Closure or not At this moment in time there is no specific recommendation to close or stay open. But, whatever decisions you take you must consider the health and well-being of your staff, volunteers and users. Also consider whether you hall is part of any local emergency response plan. Committee members keeping busy The committee members should keep in touch with each other. If you have an Emergency Plan, you may want to refresh yourselves about what is says. Keep abreast of the regular national guidance and daily government announcements, and consider which aspects may impact on your hall. Review the impact of closure on the community and the hall. Consider any needs to make the hall available. Prepare groups for a closure of the hall without notice or with very short notice. Make sure all your contact details are up to date and that your website and social media accounts are active. If you do close, prepare for re-opening by making sure you keep in touch with your users so they know when you are back open and you can start generating an income once again - we don't know how long this will impact on us all. Insurance It is unlikely that cover will include closure due to pandemic, but you should read your policy and check with your own insurance provider on the implications of the possibility of Government advice to close. Government Grants announced We will look into whether village halls and community buildings will be eligible for grants and publish our findings as soon as we can. Keep up to date If you would like to keep up to date with advice specifically for village hall and community building committees then make sure your are subscribed to our regular emails. If you would like to be added to the distribution list please email [email protected] and include your name, the name of the hall you are connected to and which Local Authority area the hall is in. You can ask for more than one email address to be added in which case please also include their name. You can always visit our Village Halls pages on our website for more information.