I wanted to write a short history of our journey to let you know want happened and how it happened. Right at the started they were doubters who thought it would never go ahead and were not supportive, and quite frankly we could have achieved a new village hall.
In the end we choose to take the refurbishment route because it was achievable and more help was there for a refurbishment. Plans for a new hall were drawn up and i still have them. But Offenham Village Hall has a character and a history which i would like to think we kept.
I would like to thank all the grant providers, businesses donations, private donations, Wychavon District Council, Worcestershire County Council, those of you you came to our many events, all those people who helped me over the years. A big thank you goes to Offenham Parish Council for there support Also my wife who supported me at many events, listened to my achievements and was many and there when it wasn’t going my way. She is still with me and lets me continue to put the work in.
The work hasn’t been easy but it has been enjoyable.
In 2009 a bequest was left by Sylvia Mary Marshall in her will.
The then committee decided this money should go towards the start of Refurbishing the Village Hall and the money was put aside and was to be used as a starting point
When applying for a grant you have to show you have raised some funds yourself and this became the foundation of the project along with some of the funds we had already raised.
The Offenham Village Hall Refurbishment Project was then started.
The details of this project will be updated on a regular basis to tell you how it happened or how I can recall it happening because a lot of things went on.
The Heating System
The first grant applied for was to replace the heating system was installed before the main refurbishment. A grant of £1,000 was given by Wychavon District Council and a further grant of £9,000 was received by Welcome to our future who managed the Severn Waste landfill tax. We also put money in from our own funds and the parish Council gave a grant as well.
The Main Refurbishment Project.
At a chance meeting I went to at Bishampton Village Hall I was aware of a lady that I had heard about who might be able to help me. After the meeting I approached her and we discussed what I wanted to do.
At that time there was no funding available due to it being end of financial year, but a few weeks later I received an email about some European Funding through Worcestershire County Council that was available.
As I recall I had to write a letter of interest, then after a visit to the hall by two ladies to assess the hall on one sunny day we were able to apply for a grant. The two ladies were brilliant in helping and advising me in putting together the grant application of £24,586. I use their advise in every grant application I apply for and it has been quite successful. They also gave me the confidence to spent the next 10 years improving the hall, Thank you ladies.
After applying for the grant I then had to go to Worcester to give a presentation to a group of people who were responsible for the grant.
it was suppose to be a 5 minute presentation but turned out to be 15 minutes. I couldn’t get it any shorter because of my enthusiasm for this major work, which was going to change OFFENHAM VILLAGE HALL for ever.
On the morning of the presentation I read through my notes and they came to 30 minutes. I trimmed it and reread it knocking 5 minutes off, trimmed and reread, trimmed and reread until i was down to 15 minutes. Now off to Worcester.
When I was called in I opened by note book I then closed it again because I then knew everything about our project. Then projector screens of pictures I had sent were showed one being the Youth Club jumping in the air and some of the hall. This then inspired and 15 minutes later I stopped. There was then a questions section which they then asked want to know more about the project.
The next day I was told we had been successful and that was the start.
To Be continued