Halloween Party 2013

A great night was had by all at the Halloween Party this year. Monster music, creepy costumes and ghoulish games in a Hall that has never looked so spooky.halloween_picsMany thanks to everyone who helped on the night, but particular thanks to The Coven AKA Catherine Cole, Sally Hunt and Rose Dewick, who organised the event and raised over £350.

Shopping online? Save money and donate for free!

easyfundraising_whitePolly Stebbens told us about a great way to shop online such that a proportion of what you spend is donated to Exeter Street Hall. Free of charge! Just sign up by clicking here then go to our homepage by clicking here. We get a £5 donation just by referring you, so please use these links!

Additionally, the site offers vouchers for you, so not only will you be making a donation to the Hall without paying a penny but you also stand to save some money yourself. Win win! All you have to do is start shopping online at easyfundraising.org.uk.

Right now Graham T is top of the donation leaderboard. With Christmas coming there’s the perfect opportunity to knock him from the top spot.

THGI Stay & Playgroup

The Hall has hosted a playgroup for over twenty years. Last year, with the Hall in a state of disrepair, the playgroup was forced to close during the winter months. When the spring came around this year it became apparent that the previous volunteers were no longer available. Now that the Hall has undergone some vital repairs, Natalie Miller and a group of volunteers have re-launched the playgroup as the THGI Stay & Playgroup. She told us:

“I’m thrilled that work has begun and that the building is much more comfortable now. The first thing I did was to get the playgroup under the safe umbrella of TheHallGetInvolved. Any money we make now goes directly back into improving our hall for everyone. We have also replaced some of of our toys and rugs giving the place a fresher feel.”

Run by a group of parents, the THGI Stay & Playgroup is on Tuesday mornings in term time from 9:30am until 11:30am. Parents/guardians are expected to stay and the price is £2 per family to cover costs. New families always welcome – feel free to turn up on the day!

Building Team Update – July 2013

After reaching out target of £150k back in January this year, we’ve been gearing up to the moment when we actually own the hall. The exchange of contracts is now imminent and completion is expected to follow shortly after. Then, finally, we’ll be able to begin the essential repairs to make the building  safe and dry so that other work can begin.

Although we had hoped that the hall could be closed for just a few days to do this work, we now have to close the hall for the whole of August. Why is this?

The hall doesn’t actually have it’s own electricity supply. Electricity is currently being supplied from the house next door and so we need UK Power Networks to connect us to the National Grid. This will involve digging up the road outside the hall and then other work to feed the supply in under the pavement. We’ll be rewiring some of the old lighting circuits, installing fire alarms and emergency lighting and fitting a 3-phase supply.

Damp resulted in a ceiling collapse in the toilets.
Damp resulted in a ceiling collapse in the toilets.

We are about to have a full condition survey carried out to give us priorities for essential works. Anyone using the hall knows the distinctly damp smell that greets you. It’s a combination of things that causes it, including leaks in the roof, rotten window frames and broken guttering. All of this needs to be addressed before we start internal repairs.

Perhaps the most welcome change will be to the toilets which are, to say the least, grim! We also have to get some form of emergency heating in place because we have no working system at the moment. [Local heating engineers please get in touch!]

It’s not all repairs though. We must ensure fire safety and security and so locks have to be changed, signs put up and extinguishers located. In all, quite a job to be ready for ‘business as usual’.

The plan is to set up a First Fix group that will make these repairs happen before the end of August. We’ll be starting this work from around the first week in August. We are definitely going to need volunteers to help with some of the work and we’ll be asking people to do specific jobs when the timetable has been finalised in the next week or so.

Other Building News

A group of architecture students from Brighton University have completed a full measured survey of the building and have started on a design that we can present to the community for consultation.

Hanover Community Centre invited us to see their eco refurbishments that have steadily improved the energy efficiency of the building. Really inspiring to see what can be achieved with determination and local volunteers. We’ve taken several ideas on board such as draught-proofing and insulation with lambs wool in the loft.

The building team is:

Amanda Nichols, Richard Davies, Grant Shepherd, Jonathan Dall, Nick Roughley, Dave Fellows, Polly Stebbens, Susan Corlett, Peter Golton.

You can contact us at building@exeterstreethall.org.