Village Halls Week: CCB has always been at the forefront of helping village halls in Berkshire

It’s Village Halls Week (20 – 26 January 2020) and as part of the weeks events we thought we’d have a little look through the archives and found this interesting article from a 2002 Autumn edition of our old Community magazine. Proving that CCB has always been at the forefront of helping Village Halls to stay up-to-date with changing needs and legislation. Read on for a bit of history and information that is still useful in 2020….

Improving the access to village halls for disabled people can often be achieved at little or no extra cost, wrote Wendy Dacey in 2002.

At an information evening held in Theale in July 2002 members of village hall management committees heard Professor Keith Bright from the Department of Inclusive Environments at Reading University, talk about how village halls can be made more accessible for disbaled people. His talk highlighted not only difficulties of access but the problems encountered by the partially sighted, people with dyslexia and those with hearing difficulties. Frequently only simple remedies are required, often a little or no extra cost.

He explained, for example, that painting contrasting colours between the walls and the fittings in the toilet area can be helpful. Some paint companies can advise on the best colour combinations. Other simple ideas include light switch covers that contract with the wall colour, visbility panels in doors, levers instead of screw taps and notices which are either pictograms or written in upper and lower case.

Professor Bright, together with the delegates then carried out an audit of Theale hall which committee members would be able to do in their own halls, Wendy Dacey, CCB’s Village Halls Adviser, spoke about the funding opportunites available and emphasised the need to minute any decisions taken for future reference.

A number of people commented on how useful they had found the event and the benefits they would be able to bring to their own halls.

QUESTION: Do you remember attending this training event? Did you go away and make any improvements to your village hall following it? if yes we’d LOVE to hear your story. Please get in touch with or to share you story with us.

Village Halls Week; Spotlight on Thatcham Parish Hall

Thatcham Parish Hall – Berkshire

The idea of a village hall was instigated in 1903 by Miss A.L Henry, third daughter of John Henry of Colthrop Mill, and plans were made to erect a venue to accommodate 200 people at concerts and other entertainments. Within a few years some £350 had been raised. The Parish Hall was built by Mr. W. Child of Thatcham and was opened on 10th April 1907 by Mrs Benyon, wife of the Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire. The Parish Hall was built in 1907 for the people of Thatcham and has been in regular use ever since by many groups for meetings, entertainment, parties and sports.

In 2019, the Parish Hall faced the prospect of closure as long standing Trustees needed to retire and new Trustees proved difficult to find. Financial pressures also increased with the loss of the local pre-school who were a regular hirer of the hall. The CCB’S Community Buildings Advisor was called in to support the Trustees. Suggestions were made about developing an online presence and promoting the hall using banners overlooking the local supermarket Car park. The Parish Hall held an open public meeting to discuss the option to close the charity and sell the building. This revived local interest in the precious community asset and local people came forward to help support the promotion and running of the Hall. The Parish Hall still serves the community today!

HIRE RATES FOR CASUAL HIRE (discounts available for regular hires)
Library (including Kitchen) £8.00 p/hr
Hall (including Kitchen) £15.00 p/hr
All Rooms £20.00 p/hr

Booking contact

Tel;      07342 274526                                    


Facebook; Friends of Thatcham Parish Hall

Big Energy Saving Week 2020

It’s Big Energy Saving Week starts on Monday 20 January 2020. It’s an opportunity for organisations like CCB to give local people skills and knowledge to save money and find further help and advice on their energy bills and usage.

Tip 1 of the week is:

You could save around £36 a year by
✔ using a bowl when washing-up
✔ cutting your washing machine use by one cycle a week
Big Energy Saving Week 2020 6
✔only filling the kettle with the water you need
Learn more about how to use your power to make a BIG difference here: BESW20

On Wednesday 22nd Janaury our Energy Expert Helen Dean will be the Lambourn parent and toddler group at the Royal British Legion from 9am to 11am, run by Hungerford Children’s Centre. There’s also a health visitor clinic and baby weigh-in happening at the same time so if you’re going to be there do stop and have a chat with Helen and see how she can help you save money oin Big Energy Saving Week #BESW20

Recruitment: Development Officer at the Five a Day project

Five a Day Market are recruiting a Development Officer to manage the Five a Day project 

Five A Day Market Garden is a not for profit community gardening project.  The project runs from a two acre garden, which is situated in the beautiful and tranquil hamlet of Englefield, approximately seven miles west of Reading, Berkshire.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with volunteers, enjoy the fruits and vegetables of the Five a Day garden, and develop new ideas to help more people of all ages discover and enjoy Five a Day. Download the  Development Officer JD and apply before 27th January 2020.

CCB is now on Easyfundraising – feel good shopping

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for Connecting Communities in Berkshire with easyfundraising?

There are over 4,000 shops and sites on board ready to make a donation – including eBay, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, and M&S – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help us raise funds.

All you need to do is:

  1. Go to and join for free.
  2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.
  3. After you’ve checked out, the retailer will make a donation to Connecting Communities in Berkshire at no extra cost to you whatsoever!

There are no catches or hidden charges and Connecting Communities in Berkshire will be really grateful for your donations.

Thank you for your support.