Changes to the MUGA facility

Dear Community of Brockenhurst, I am writing to update you on the MUGA and the wider Village Hall site. Since the MUGA was launched, with immense support and funding from our community, we know there have been some regrettable instances of misuse, non-compliance with the existing Code of Conduct, and anti-social behaviour, which have led to complaints. We are also, sadly, like a number of other areas in Brockenhurst, experiencing an increase in wider anti-social behaviour which can also impact on our neighbours. We do take these issues very seriously, whilst also having to balance the needs of a community in which facilities for young people are so minimal. When the MUGA was launched, the stated intention was that the community would run it, but that has not happened in the way we had expected, and so the Brockenhurst Village Trust (BVT) has had to pick up the responsibilities and significant expense. One mitigation we have been exploring is erecting a high and lockable fence around the MUGA, to reduce stray balls and out of hours noise. However, the cost would run into tens of thousands of pounds for initial installation, plus ongoing costs to manage opening/closing and general security. We have so far, been unsuccessful in securing a grant, and a recent community crowd-funding drive failed to generate even one-tenth of the amount required. Our charity makes only a modest surplus, and Trustees are clear we cannot diminish our long-term reserves, so we have needed to reconsider our options. As a result of all the above, Trustees have agreed a number of initiatives to address some of these issues. To keep the MUGA open, we will be erecting a temporary, anti-climb fence, with lockable gates to control access. For an initial period, the MUGA will be opened and locked by staff and volunteers between the hours of 9am - 6pm. We expect this to be in place within the next few weeks. This will address issues relating to out-of-hours use and noise, and we will also assess its impact on anti-social behaviour, which we know is not limited to the MUGA. The Trust will conduct an initial review once the temp fence has been in place for a minimum of four weeks. This time will be used to monitor the impacts of this intervention on activity across the whole site. We do this reluctantly because we know the MUGA is an important community asset. But we also need to assess the continuing demand for such a facility, and we will shortly be launching a village-wide consultation on all our facilities, including the MUGA, which will help inform our future planning. In the meantime, should you have further questions or concerns please email us at: In respect of wider incidents of anti-social behaviour, which are not unique to us, we will be discussing the situation with the Parish Council, and our neighbourhood police team, and exploring increased use of CCTV, and options around securing the entire site at night. I hope this provides a reassurance that we are taking concerns seriously, but also recognising that there are no very easy answers. Above all, we want to ensure that we continue to provide a Community Hub which we know so many of our community, young and old, tell us they need, and enjoy. Yours sincerely, Kevin Plummer Chair of Trustee On behalf of The Brockenhurst Village Trust May 30, 2024
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BVT Annual Report

Brockenhurst Village Trust, a Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee, incorporated on 15 November 2000 and governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association. The charity was registered with the Charity Commission on 27 March 2001 and commenced operations upon transfer to it on 15 May 2001 of the assets from the Brockenhurst Village Hall charity. The Company number is 4108622 and the Charity Registration number is 1085825. Directors and Trustees As required by the Memorandum and Articles of Association the management of the company is invested in the Board of Directors who are also the Trustees of the Charity. The Board consists of up to eleven Directors. Objects, Organisation and Activities       The object of Brockenhurst Village Trust is to provide educational, recreational, and other community facilities for the benefit and social welfare of the people of the civil parish of Brockenhurst in Hampshire by charitable means. This means the running of the Village Hall, and its site in Highwood Road, the Charity Shop in Brookley Road. and organising such events which benefit the widest possible community in Brockenhurst under the revised branding as The Brockenhurst Community Hub. The Trustees giving due regard to guidance published by the Charity Commission on public benefit. The Village Hall hosts around 30 weekly and 10 monthly clubs and classes in addition to repeat booking from other community groups and small businesses. Organisations such as Hampshire County Council and the New Forest National Park Authority regularly hold training sessions at the Hall, appreciating the location, facilities, and service and also the value for money that it offers. External events such as this contribute to the successful running of the Hall, and thus its wider community ;    The Hall is available for hire by individuals and organisations. There is a standard hiring agreement and scale of charges. which is calculated to be adequate to generate income to meet all expenditure incurred in maintaining the Hall, providing an appropriate share of the wider site maintenance and annual depreciation of the Trust’s assets. Hire fees were increased this year, first time in five years, due to a quadrupling of energy costs. The Trust hosts activities, such as “Brockenhurst Cinema” and the Brockenhurst Bridge Club in the Hall on its own account, managed by volunteers, in order to provide a focus for the village as part of the Community Hub concept described below. The Trustees are responsible for the overall management of the Company and its future direction. This may also include strategic guidance, or delivery of projects for the community. The day-to-day operation of the Village Hall, the charity shop, and site facilities is the responsibility of the full-time Operations & Development Manager supported by part-time administrative and caretaking staff and a growing number of volunteers. Review of Activities and Future Developments The full Statement of Financial Activities for the year is set out in audited annual accounts, and available from The Charities Commission website. Highlights Income from lettings and events during 2023 was approximately £110,000 (2022 £104,783)   The Charity Shop, which had operated in the Hall since 2021 relocated to an empty shop in Brookley Road in the centre of Brockenhurst and following renovation of the premises re-opened successfully in September ; It was apparent that the central location would double the shop’s revenue and thus increase the funds available to the ; The shop’s gross contribution to the Trust in 2023 was £43,000 (2022 £26,525) and it is expected to contribute up to £60,000 in a full year of trading in 2024. The shop is entirely staffed by volunteers and the Trust wishes to express its gratitude to them. As part of the Community Hub the shop showcases events in the Hall and on the Highwood Site. The space released in the Hall by the shop’s relocation is being developed as a Community Food Enterprise during 2024, which could include a Community Fridge and Cafe. This will be closely connected to the outside space with community garden projects. Rising energy costs were identified as the major risk facing the Trust with long term fixed contracts expiring in late 2023. To that end the Trust decided to invest some £24,000 in additional solar panel capacity including battery storage in 2023 and is negotiating new agreements with energy suppliers and for sale of surplus energy generated in the expectation of moving as far as possible “off-grid”. The focus for 2024 is to enhance the facilities both inside and out. The hall, improving insulation and examine whether gas use can be eliminated by installation of heat pump technologies. The outside space made more useable and attractive with the installation of picnic benches and planting. All potential developments are tested against our five-year strategy, developed in 2022, which provides a framework for decision making, investment and prioritisation and the basis for regular reviews of the Trust’s activities and financial position at each board meeting. As these plans start to take shape, we will be seeking input from our community. Please keep a look out for these opportunities.
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Village Hall comes to the rescue.

Brockenhurst Village Hall became an emergency overnight evacuation shelter for more than 150, Year 7 Hampshire school children on a residential stay at Tile Barn Outdoor Centre in Brockenhurst. Early evening thunderstorms had unsettled some of the children who were due to spend the night under canvas. The threat of further violent thunderstorms led to a late phone call to the Village Hall, as part of an emergency planning agreement with Hampshire County Council. The children, from Cowplain school in Waterlooville Hampshire, were shuttled by minibus the mile to the village hall, where they spent the night. Sarah, Operations Manager, said: “As a community hub, it was a privilege to provide shelter at such short notice, and ensure a safe, dry and warm environment for the children to spend the night. The children coped amazingly well given this was the first week at a new school and were a credit to their parents and teachers”
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Nominations now open for the 2021 Citizen of Brockenhurst Awards

We are again looking for your nominations for three outstanding local people in our third Brockenhurst Citizens of the Year Awards 2021. Who will you nominate? Nominations close on Monday, January 31st, 2022. Entries cannot be accepted after this date. After judging, the Awards will be announced by 28th February 2022 at a presentation (details to be decided under social distancing rules if applicable at that time). There are three award categories: - Brockenhurst Neighbour or Friend of the Year – given for an exceptional friendly and neighbourly act to an individual or family. Examples could include an individual who has: helped in a crisis or emergency or helped with activities they can’t do themselves.  a care worker who has gone beyond the call of delivery person who’s spotted something and reported it and stopped a in any other way helped a friend and/or been a good neighbour. Contribution to Brockenhurst Life – given for a wider exceptional contribution to the life or reputation of Brockenhurst. This may be and individual who is or has been: a team manager, coach, captain who’s worked to promote their team and the who has contributed to a specific activity in the village such as Church life or a young persons’ organisation to the betterment of the or contributed to an environmental initiative which has improved the in any other way made Brockenhurst a better place to live. Young Person of Brockenhurst – given to any person under 18 best recognised for a generous, courageous, or selfless act. For example, a young person who has: helped someone who is infirm/has a disability with regular shopping and/or chores an outstanding result in sport or others to come together for example to join a sports team or form a groupregularly performed a service in difficult circumstances such as delivery in all weathersor in other ways acted with kindness, generosity or taken responsibility beyond their years to make life better for someone else within the community. Kindly sponsored by
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