FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Making a Booking
Can I visit the Village Hall before booking?
We welcome visits prior to booking to ensure the venue is suitable for your event. Please contact us on 01798 815 467 or by email. We look forward to showing you around.
Where do I find out more about how to use the hall and the hall's equipment
Most information should be provided on our website but if you find something isn't covered then please contact us by telephone on 01798 815 467 or email.
How do I make a booking?
From our website, use the online calendar to check room availability for the dates you require.
What are the Hire Fees?
The Hire Fee varies depending on the time and day of the booking.
Do you offer any discounts?
We offer a 20% discount on the Hire Fee for bookings of 3 horus or more. We also offer discounts to community groups for weekday bookings excluding Friday evenings. The standard hire rate quoted on our website applies to non-community users. If you are unsure whether you would qualify as a community user then please contact us by telephone on 01798 815 467 or by email prior to completing your booking form.
When do I pay for my hire?
You may pay for yoru hire at the time of making your provisional booking. Payments are required no later than 1 calendar month before your event. Bookings are not confirmed until full payment of the Hire Fee and Security and Damage Deposit are received. We are unable to issue reminders, so please ensure that your payment is received by us no later than 1 calendar month before your event. If full payment has not been received within the month of the booking, you may forfeit the booking and we may accept bookings from other hirers.
Do I have to live in the village to hire the hall?
No, we welcome interest and bookings from both within and outside Thakeham Village. The Village Hall is proving to be a popular venue and we warmly welcome anyone interested in using the rooms.
Can I hire the football fields for my event?
The football fields are open to the public and are also available to hire for sporting activities and other special events. The Village Hall Managers can take a booking for the fields. Marquees have been erected there in the past and in doing so this would provide an extension to the Village hall area. Talk to us about your ideas and we would be happy to advise and hopefully accommodate any such requests.
What insurance do I need to hold an event?
The committee have insurance covering the hall and most foreseeable events are covered by this insurance. The main exceptions to this are commercial activities and bouncy castles, in which are are required to secure your own insurance. In additional to this, if your event has a higher risk than normal of causing injury please let us know when making your provisional booking so that we can check with our insurers. You may be required to secure your own specific event insurance, but if we are informed of what you are planning then we can advise.
What time can the hall be booked to?
The village hall is in a residential area so we ask all our guests to be mindful of our neighbours at whatever time they leave the venue. Licencing regulations require music/entertainment to be turned off at 11pm. The hall can be booked until midnight on Friday and Saturday evenings and until 11pm on other days.
Do you allow time for setting up before and/or clearing up afterwards?
We ask that you book and pay for the complete time you will be using the hall (i.e. include any time necessary for setting-up beforehand and clearing-up afterwards). It is important that you determine this before making your booking as it is quite likely that other bookings will run either right up to or directly after your booking so may be impossible to adjust later. The Hall must be vacated by the end of your specified booking period.
Are their age restrictions on booking the hall?
We do not hire the Hall to anyone aged under 18 years, nor to anyone who may owe money to the Hall for any reason. There may be some activities or events for which we would choose not to hire out the Hall; please ask if you need to. We do require additional security staff cover for all 16th to 21st parties, with the arrangements made and cost for this to be covered by the hirer. We can provide details of the reliable security company that you will need to use. We require evidence of this cover before we are able to confirm your booking.
Can you accommodate wedding receptions?
We welcome anyone interested in using the village hall for their wedding reception. We would be very happy to show you around and talk to you about your plans for the big day. We are able to help recommend some suppliers too. Let us know if you are interested in finding out more.
My event is a late finish, is it possible to return the next morning to clean and tidy the room?
Let us know if you would like to arrange this. Ordinarily this will be fine, provided we have no bookings first thing the following morning. Ideally notify us at the time of your booking if you wish to do this and we will book the appropriate time for you.
How and when is my Security and Damage Deposit returned to me?
We aim to refund the damage deposit within a week of your booking. The room will need to be thoroughly checked first. We will require your bank details in order for a bank transfer back to you can be made please email these to email@example.com. We do reserve the right to deduct an appropriate amount if damage has occurred or additional cleaning is deemed as required, but we will always discuss this with you. If you don’t hear from us then please expect your damage deposit to be returned in full within 1 week.
Space and Capacity
What’s the layout of the Village Hall?
We have a large entrance hall giving direct access to the Hall and Chesswood Room, both of which contain large storage areas. Both rooms have access to the rear terrace and onto the recreational area behind the village hall. The kitchen has serving hatches through to both the Main Hall and the Chesswood Room.
There are toilet facilities for ladies and gentlemen and a separate accessible toilet. Both the ladies and the accessible toilet provide baby change facilities. A diagram of the hall layout can be found on Our Venue page.
Is there access to an outside area?
Yes, we have a small terrace accessible from both the Hall and the Chesswood Room. We request that the terrace is only used when the weather is dry to avoid leaving wet footprints in the rooms. Please ensure you do not block the fire exits when using the terrace area.
What access is there to the kitchen?
The kitchen is directly accessible from the main Entrance Hall. There are serving hatches from the kitchen to the Hall and from the kitchen to the Chesswood Room. The use of the kitchen and all its equipment is included in the hire charge for both the Hall and the Chesswood Room.
What is the capacity of the rooms?
We can accommodate 270 people in the Hall, sat theatre style, approximately 180 seated at long tressle tables and 150 seated at round tables. The Chesswood Room can accommodate 120 people sat theatre style..
Does the hall comply with the latest regulations for accessibility?
Yes, our venue is fully accessible to disabled persons. There are designated car parking spaces for disabled users immediately in front of the building. The hall has step-free access for those in wheelchairs, and there is a separate accessible toilet equipped for the disabled. There are no floor level changes inside the building.
Is there a stage and sound equipment?
There is a sizable stage available at an extra hire charge. The Hall has audio equipment with microphones available and the Chesswood Room has a data projector with a HDMI cable to connect to a laptop or other suitable equipment. Please contact the Hall Managers by email if you require this.
Is WiFi available at the Hall?
Yes, WiFi is available for use by our users, free of charge and you must agree to the terms and conditions of use when you connect. The network is secured by a password, which is provided on the noticeboard in the entrance hall.
What equipment is available in the kitchen?
We have a kettle, an instant hot water system, full height fridge and separate under-counter freezer, a commercial dishwasher (2 minute cycle), a large Rangemaster oven and 2 microwave ovens. Please refer to the instructions located within the kitchen prior to use of any equipment.
There is a large amount of basic cutlery, crockery and glasses. We have a small number of pans and oven trays. For wine, we recommend you bring your own glasses or hire glasses in (usually free of charge from most supermarkets when purchasing their wine).
The dishwasher is preloaded with detergent and will need to be emptied and all items dried and put away after use. There is washing up liquid and some cloths. There are some bin bags and tea towels, but ideally you bring your own as these are limited. If cutting cake then you may wish to bring a knife as we are unable to store sharp knives in the kitchen due to the risk they can pose.
For larger or more formal gatherings we have a cutlery, crockery and glassware supplier who we can put you in contact with.
What furniture and equipment is available?
If you think you may need more chairs and tables than the number allocated to your room then let us know as we can re-allocate between rooms.
For larger or more formal gatherings we have a table and linen provider who we can recommend.
What do we do with the rubbish?
Two bins (general waste and general recycling) are supplied in the each of the rooms and a further 2 are supplied in the kitchen. We actively encourage recycling and therefore are very grateful if you can split your waste accordingly, using the appropriate bins.
If these are full up there are extra bin bags under the sink in the kitchen. Any full bags should be taken to the bin store at very end of the corridor on the left hand side. No rubbish is to be left in front of the fire exit door.
Permissions and Licences
Can I arrange a Bouncy Castle for my party?
The Hall can accommodate a bouncy castle but our insurer does not cover the use of such equipment so we do have certain conditions.
Our conditions are:
- Hirers are required to confirm their intentions to have a bouncy castle on their booking form;
- The bouncy castle and other soft play equipment must be supervised at all times by an adult (over 18);
- Public liability insurance must be obtained by the hirer.
- Hirers provide evidence of insurance before the hall booking can be conformed;
- The Village Hall Managers reserves the right to prohibit the use of bouncy castles and other soft play equipment, or even to cancel the booking if appropriate evidence is not provided on request.
The following insurer provides ad hoc bouncy castle insurance:
Does the hall have a licence for wedding ceremonies?
At this time we do not but it is something we are considering so do let us know if you are interested in using the venue for your ceremony. Currently, you are very welcome to book the hall for your wedding reception/celebration.
Is it okay to being our own equipment into the hall?
That depends on what type equipment that you intend to bring. If it is to provide additional heating, then no (this shouldn’t be required anyway). If it is electrical equipment then we will need to have evidence that all items have been PAT tested. If you tell us what you would like to bring in then we will happily advise, and always try to accommodate your request.
Can I provide alcohol at my event?
At present the Hall does not have a liquor licence.
You must notify us at the time of booking for all events at which alcohol is to be provided (whether for free or on a paid for basis).
Can we bring our own food into the hall or employ our own caterers?
Yes to either. You are very welcome to bring your own food in and we would happily accommodate the use of external caterers too. If you have a good experience and you’d like to recommend them, then do let us know and we will feature them on our website for others to use.
Do I need an entertainment licence?
The hall has a PPL PRS licence for music and most bookings would be covered under this licence. However, if you plan to show films or other copyrighted material, you would need the appropriate licence for this type of event. Talk to us for more advice.
If the weather is good can I take the tables and chairs outside?
Yes, but it’s not a large terrace and all items taken outside will need to be returned to the store rooms at the end of the booking.
Are we permitted to have a BBQ?
Yes, but you must only use the BBQs owned by the village hall. There is a separate fee for this and you must let us know at the time of booking if you would like to use these.
Are we permitted to smoke?
Smoking is not permitted inside the building. We have a dedicated smoking area outside. It is clearly signed and there is a cigarette bin. Please ensure that all smokers only use this area and that cigarettes are extinguished prior to disposal in the bin provided.
Can we bring helium balloons into the Hall?
They are not specifically excluded, but because we ask that you leave the place as you find it, that includes making sure none are left on the ceiling!
Can I attach decorations to the wall and ceiling?
Yes, but only using approved materials. Please do not use clear tape or bluetac as it leaves a residue on surfaces which is difficult or impossible to remove. We only permit the use of 3M Command strips – these are reasonably priced (about £4 for 20), strong, non-permanent hooks which can be purchased in supermarkets, stationers, DIY stores, Amazon and eBay etc. Search for ‘command decorating clips’…
You must not attach anything to lighting appliances or to other electrical equipment– doing so is a significant safety hazard.
Access and Car Parking
How can I access the hall?
We will be in contact with you the week before the event and provide you with a door access code for your booking.
I would like to arrive earlier than the time booked; is this possible?
The Hall will be available from the time you booked, and unless you have made an amendment to your booking (with the agreement of the Hall Manager), this is the time yourself and your guests may enter the Hall. If the Hall is already open owing to an earlier event being in progress, we ask that you respect their tenancy of the Hall and wait for your start time before entering.
If the other room is empty, may we use this space?
You are only permitted to use the room you have booked, along with the ancillary areas, such as the toilets and kitchen. You are not permitted to utilise a room which has not been booked.
Is there car parking available?
Immediately outside the Hall is a large car park for approximately 50 vehicles. There are 2 additional parking areas adjacent to the football fields, accessed via Abingworth Crescent and Storrington Road (B2139) and a car park adjacent to the cricket pitch accessed via Pavillion Close, should this be required. We ask our guests to avoid parking on Abingworth Crescent itself where it may cause an obstruction. There are 6 designated car parking spaces for disabled users immediately outside the Village Hall.
Who is responsible for Health and Safety during my booking?
The person responsible is the person that made the booking and signed the terms and conditions of hire document. The Hall Managers and committee undertake regular safety inspections to ensure the hall complies with the Health and Safety regulations, but during your hire period you should first carry out a risk assessment of your own, record and report any accidents or equipment faults and ensure you know how to, and inform your guests how to evacuate the building in an emergency.
What should I do in the event of a fire?
As the hirer you the designated responsible person and the safety of all users is of primary importance. Please ensure you are familiar with Village Hall Fire Procedures prior to the event. These can be found on the on the notice board in the entrance hall of the building.
What should I do if someone has an accident at the Hall?
Please notify the Hall Manager by telehpone on 01798 815 467 or by email at your earliest convenience as this will need to be recorded in the accident book and an investigation may be necessary.
There is some faulty equipment at the Hall; what should I do?
You are asked to report it to the Hall Manager by telephone on 01798 815 467 or by email at your earliest possible opportunity.
There is another event in the other room; is there anything I need to know or do?
Please confine your use of the Hall to the room(s) you have booked and the communal areas and respect others’ rights to the room they are booked into.
An item belonging to the Hall has been broken / the hall has been damaged, how should I report this?
You are asked to notify the Hall Manager of any breakage or damage at your earliest possible opportunity by telephone on 01798 815 467 or by email. We understand that accidental breakages do happen from time to time. However, we do expect to be informed. If we are not informed of the breakage/damage or feel an item has been broken / damaged through carelessness or negligence we would expect it to be paid for. Our preference would be to discuss the matter and come to some reasonable agreement regarding its replacement/repair.
Who is responsible for cleaning the hall?
We have cleaners that maintain the general cleanliness of the hall but at the end of your booking you areresponsible for cleaning. We expect that all tables and chairs will be cleaned and floors swept if necessary. All food and rubbish should be removed. All we ask is that you leave it in the same state (or better) than you find it.
If we do find that additional cleaning is required then we reserve the right to deduct the cost of this from the damage deposit. If this is the case then we will discuss the matter with you.
I have left something of mine at the Hall; what can I do about it?
We keep lost property securely for three months. Please contact the Hall Manager by telephone on 01798 815 467 or by email as soon as you realise you may have left something behind.
Management of the Hall
I’d like to leave some feedback on my experience of the Hall. How do I do this?
We would be most grateful if you wish to share any opinion of the Hall and your experience of the hire process. Please email the Hall Manager, or post us a written message addressed to the Hall Managers. You may also like to make a comment on our Facebook page or on Google.
We may from time to time like to use your comments, anonymously. Please let us know if you don’t want us to do so.
How does the committee use the money it raises from bookings?
All funds go towards the upkeep of the Village Hall and its equipment. It is always our aim to ensure the hire charges are kept as low as possible so we aim to increase occupancy rates to ensure hire charges are kept low.