Community support

Funding level: Up to £1,000


Exeter Street Hall is our very own village hall in the Prestonville area of Brighton. Our community rallied to its cause when the hall came under threat of development a few years ago. After a determined, award-winning campaign, 832 local residents in 2013 became shareholders of The Hall Get Involved (THGI*) & invested a total of £162,000 to buy & begin refurbishment of the Victorian building. That task continues to this day. We won a grant from People’s Millions & replaced the leaky roof. We’ve fixed up the drains, lights, loos & heating, but there is so much more to do before our once dilapidated hall is put to full use.

Over 30 active volunteers now form our Hall Action Group & we have a
Management Committee & a paid part-time Hall Manager. We run a Tea Club for senior residents; a monthly children’s 'Film Club' (picture 80 kids singing Let It Go at the tops of their voices); a Job Club; a Stay & Play Group for young children & their carers. We hold one-off community events too: mouth-watering meals, ceilidhs, poetry readings, hustings, food & craft markets, and legendary Halloween parties. We rent our hall to other groups and local families for parties, yoga, zumba, after school clubs, dance lessons. We are a new venue for the Brighton Festival Fringe. This building of ours lies at the heart of the community.

When staging our events up until now we have had to borrow or hire audio visual equipment from generous shareholders & local schools (who are both shareholders too). The Aviva Community Fund £1000 grant could help us ensure all these wonderful events take place year after year. We need 2 speakers with stands, a mixing unit, 3 microphones with cables & stands & a laptop. We would also install an induction loop system in the hall to improve the experience of our guests with impaired hearing. We have a fantastically helpful shareholder who is a professional DJ. He has estimated he can help us source this list of high quality equipment for approximately £1100. The balance over £1000 would be found by us as part of our ongoing fundraising programme. The equipment would be purchased & put to use from July 2015 should we be successful.

Not only will this equipment serve us for many years and hundreds of events, but it will enable us to carry out a long cherished project. As our campaign to save the hall progressed, we heard so many tales of why the hall means so much to so many people. We unearthed old photographs. We recorded some of our fundraising exploits. We were on the telly! However what we really want to do now is to use our new equipment to record, edit and present a collective community history of Exeter St Hall. This will consist of video, oral, visual & written contributions from hall users past & present, young and not so young. We also have a marvellous collection of our events posters that we would add to our newly established archive. Although we would build on this project as the years & decades go by, adding material to our website at , we would like to present our project at a Gala night at the hall in January 2016. We certainly know how to stage a great party, and what better occasion than a celebration of the history and future of our much loved hall?

*The Hall Get Involved Limited (THGI), a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act. THGI is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and recognised by HMRC as a charitable company for tax purposes.

Project Video

The Hall Get Involved Ltd

Moment of Pride

People power makes us proud. It’s taken strength, skill and stamina to save a building, run it on a shoestring and plan improvements to widen our reach. More than bricks and mortar, we’ve secured the heart of our community in perpetuity. No one gets left behind. Watch us; we’re just getting started.

Location: Brighton