or, demystifying the elusive organisation!
Can you answer the question “what is the St Hilary Forum”? Probably not. So here is your crib sheet.
The short answer is that the Forum helps projects and ideas to come about by:
- Providing village insurance for events and activities
- Having a constitution, necessary for applying for grants
- Managing a bank account to pay for, build up and hold reserves for village equipment
The Forum does not (to date) hold or undertake activities itself. But the above three “enablers” means that lots of villagers can.
The village insurance provides cover in two important areas for villagers undertaking village activities supported by the Forum:
- Up to £10m if volunteers/villagers are injured
(Volunteers' and employers' liability)
- Up to £1m if volunteers/villagers injure someone or cause damage
(Public liability and event cover)
So the following activities can take place with peace of mind because of cover under the terms of the insurance policy:
- Litter picking
- 3Cs (the monthly cut, clear and clean group)
- Telephone box collections and projects
- Forager’s Produce Market
- Winter’s Eve
- Bulb planting
- Erecting the marquee and event awning
- Putting up the village Christmas lights
And it means that other ideas for projects can be developed by villagers without having to worry about paying for event insurance, as long as the Forum is informed.
Note (this is the legal stuff, necessary but boring): the above is a snapshot of the insurance cover and should not be relied on without reading the full policy which is available on request.
Having a constitution means that the village can benefit from grants and donations and other services from charities and statutory agencies. For example, because we had a constitution:
- The village was able to take over the use and maintenance of the red telephone box that we are all so proud of. BT would only permit a statutory agency or charity adopt the phone box. In this case, Llanfair Community Council kindly adopted it on behalf of the village and delegated day to day management to the Forum – which it could do because the Forum had a constitution.
- Llanfair Community Council kindly donated £500 to Winter’s Eve 2020
- We have recently received £1,500 from Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) towards a marquee
- Several grants have been received for the paper newsletter
- The Forum managed the £1,500 donation from the BBC for the filming of Dr Who in the village
Note: we know that some villagers think that the Forum is part of the Village Hall – that is not the case. They are separate constituted bodies.
Having a bank account means that monies can be received and held on behalf of activities and events and that the Forum can purchase equipment on behalf of the village. Examples include:
- The village noticeboard which was funded by the early Foraging Produce Markets
- Christmas lights and decorations funded by the annual Winter’s Eve and other donors
- Sponsorship for the Forager’s Produce Market
- A brush cutter for the 3Cs group
- An event awning, again funded by the annual celebrations of Winter’s Eve and other donors
- A marquee funded by GVS and the BBC
- Other equipment available for the village includes a megaphone, personal amplifier, lighting and, soon, a PA system
- Funds for the telephone box, newsletter and defibrillator
Note: all the equipment is included in the Equipment cover provided by the Forum's insurance policy (except the defibrillator which is not owned by the Forum).
The Forum has no income stream – that’s because it doesn’t do anything itself (see above)!
That means that all activity is self-funded.
The main unfunded expenditure is the annual insurance policy. In recent years, this has been funded by Winter’s Eve, though donations are always welcome especially from events and activities benefitting from insurance cover.
How the Forum works
This was a guiding principle when the constituted Forum was established in 2017:
The most important aspect is that we keep the essence of an informal grouping of like-minded people who just want to get on and do stuff that enhances and enriches the lives of the community without being bogged down by bureaucracy.
The Forum has a Panel (not a committee) of villagers who represent activities taking place and the resources of the village eg Telephone Box, 3Cs, Projects, Litter Picking, Marquee, etc. Anyone can join the Forum as long as they represent a village activity taking place or planned.
Once a year we produce a report, distribute it to villagers and ask for feedback and ideas for activities. This year (2021) that process was superseded by the BBC donation process.
And that’s it!!!
Can you now answer the question “what is the St Hilary Forum”?
St Hilary Forum, September 2021