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The Trustees of Charfield Village Hall are seeking someone or a household – to take on the role of Chair of Trustees, filling the roles held by Ruth and Liam Balloch.

“We have both always been taught to be socially conscious and to serve where you can if you can. Initially Liam took on the role of Bookings Secretary and Trustee at the end of 2009,” explained Ruth.

After a couple of years Liam moved away from the Bookings Secretary role but stayed on as a Trustee. In 2014 the then Chair, Tim Hill, stepped down after 10+ years of service and Liam put himself forward and was elected.

Ruth joined as a Trustee the same year so they could serve together – she was already helping out in the background. After five years serving as Chair, Liam decided to step back and Ruth took on the role, the position she still holds today.

Liam continued to serve as Secretary for a while, now as a Trustee in his 13th year of service, and Ruth’s 9th year of service.

“The highlights of our time have been renovating both the Lounge and Main Hall side of the building, modernising systems to allow online booking and payment for the hall, card payment in the bar and installing the hard path around the field and the new upgraded play area for all the children to involve – including our own daughter Ava and working with all the other Trustees and making the friends that we have,” added Ruth.

“There have been some big challenges (some very public), not everyone always agreed with or liked the decisions that we made, and sometimes we did wonder if it was really worth it, but at our centre was our relentless focus on keeping the hall and playing fields open and thriving; every decision we made has always been focussed on that.

“The biggest challenge (partly because of its sheer complexity) was answering what started out as a very simple question: ‘who owns the village hall?

“Sorting that issue took two years but it was eventually sorted, and we were able to secure the hall and playing fields for the villagers for generations to come.”

What have Ruth and Liam decided to step down now? “Many reasons – two years ago we adopted a daughter. Before she starts school we want to spend as much time with her as we can. At the end of this financial year Liam will have completed 14 years and I will have done nine years of service… we feel we have done enough. We want to give space for other socially conscious folk to bring their vision and passion to the hall and playing field.

“We hope the village hall continues to thrive and be as central to our village community as it is today.”