Assemblies in community centres and halls? What’s that all about?

The front of a large three-storey red-bricked Georgian house fills the frame. It is set against a blue sky.
Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood: destination for the New Forest Assembly on 25 April 2024
This year, organisers of Assemblies in Bristol and the New Forest will be hosting gatherings in community centres and halls. But why?

From time to time, the three of us – Richard, Maxine and Ian – get together to settle plans for the Paraplanners’ Assembly’s year ahead.

Late last year we wanted to meet up midway between Banbury and Sheffield.

We settled on somewhere around the East Midlands airport but the cost of a hotel meeting room for half a day? Well it was just ridiculous. 

Then Max had an idea: how about trying a venue like a community centre or village hall? 

So that’s what we did. 

And armed with an M&S sandwich platter, a big roll of brown paper, post-its and pens, we converged on Kegworth Village Hall on a drizzly late Autumn afternoon.

For a half day’s hire you’re looking at under £50.

This got us thinking. As a professional community ourselves, how about supporting local communities by gathering in civic venues too? 

Now don’t get us wrong, we’re always grateful when supporters host us (see The Other London Assembly hosted at Barnett Waddingham’s office at London Wall Place). 

But community halls are often more accessible than city centres, with free parking (or much cheaper parking) and – so long as we pick the right spot – are within walking distance of a railway station or good bus service too.

So we encouraged organisers of our upcoming local Assemblies in Bristol and the New Forest to scout their local areas for venues. 

Maddy Gooding and Sian Davies Cole opted for Little Stoke Community Hall in Little Stoke north of Bristol. Sarah Lees and Jackie Manning secured Greyfriars Community Centre in Ringwood (pictured at the top of this post).

They’re both top-notch venues with all the bells and whistles we could possibly need to host an Assembly.

The Bristol and New Forest Assemblies: taking place at a community centre near you soon. 

So get booking and we’ll see you there!

Fancy hosting an Assembly for paraplanners at a community centre or hall near you? To find out how, take a look here.

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