THE HEART OF TOPSHAM
Matthews Hall hire: 01392 876865 [email protected]
Caretaker: 07736 735181
Saturday market: [email protected]
Admin: 07940 960560 [email protected]
The Topsham Community Association was established in the 1960s. It has recently reconstituted itself as a company limited by guarantee and now has a formal membership structure.
The objects of the Community Association remain unchanged. They are:
• To promote the benefit of the inhabitants of Topsham; and
• To establish and maintain a Community Centre.
The directors of the Company are volunteers who carry out the work to achieve these objectives. They are elected by the members of the Company at its Annual General Meeting each year.
What do we do?
We hold the lease on Matthews Hall and surrounding land and run it as a community centre for the benefit of residents. We receive a grant for the rent from the City Council, but the costs of running the hall, its maintenance and repair are paid for by the enterprises organised by the Company.
The hire fees for all the activities which go on in the hall provide the bulk of the hall income. We also rent out the cafe area to an independent business. In order to undertake the work relating to Matthews Hall we have part-time staff to handle bookings and the market and live-in caretakers who ensure that the hall is fit for use. Since May 2018, we also have a part-time administrator, based at Matthews Hall. The directors manage the Company and carry out the administration. See Who we are.
Since October 2019, we have taken on management of the Dorothy Holman Centre which is similarly a community buiilding which pays for its rent and running costs with hire fees.
We run a vibrant Saturday market in Matthews Hall every week and employ a market manager and market assistant to run this. We arrange an organic vegetable stall at the market.
We run a weekly over-50s seniors "youth" group on Tuesdays afternoons at the Dorothy Holman centre. We employ a manager ro run the group.
We also represent the community of Topsham to Exeter City and Devon County Councils on issues affecting the life of the town. We respond to consultations and seek the views of residents on issues which are identified as being important.
We appoint the Topsham Town Crier to announce forthcoming events.
Who are we?
The Company (Topsham Community Association Ltd) is managed by a board of directors. The original directors were appointed at the Company’s formation, but are subject to election at the first Annual General Meeting. Thereafter, one third of the directors must stand for re-election every year. Directors must be members of the Company.
Why become a member?
As mentioned above, the Community Association responds to consultations from the City and County Councils. One of the considerations from these organisations is the number of members in any responding organisation. The only way we can demonstrate that we represent the views of Topsham people is to show that we have a significant membership. As we must retain a formal register of members we can consult with our members electronically or by post and can therefore respond quickly to issues raised. Even more important, only members may vote for directors of the company at the Annual General Meeting each year. The directors need to have confidence that they are carrying out the wishes of the community in line with the objectives of the Company. This is best demonstrated when their nomination and election is confirmed by a broad cross section of the population. Members of the Company must be aged 16 or over and live or work in Topsham. To become a member an eligible person must complete an application form. It's free to join!