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Developing a volunteering strategy for North Tyneside

Our acting Chief Executive, Robin Fry, blogs about the volunteering landscape in North Tyneside and reports on the latest North Tyneside Working with the VCS event…

“Research suggests that the value of volunteering in North Tyneside is around £29m, with over 41,000 residents engaged in volunteering in the last year. As impressive as these figures are, they are significantly below the national average. We’re curious to understand what is behind this apparent lack of engagement in volunteering. Is it a case of interpretation? Should we be asking people about ‘acts of kindness’ rather than formal volunteering? Is it the fact that we have a disproportionately high number of people in the North East facing additional barriers to volunteering such as poor health and unemployment? How can we get a more accurate picture of volunteering in North Tyneside, and what steps can we take to engage even more residents in doing more to help themselves and others?

These questions were addressed at the Battle Hill Multi Use Centre as members of the North Tyneside VCS, Local Authority and CCG came together at this week’s Working With the VCS Event to begin creating a shared vision for volunteering in North Tyneside. Creative juices were flowing as attendees mapped out their visions using analogies of birds and trees with woodpeckers tapping into young people’s potential and cuckoos trying to find a sense of belonging. Suggestions included developing a North Tyneside Volunteering Award Scheme, establishing a common induction programme offered to all new volunteers in the borough, and opening up new opportunities for young people to volunteer.

Feedback from this session will help to shape our conversations with North Tyneside Council as we work together to develop an overall Volunteering Strategy for the borough. We would very much welcome your input – you can contact us here. The next Working With the VCS event takes place on Wednesday 12 September, 9.30am to 12 noon at a venue to be confirmed.”