News, events and funding - read our latest bulletin here

Welcome to VODA's e-bulletin. This email is sent to over 900 groups, organisations and individuals - please feel free to forward to anyone who may find it useful. If you'd like an article included in a future bulletin, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Nominations are now open for our annual awards, which recognise the outstanding contribution made by volunteers and community organisations in the borough of North Tyneside. We make awards in three categories:
  • Voluntary or Community Organisation of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Young Volunteer of the Year (under 19)
Winners will be judged by a panel of VODA board members and presented with their awards by the Chairman of North Tyneside Council, Councillor Cath Davis and Consort, Councillor Karen Bolger, at our AGM on Tuesday 10 October 2017. The closing date for nominations is 5pm on Thursday 28 September.

Read more and make your nomination here.

Autumn training programme now open for bookings

Bookings are now being taken for our autumn training programme. New courses including Managing Absence (full day course, 16 Nov) and Make Your Meetings Work (half-day course 4 Oct).

We also have a range of free Sector Connector workshops taking place, delivered by local businesses for voluntary and community organisations. Topics include Data Protection (28 Sept) and Local Authority Procurement (5 Oct). View the full training programme on the poster above or visit our website to book your place.

Launch of North Tyneside Recovery College - become an expert in your own wellbeing

A programme of free courses and workshops aimed at using education as a way to help people on the road to mental health recovery and wellbeing is launching in September. 

North Tyneside Recovery College is a partnership between Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust and voluntary organisations, including VODA, Age UK, North Tyneside Carers' Centre and others. The college's first prospectus contains 14 courses and workshops on topics including Recovery Planning, Wellbeing and Employment, Assertiveness and Confidence and Self-esteem. 

View the prospectus to see full details of the courses available. For more information and to enrol on any of the courses telephone 07976 627475 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

VODA Photography Competition - submit your 'Community Action' images today

We want to see your images on the theme of 'Community Action' for our first ever photography competition. There are three prizes and we'll be using the images to promote the value of the sector on our (new) website and in our promotional material. Full details and terms and conditions can be found on our website. The closing date for entries is 1 September 2017.


New Charity Commission Chief Executive outlines vision for her role

Helen Stephenson, the new chief executive for the Charity Commission, has published a blog outlining her vision for the Commission over the coming years, including continuing to increase public confidence in charities. Read more here.

Citizenship and Civic Engagement Consultation

The House of Lords has set up a committee to explore the issues of citizenship and civic engagement in the twenty-first century. The committee is keen to hear from a wide range of individuals, groups and organisations in order to understand the nature of the citizenship challenge for different parts of society. Read more and take part in the consultation here.

Report launched on kindness in the community

The Carnegie UK Trust has launched a report and accompanying film exploring what can be done to encourage kinder communities, setting out powerful examples of where everyday kindness and relationships can support the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Read more here.

Fundraising tips for the £1 coin

With the old, round pound coin ceasing to be legal tender on 15 October 2017, NCVO has published an article outlining 10 fundraising tips for charities around the £1 coin. Read more here.

Hearing well on the phone - survey


Ideas for Ears is a not-for-profit social enterprise on a mission to help people hear well. Knowing that many people face problems hearing well on the phone, they are working to influence the people and businesses who have power to make new products and services available and have created a short questionnaire to help gather data. The survey closes on 13 August (and anyone who completes it can enter a prize draw). Please be aware people who have very little or no hearing may find some of the questions less relevant.  Read more here.


Managing Asset Transfers in Your Community - free workshop

Thursday 21 September, 10am to 1pm followed by drop-in advice clinic 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Belmont Community Centre, Durham

Leading UK property advice charity the Ethical Property Foundation is delivering a free property workshop in partnership with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and the County Durham Community Foundation. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Read more and book your place here.

Work begins on lasting memorial to North Shields Fishermen 

Work has begun to install Fiddler's Green, the sculpture created by renowned sculptor Ray Lonsdale as a tribute to North Shields fishermen. Commissioned and made a reality thanks to money raised by the North Shields Fishermen Heritage Project (NSFH), the sculpture will be launched at a special event on 24 September. Read more here.

There is a chance to meet sculptor Ray Lonsdale at two Q&A sessions taking place at the Old Low Light Heritage Centre this Saturday 12 August. Read more book your tickets (£4 per person) here.

Discount for VODA members on Presentation Genius training

Trainer and author Simon Raybould is offering a 22% discount on his next half-day presentation course to the first five VODA members who book their place. The course takes place on Friday 15 September in Durham and covers topics including: tools for handling your nerves; understanding the psychology of your audience; structuring your presentation to make it work and designing effective slides. Participants will also have access to a range of resources and offers.

Please enter the code VODA22IQ to receive your discount when booking - discounts will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more here.

Open day at Whitley Bay Community Allotments

Whitley Bay Community Allotment and Gardens are holding an open day on Saturday 19 August from 10am to 12.30pm. Located alongside Churchill Playing Fields, the event will give visitors the chance to have a tour of the site, see the newly planted herb garden and meet allotment artist, Rosie. See the poster for full details or email Jean at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Football for Health sessions in North Tyneside

Newcastle United Foundation are running free Football for Health sessions for adults over 18 every Monday from 11 September, 11am to 12 noon at the Parks Sports Centre in North Shields. See the poster for full details or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone 0191 219 5960 for more information and to book your place.

Prince's Trust 'Team' course starting in September

TyneMet College are currently recruiting to the Prince's Trust next 12-week 'Team' programme, a personal development course for young people aged 16-25 who are out of work and education. The programme aims to increase confidence, motivation and skills and, as a result, enable young people to move into employment, education, training, volunteering or apprenticeships. Read more here.

Job vacancy at Healthwatch North Tyneside

Healthwatch are looking to recruit a Volunteer Coordinator to recruit, advise, support and train volunteers for a variety of roles, including engagement activities and enter and view visits. The closing date for applications is noon on Monday 21 August. Follow the link below for more information and to apply.

Job vacancies at Beanstalk 

Beanstalk recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support in nurseries and primary schools to children who have fallen behind with their reading. They are currently recruiting to the following positions in the North East:
Closing date for both vacancies is 25 August. Follow the links above for more information and apply.
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New Awards for All application and webinars

Big Lottery Fund have launched new guidance and application materials for its small grants scheme, Awards for All, which offers grants from £300 to £10,000 for a wide range of activities. Changes include:
  • A shortened and simplified application form, removing all but the most necessary questions to focus more on the project ideas rather than process
  • Some of the more restrictive funding policies have been removed.  One of these is the reduction of the number of people required on a governing body from three to two
  • The conditional offer stage has been removed, which allows for quicker payments
Read more and apply here.

Big Lottery Fund also offer live learning Webinars around Awards for All funding every Thursday. Read more and register your place here.

Comic Relief: Active Ageing Fund

Deadline: noon on 29 August

New £1.5 million fund to engage older people aged 65 and over from 'harder to reach' groups to get involved in opportunities which use their skills , knowledge and experience to contribute to their communities. Comic Relief are looking to fund creative, fresh approaches that provide meaningful roles for older people and ensure they are recognised and valued for their contribution. Proposals are welcome for between £40,000 and £80,000 for up to three years work in the UK. Read more and apply here.

Hadrian Trust

Next deadline: 11 September

The Trust aims to improve the lives of people living and working in the North East by awarding grants of between £500 and £2,000 to charities and groups working for the benefit of the people and the environment.  The Trust mainly makes grants for projects working in the fields of social welfare, youth, disability, the elderly, women, ethnic minorities, education, arts and the environment. Grants can cover running costs, project costs, part salaries and basic equipment. Read more and apply here


Deadline: 22 September

GSK’s IMPACT Awards reward charities that are doing excellent work to improve people’s health. Organisations must be at least three years old, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £80,000 and £2.5 million. Up to 20 awards will be made ranging from £3,000 to £40,000 plus free training valued at up to £6,000. Organisations will also have a film made, receive help with press and publicity and be given a set of promotional materials. Read more and apply here.

Greggs Foundation: Local Communities Project Fund

Deadline: 29 September

Makes grants to eligible organisations who work to reduce the disadvantage of the most deprived people in the community (including people who are: disabled or suffering chronic illness; living in poverty; voluntary carers; homeless; isolated older people). Grants of up to £2,000 are available to projects that improve resilience in communities, including sessional activities/respite support, equipment for activities, trips and residential breaks. Please note, large organisations with an income over £300,000 are unlikely to be successful. Read more and apply here.

WHSmith Community Grant

Deadline: 30 September

The WHSmith Trust uses the proceeds of the compulsory carrier bag charges across the UK to offer grants of up to £500 to support good causes in the local communities where WHSmith operates and also to promote literacy and a love of reading. There are two rounds a year and applications can be made via a simple online form. Read more and apply here.

Community Business Trade Up Programme

Deadline: 11 October

Run by School for Social Entrepreneurs in partnership with Power to Change, the programme helps the leaders of community businesses and community-focused social enterprises in England, by offering:
  • A fully-funded learning programme: 12 days spread over six months
  • A grant of up to £10,000
  • A community of people running similar organisations
SSE are looking for community businesses who are at an early-stage and who have plans to grow its trading (income from sales) by at least £10,000 in the next year. Read more and apply here.
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