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SAINT volunteers deliver organic veg and flowers to foodbank

Volunteers from VODA’s SAINT project – which stands for Social Action in North Tyneside – recently made their first delivery of organic, home-grown fruit, vegetables and flowers to The Bay Foodbank in North Shields.

The volunteers have been looking after a plot in Whitley Bay Community Allotment for several months now, transforming the soil, decorating the site and planting and growing a range of produce including potatoes, onions, lettuce and wildflowers, grown with seeds donated by Grow Wild.

On receiving the donation, Jackie Dickinson, Foodbank Manager at The Bay Foodbank said: “Thank you so much to VODA and Whitley Bay Community Allotment for the lovely donations this morning! It really does help to put fresh produce in the parcels.” Based on the Meadow Well estate in North Shields, The Bay has been providing emergency food provision to individuals or families experiencing a financial crisis since 2012.

SAINT volunteers meet weekly at the community allotment and are currently growing more produce including broccoli, courgettes, beetroot and carrots, all of which will be donated back in to the community.

SAINT volunteer Jason said: “Since coming to the allotment we have completely changed our plot. It was really overgrown when we got it, so we have de-weeded it, turned all the soil and dug out all of the stones. It’s been amazing to see everything grow, all of our hard work is paying off and it’s really important to us that the things we produce are given back to the community through The Bay Foodbank.”

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Big Lottery Fund launch Building Connection funds





Funding of between £30,000 and £100,000 is available to support projects that prevent or reduce loneliness and help people, communities and local services connect in a variety of different ways.

The fund is split into two strands

All grants will be made by December 2018 and can run until March 2021, by which time all money must be spent. You can apply to both strands, however you cannot receive funding for the same project.

Main Fund Strand

The main fund is made up of close to £9 million, which will be distributed by the Big Lottery Fund, making grants of between £30,000 and £100,000. It is open for applications now.

Big are offering funding to organisations with existing projects that are already helping to build connections to prevent or reduce loneliness and want to do more to build on this work. We are interested in funding projects that could reach more people and join up with others and include ways of utilising existing expertise in the sector, increasing geographical reach and improving impact.

Funding must be spent on activities that will directly prevent or reduce loneliness and help to build connections between individuals and communities. This includes revenue costs such as staff salaries, marketing, training, equipment, project activities, and venue hire. You can also apply for up to 30% of your funding for capital costs to buy, maintain or improve fixed assets that are linked to travel and transport.

Youth Strand

The Youth Strand is made up of £2 million, which will be distributed by the Co-op Foundation, making grants of up to £80,000. It will open for applications in August 2018 – find out more on the Co-op Foundation blog.

The Youth Strand will be open to organisations with existing youth-focussed activities that could be effective at helping young people avoid long-term loneliness. Successful applicants will receive funding to explore youth loneliness in greater depth, test youth-led innovations within their existing provision, and share their learning as part of a national network. You will be supported to evaluate your activities and capture your impact, which will add to the evidence base.

Read more and apply here

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LA7 ESF Community Grants

Grants of up to £15k are now available to support inactive and unemployed people to help their progression towards further learning and employment.

Gateshead Council learningSkills, on behalf of the 7 Local Authorities (LA7) from the North East LEP area, is seeking bids from third sector organisations for the provision of community projects. This is the fourth round of procurement and grants of up to £15,000 are offered to support a range of activities aimed at assisting inactive and unemployed people to move closer to the labour market.

This project is funded through the Education Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund financing organisation and procured, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

You will find below the following documents:

To assist you in your application, you are invited to attend a seminar or watch an online pre-recorded webinar:

It is recommended that applicants sign up to a seminar or webinar prior to completing the application form.

Deadline for applications: 5pm on 13 August 2018

Any queries or questions relating to the application process should be sent to LA7Round4Applications@gateshead.gov.uk all questions will be answered within 2 working days.

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Opportunity for groups to take part in ArtHouses event






ArtHouses 2018 is a visual arts event hosted by the community in Whitley Bay.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th August on Albany Gardens, Alexander Terrace and Albert Terrace in Whitley Bay.

The event sees artists and community groups install artworks into local houses for the public to see.

Lead artist on the project, Sophie Buxton is looking for groups to work with to create collaborative fabric rope to decorate and signpost the event. Sophie is able to visit groups, introduce the activity and leave materials that can be worked on in your group’s own time.

Read more here or contact Sarah Sutton at Whitley Bay Big Local for more information


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Tesco Bags of Help





Bags of Help is Tesco’s local community grant scheme where the money raised by the carrier bag charge in Tesco stores is being used to fund thousands of community projects across the UK. The projects must meet the criteria of bringing benefits to the community. Bags of Help is administered by Groundworks.

Applications from charities and community organisations are assessed by Groundwork to ensure they are eligible. In areas where application numbers are high, Tesco colleagues will shortlist the projects to determine which go forward to the customer vote.

Three community projects in each local area will be voted on by customers in Tesco stores throughout the UK, with projects changing every other month. Following the vote, the project that received the most votes in its area will receive a grant of up to £4,000, second place receiving up to £2,000 and third place up to £1,000.

Read more and apply here

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Good Neighbours volunteers visit Tynemouth Lifeboat Station

Volunteers from our Good Neighbours project recently enjoyed a visit to Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat Station, to learn all about the local rescue service and its fascinating history.

The volunteers, who give up their time to support people in the North Tyneside community with small household jobs, basic DIY, shopping and running errands, usually meet monthly at VODA’s offices to discuss their roles, share experiences and receive training and support. But Ian Brigstock, who coordinates the Good Neighbours project, wanted to give something back to the volunteers themselves and get them out and about in the community. “Our volunteers really deserve some recognition and reward for what they do – they support some of the borough’s most vulnerable people with day-to-day tasks and that makes such a difference. Arranging this visit was just our way of saying ‘thank you.’  We’re really grateful to Tynemouth RNLI too for what was a fascinating visit and we’re looking forward to arranging similar visits over the coming months.”

Volunteer Debbie Wood said: “I really enjoyed going down to Tynemouth RNLI with a really nice group of people. We had a talk from one of the lifeboat volunteers about the work they do and the lives they safe. We also got to see the inshore and all-weather boat and try on the life jackets – there’s a picture of me wearing one!”

The Good Neighbours project is looking for more volunteers – this is a great, flexible volunteering opportunity to help people in your local community. Training and support are provided. Read more about the project here.

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Linskill Centre Summer Fete: Saturday 21 July







The Linskill Summer Fete promises to be a fun-filled family day with games, bouncy castle, stalls, music and a range of activities and entertainment for all ages and interests. The theme this year is very much ‘community’ with home grown talent, groups and Linskill tenants getting involved to showcase their skills and abilities at the Linskill Centre on Saturday 21 July from 10am to 3pm, with free entry.

Simeon Ripley, Chief Executive commented, “The Linskill Centre is a thriving community resource providing a range of weekly activities and services for local people of all ages. It is important we have community events, such as the Summer Fete, where families and friends can get together and enjoy time with their children on their doorstep.”

Read more here

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Bike repair workshops for community groups








Community groups in North Tyneside are being offered the chance to run ‘Learn to fix your own bike’ workshops for their members or service users, by bicycle repair tutor Trevor Bell.

The workshop, which lasts between 2-3 hours, covers puncture repairs, cleaning and lubrication, replacing tyres, balancing brakes, fine tuning gears, safety checks and ergonomic adjustment. Participants will also learn how to make their bike safer, increase comfort, speed and reliability.

The aim of the workshop is to empower the learner with sufficient skills, knowledge, information and confidence, to be able to independently identify and rectify minor faults, resulting in a safe and efficient bicycle. This is a practical workshop where participants are guided to fix their bikes themselves.

For more information and to arrange a session contact Trevor Bell by email trev.bell@tiscali.co.uk


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Offer from Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service





The Community Engagement Team at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are looking to for organisatins and community groups in North Tyneside who may benefit from engagement with the fire service.

The team can offer fire safety talks and a range of other support and are concentrating on working with older age groups in the local population as well as supporting those members of the public who are living with dementia.

For more information contact Rosemary Tarbit on 0191 444 1595.

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We’re recruiting! Core Services Manager vacancy

We are looking for an exceptionally talented and experienced person to appoint to the position of

Core Services Manager


£28,409 Full Time (37 hours/week) or pro rata for Part Time (30 hours/week)

VODA provides a comprehensive range of support services for the voluntary and community sector in North Tyneside. This new role brings together the management of our core services as part of a restructuring programme that will ensure VODA will continue to deliver quality services well into the next decade.

You will manage the staff who provide advice and information to VCS organisations (consisting of a Funding Adviser and an Information & Communications Officer) and the staff who provide direct one to one support for volunteers (currently two Volunteering Advisers). Using your managerial experience you will motivate these staff to work together as a single team. Using your extensive knowledge of the VCS you will manage, develop and motivate your team, establish new partnerships with external organisations in addition to maintaining current partnerships, and contribute to the future success of VODA by identifying new opportunities in service delivery and funding.

To be considered for this post you must have a thorough understanding of charity regulations and be able to identify the appropriate legal structures for organisations, and support those considering applying for registered charity status. Not only will you have knowledge of how organisations should be governed but you will have developed an awareness of the sort of group dynamics that can help or hinder an organisation’s development and be able to effectively respond by providing appropriate advice and training.

This is a rare chance to help shape the future of North Tyneside’s voluntary and community sector, which has more than 500 charities and voluntary organisations, and to ensure that VODA provides the quality and level of support that these organisations deserve.

Download the full advert here

Download an application pack here or e-mail kathryn.tate@voda.org.uk to request a postal copy.

Deadline for applications: Friday, 27 July at noon. Interviews: w/c 6 August 2018.

Applications should be returned to North Tyneside VODA, Queen Alexandra Campus, Hawkeys Lane, North Shields NE29 9BZ

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