0191 643 2626


Charity Commission publishes new five year strategy







The Charity Commission has unveiled a new five-year strategy for the sector, demanding higher standards of behaviour.

In her speech launching the Strategy, Baroness Stowell said that charities must do more to set a good example and hold themselves to the highest standard of charitable behaviour.

The Strategy includes five objectives:

  • Holding charities to account
  • Dealing with wrongdoing and harm
  • Informing public choice
  • Giving charities the understanding and tools they need to succeed
  • Keeping charity relevant for today’s world

Read more here

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Keep it Local: Lessons from Newcastle and beyond






Wednesday 24 October, Newcastle City Library, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AX

Locality is a national membership network supporting local community organisations. They are bringing together the voluntary and community and public sectors in the North East to discuss commissioning, contracting and the delivery of public services, and hearing from leaders and practitioners on the challenges facing both sectors, emerging new innovations and best practice.

Speakers will include Joyce McCarty, Newcastle Council Deputy Leader on how Newcastle is committed to keeping it local, and Sally Young, Newcastle CVS Chief Executive, reflecting on the voluntary and community sector on commissioning and contracting.

Read more and book your place here

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VODA Awards 2018 – time to make your nomination

  • Do you know a community group or voluntary organisation that has gone the extra mile this year?

  • Or a volunteer – of any age – who makes a huge difference in their local community?


We are once again recognising the ‘stars’ of North Tyneside’s voluntary and community sector with our annual awards. Awards are made in the following three categories and winners will be decided by a panel of VODA Trustees:

  • Organisation of the Year: awarded to a voluntary or community organisation that has made a valuable contribution to the local community in the past year
  • Volunteer of the Year: awarded to an individual whose volunteering has made a real difference to the local community in the past year
  • Young Volunteer of the Year: awarded to a young person (aged under 19), who has shown commitment and enthusiasm within their local community in the past year

Winners will be presented with their awards at our Annual General Meeting (AGM), which takes place on Wednesday 28 November at YMCA North Tyneside. The closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday 16 November and entries will be judged by a panel of VODA staff and board members.


Nominate online here

Alternatively you can download a Word version of the form here or contact us to receive a hard copy – all entries should be returned:

  • By email to: admin@voda.org.uk
  • By post to: VODA, Queen Alexandra Campus, Hawkeys Lane, North Shields, NE29 9BZ

We look forward to receiving your nominations!


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Hired, Fired or Sick and Tired






Our Operations Manager, Phil Bagnall, blogs about an important GDPR issue:

“It must have happened to you at some time. The phone rings. A member of staff answers and after a few moments says “Sorry, he’s on the sick. Can I help?” If that doesn’t make you cringe then you are missing an important point: unless the absent staff member has given you permission to tell others that he is unwell you are almost certainly in breach of data protection laws. You simply cannot disclose personal, sensitive information especially when it relates to someone’s health.

Similarly with staff who have left. You need permission from them if you wish to disclose where they went or why they left. If they left under a cloud – perhaps they could not get out of bed in the mornings – do not be drawn into a discussion about any rumours the caller may have heard. And be careful with new staff. You should never announce a new appointment until you have a reference that is acceptable to you, you have undertaken the necessary vetting, e.g. DBS and educational qualification checks, and both you and your new recruit have signed a contract of employment.

The secret, of course, is to train your staff. If someone is ill and absent and the caller wants to know when they will be back then deflect the query by suggesting that you may be able to find someone else to deal with them. Staff have rights. Make sure everyone in your organisation is aware of them.”

If you are a North Tyneside-based voluntary and community sector organisation, and would like to receive a copy of our free GDPR toolkit, please get in touch.

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Opportunity to develop innovative STEM volunteering roles

VODA is looking to work with a number of voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations in the borough of North Tyneside which support unemployed people aged 18+ who are facing a health barrier to work.

As part of our STEM Innovation Project, we are co-delivering an exciting volunteering programme with North Tyneside Council, which aims to raise awareness of and support people to experience STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Part of the wider Moving on Tyne & Wear programme, the STEM Innovation Project provides unemployed people aged 18+ who have experienced a health issue with a wide range of supportive opportunities which will all contribute towards participants entering STEM careers. Read more about the programme on the MOTW website.

Our aim is to bring together voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations and STEM businesses to co-create STEM volunteering programmes, which will be beneficial to both the volunteers and the businesses involved. We also hope that this will enable VCS organisations and STEM businesses to continue working in partnership, developing new ideas and initiatives together.

Read more about the project and benefits of getting involved here.

This is a fantastic opportunity for VCS organisations who support people facing health barriers to employment to get involved in an innovative project. We are really keen to hear from you if you are interested in becoming a VCS partner – for more information contact our STEM Innovation Project Coordinator, Neil Burke on 0191 643 2628.

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