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VODA

International Women’s Day 8 March 2019

This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter. Right now is a great and important time in history to do everything possible to help forge a more gender-balanced world. Women have come a long way, yet there’s still more to be achieved.

As the world heads toward International Women’s Day 2019, step-by-step planning is underway to celebrate women’s achievements and tenaciously challenge bias. The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world. How will you help make a difference?

The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.

We’d love to share your #IWD2019 plans and activities in North Tyneside, so if you are planning something, let us know by either tagging us on Twitter @NTynesideVoda or drop us an email.

Read more here about International Women’s Day

 

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VODA – coming to a venue near you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

VODA and the services we offer are available across North Tyneside and although we are based in North Shields we are keen to make sure that volunteers, groups and organisations across the borough know who we are and what we do.

For that reason, we are taking our services on the road throughout 2019! Members of VODA’s team will be available at community venues on the following dates and times to speak to anyone interested in volunteering in North Tyneside, or in finding out more about VODA and the services we offer to the voluntary and community sector:

We have recently launched a new visual representation of our vision and plans – see picture above – and offering an outreach service is just one way of making sure these plans happen effectively. There is no need to book a place at any of these sessions – just pop along to talk to one of our friendly team to find out how VODA can help.

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North of Tyne Devolution Update

Robin Fry provides an update on the North of Tyne Combined Authority…

Last month, along with my counterparts in Newcastle and Northumberland, I met with officers from the new North of Tyne Combined Authority. During the meeting we received an update on progress made so far and began to explore how the voluntary and community sector can be most appropriately involved.

Those of you who attended the most recent stakeholder event will have heard various politicians acknowledging the importance of engaging with the sector. I was particularly pleased to hear the  new interim North of Tyne Mayor, Norma Redfearn, speaking so passionately about what the sector can offer.

Although the Combined Authority is now in existence, most of the work programme work will not commence until after the Mayoral elections in May 2019. In the meantime an ‘Economic Vision’ has been published on the North of Tyne website, setting out some key priorities. This document does not make any reference to our sector – something we are keen to address.

The ‘Inclusive Economy’ agenda is fundamental to the North of Tyne combined authority and will consist of specific programmes of work but it will also be a cross-cutting theme across other areas of work. The Inclusive Economy Board is where we see a key role for VCS representation and a commitment has been made to ensure this will happen. The Combined Authority has also committed to having a ‘VCS Ambassador’ who will attend Cabinet meetings in an advisory capacity.

In order to move these promising conversations forward we have agreed to hold VCS events in North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland, each with the same format and content. The purpose of the events will be to bring VCS organisations up to speed with devolution progress and discuss how the sector can most effectively be involved.

VODA will be hosting the North Tyneside VCS event on Tuesday 12 March from 9.30am to 12 noon, on place of our regular Working with the VCS Event, at the Linskill Centre, North Shields. Booking details will be shared on our website and social media channels. Please do get in touch if you require any further details.

Read hear for all things North of Tyne.

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Working with the VCS event

In December we held a Working with the VCS ‘Christmas special’ at Pathways4All. The event was attended by 32 people from 25 different organisations. Not only was this an opportunity to enjoy mince pies and hot drinks with colleagues and friends, it also enabled us to shine a spotlight on what an amazing voluntary and community sector we have in North Tyneside.

Everyone fully embraced the festive theme as they shared information about their key successes in 2018 (why they are on the ‘Good List’) as well as their ambitions for 2019 (what’s on their Christmas wish list). It was amazing to hear about Whitley Bay Big Local’s collaborative plans to tackle social isolation this year, the fantastic number of support sessions offered last year to asylum seekers and refugees by Walking With North Tyneside,  SomeOne Care’s plans to celebrate their 30th anniversary, and the ambitions of Earsdon and Wellfield Community Centre to develop more provision for young people.

There was also an opportunity towards the end of the event for organisations to identify key areas of work that they would appreciate some support with, as well things they can offer to others. Amongst the 44 calls for help were things such as help with volunteer recruitment (in particular support to identify new trustees), support to secure funding and opportunities to develop new networks and promote specific areas of work. There were 47 separate offers of support from attendees covering everything from access to facilities to free training. HealthWatch North Tyneside shared their offer of small grants for working with children and young people about their health and social care issues, while the Linskill Centre pledged to offer support and advice on the community asset transfer process. Earsdon and Wellfield Community Association even offered access to their Race Night equipment for fundraising!

In addition, Craig Anderson from North Tyneside Council gave an informative presentation about the North Tyneside Data Store, highlighting the key data sets that are available and the different ways organisations can access the information. The Ward Profile information demonstrated provides quick and easy access to some of the most regularly requested data. This could prove to be a really useful way to support organisations in evidencing need for increased services and investment from funders. You can access the data store here. 

The next Working With the VCS Event takes place on 12 March from 9.30am to 12 noon at The Linskill Centre, North Shields. The event will focus on the new North of Tyne Combined Authority – spanning Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

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Video – North Tyneside VCS: 2018 successes & 2019 ambitions

At a recent event we asked local voluntary and community organisations to share their successes from 2018 and ambitions for 2019. This is what they told us…

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VODA’s AGM and Awards Presentation 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Our Annual General Meeting and awards presentation took place on Wednesday 28 November at YMCA North Tyneside.

As well as a presentation of VODA’s latest annual report and accounts, the event featured keynote speaker Kirsten Edmondson, discuss digital transformation and what it means for the third sector.

Two local businesses – TSG and Turncoach – were presented with their Community Friendly Business Awards by Ian Dodds, who coordinates VODA’s Sector Connector project, and VODA’s main awards were presented by special guest, Chairman of North Tyneside Council, Cllr Tommy Mulvenna. Read more about our award winners here.

See all of the images from the event here

What does VODA mean to you?

During the networking lunch, we asked attendees to write three words or sentences describing ‘what VODA means to you?’ We are delighted to share the submissions below and intend to build on this exercise in to next year, in celebration of a special anniversary for VODA…

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Volunteers wanted to help create Little Free Libraries in North Tyneside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josie Robinson, VODA’s Social Action Worker, blogs about the latest project from SAINT and the search for volunteers who can help to build creative ‘little libraries’ in the community:

“SAINT (Social Action in North Tyneside) works with groups of like-minded volunteers to create meaningful social action projects that have an impact on the local community. Our newest SAINT project has been created by a small team of volunteers who are keen to build ‘Little Free Libraries’ and install them at two locations in North Tyneside.

Little Free Library is a not-for-profit organisation that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighbourhood book exchanges around the world. You can check out their website at www.littlefreelibrary.org.

SAINT staff will support both projects from start to finish with a little bit of funding, materials and knowledge of the local area. Volunteers are taking charge of designing, building, decorating, installing and filling the Little Free libraries but they need more people to help make their projects happen.

So far SAINT has gained permission  for the installation of the libraries with our friends at Meadow Well Connected in North Shields and The Rising Sun Country Park in Benton.  We think these are the perfect locations for encouraging people to access free books, share and spend some time with loved ones over a good book. The library at Meadow Well will primarily focus on providing a free place to access children’s books and will also include ‘random acts of kindness’ for each child to complete in return for lending the book. The Rising Sun Country Park Library will focus on books on the topics of nature, local history and wildlife.

These will run as two separate projects where volunteers can take charge of their Little Free Library from start to finish. Our two host venues have also kindly offered us access to free building space and tools.

We’re on the look out for around five volunteers to join our current team to make these projects a reality. Ideally we are looking for:

  • Someone with a little bit of woodwork knowledge for the Benton library that can keep us right!
  • Creative people, to decorate The Little Free Library in Benton
  • Bookworms who might like to support us to fill both libraries with children’s, history and nature themed books.

If you or someone you know might like to get involved with this exciting new social action project then we’d love to hear from you!”

 

Contact Josie Robinson at VODA for more information.

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