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VODA’s Sector Connector Project Scoops NAVCA Award

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday 19 March NAVCA held their first ever national awards event in London, showcasing the brilliant achievements of their member organisations. We are delighted that North Tyneside VODA’s Sector Connector project came home with the ‘Collaboration and Partnership Working Award’.

The NAVCA Awards have been designed to celebrate local third sector infrastructure – the unsung heroes of our sector – and a total of nine awards were handed out during the evening, including two for the Newcastle CVS. See all the award winners here. 

Robin Fry, VODA’s Chief Executive, said “We nominated our Sector Connector project in the category of Collaboration and Partnership Working as we believe it is a shining example of how the private and third sectors can work together for mutual benefit. Since the project began, over 100 businesses have engaged in Sector Connector, having a hugely positive impact on North Tyneside’s voluntary and community sector. Collaboration is one of our five core values at VODA, and facilitating cross-sector partnerships is a key strategic objective. I am immensely proud of the work that our Sector Connector project has achieved to date, and look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Sector Connector recognises that, at a time when voluntary and community organisations are being encouraged to be more entrepreneurial, the private sector has skills and experience that are useful to charities, whilst those same charities and community organisations can help businesses to better understand the communities they serve.

The project enables any business, irrespective of size, to engage with its local community, whether it’s through the giving of time by providing one-to-one mentoring and advice; taking part in team volunteering days; sharing skills and expertise by delivering workshops for groups of community organisations; or by becoming trustees.

Businesses involved with Sector Connector offer a wide range of support including:

  • Making free spaces available for voluntary organisations on a two-day Mental Health First Aid training course.
  • Provision of free support to design branding and marketing for a community orchard.
  • Delivery of a workshop on ‘getting the most out of your team’ from a private sector personal coach (feedback from which indicates VCS managers who attended have completely transformed the way that they are working).
  • A collaboration project between the business sector and the voluntary sector to explore the regeneration of North Shields town centre.

VODA is always looking for new businesses to get involved in the Sector Connector project, if you would like to get involved, please contact Ian Dodds.

You can sign up to our Sector Connect e-bulletin here.  

Watch our video for the awards submission…

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Current Trustee Vacancies in and around North Tyneside

The North Shields Heritology Project – The North Shields Heritology Project is a newly Registered Charity dedicated to bringing the rich heritage of North Shields and its Fish Quay to life through new and emerging technologies, for both local people and visitors to the area. In particular the Project is looking to Immersive Sound Experiences, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to tell stories in a unique and cutting edge way. The Charity is looking for a young person (18 to 24 years of age) to join its Volunteer Trustee Team and help bring these ideas to reality. The person they are looking for will be involved in all aspects of the project, but most importantly will advise and help steer the content of the project to ensure it is engaging with young people in an inspiring way through technology. No technical knowledge is required.


Walking With North Tynesidebased in Wallsend, supports over 100 refugees and asylum seekers across North Tyneside each week. The charity is looking for trustees who are interested in helping refugees and asylum seekers to make a new life in the North East. This is a great opportunity to make a real difference for the beneficiaries and for a developing voluntary organisation, especially if you are able to contribute a range of business skills, including HR and organisational skills.


Dyslexia North East – a Registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee which aims to support families with dyslexia, including adults and children, to enable them to achieve their full potential. Dyslexia North East seeks to promote knowledge, skills and understanding of dyslexia across the Community in Schools, Colleges and Businesses. Dyslexia North East is looking for trustees that can help to write funding bids and seek new donors; and who can help support parents and teachers with knowledge and resources about dyslexia, and train volunteers. Trustee meetings are held once a month at Royal Grammar Junior School, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RX.


Healthwatch North Tyneside is the independent voice for users of health and social care services in North Tyneside. Healthwatch listens to people’s views and experiences, receives feedback about services and works with service providers and commissioners to better respond to people’s needs. Healthwatch is looking for new volunteers to join its board of trustees. As a trustee you will play a vital role in setting the direction of the organisation, overseeing its work and working with health and social care providers to improve services. Potential trustees should be able to offer at least 3 hours a month.


Meadow Well Connected, a community centre in North Tyneside, is looking for volunteers to join its board of trustees. Volunteers should have a range of business skills that can help the organisation progress its aims to deliver services to one of the most deprived communities of North Tyneside


Pathways 4 All is a registered charity which provides social and recreational activities for children with disabilities and additional needs within North Tyneside and the surrounding areas. It also offers a range of support services and social networks for children with disabilities or additional needs, and their families. The charity is looking for volunteers, preferably with financial and business skills and insight, to help the charity to deliver and increase its services.


Key Enterprises provides supported activities to adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or acquired brain injuries. Individuals are able to develop practical skills within Key Enterprises’ working departments (Woodwork, Metalwork, Furniture Renovation, Bicycle Maintenance, Catering, Horticutlture) whilst building confidence and a sense of community. Service users can also take part in a rage of community based activities. Key Enterprises is looking for trustees who have an interest in this area of delivery and who can contribute business skills. Cedarwood Trust, another community hub on Meadow Well, which focuses on supporting pre-school children and their families, and on older socially isolated residents, is looking for trustees interested in Early Years work, as well as people with finance and HR skills. In addition to trustees, they are also looking for people with business skills that can contribute to their Finance, HR and Buildings working groups (daytime meetings).


North Tyneside Learning Trust appoints governors to schools in North Tyneside and is currently looking for enthusiastic and committed volunteers to appoint to the governing bodies of primary, secondary and special schools across the borough.


Rising Sun Farm Trust is currently appointing new trustees and directors to help shape the future of the urban-fringe farm and its commercial trading company.

If you are interested in these, or any other trustee roles, please contact Ian Dodds at Sector Connector.

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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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Moving On Tyne & Wear: Weekly drop-in sessions at VODA

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that VODA is a delivery partner in the Moving On Tyne & Wear programme?

Moving On Tyne & Wear helps people who live in North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and South Tyneside and are unemployed due to their physical or mental health.

Support through the programme is delivered on a one-to-one basis – every person on the programme receives a unique service which completely depends on their needs.

As part of the Moving On Tyne & Wear programme, VODA works with North Tyneside Council to provide volunteering opportunities and related support to people who are looking to overcome health barriers and access further training, education and employment. We can help MOTW participants to access meaningful volunteering opportunities across the borough with both voluntary and community sector organisations and within North Tyneside Council itself.

In order to give more information to anyone interested in finding out about the programme and the support on offer, we are holding Moving On Tyne & Wear drop-in sessions every Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon at VODA, beginning on 13 February. There is no need to book a place at these sessions, simply call in to our offices at the Queen Alexandra Campus and ask to speak to the Moving On Tyne & Wear team.

Read more about the project here

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VODA Award Winners 2018!

We are delighted to share the stories of our award winners for 2018, who were presented with their prizes at our recent AGM by Chairman of North Tyneside, Cllr Tommy Mulvenna.


Organisation of the Year

Pathways4All

Pathways4All is a parent-led charity providing a range of activities and events specifically tailored for children with disabilities and additional needs and their families.

Read more…


Volunteer of the Year

Ryan Wright

Nominated for his voluntary work with Phoenix Detached Youth Project, Ryan has been instrumental in inspiring other young people and groups to get involved in the local community and in the planning, fundraising and launch of The Phoenix Bowl skate park, which opened earlier this year. Read more…


Young Volunteer of the Year

Dylan Weatheritt

Fourteen-year-old Dylan was nominated for his commitment and dedication to fundraising and volunteering with Out of Sight, a charity which provides free outings, events and respite holidays for children with visual impairments and complex disabilities, and their families. Read more…


Community Friendly Business Award 

Technology Services Group (TSG)

TSG were recognised for their involvement in VODA’s Sector Connector project, in particular their donation of laptops which has helped people and volunteers in the community to carry out short-term social action projects around youth employability, Universal Credit applications and awareness raising campaigns.


Community Friendly Business Award

Turncoach

Ali Donkin of Turncoach was presented the Community Friendly Business Award for delivering several free workshops on team building and personal development for the benefit of voluntary and community groups and young volunteers in North Tyneside.

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#iwill Week Case Study: Hannah Gray

Hannah was referred to VODA over 18 months ago through the Talent Match programme, when she took part in projects around improving employability through volunteering, and around community arts. Keen to try new things, Hannah is a volunteer who will give anything a go and she always immerses herself in group activities. Her involvement in VODA’s #iwill project is no different. This is the story of how she created a digital campaign around positive mental health, which has had a wider reach than she could have possibly imagined…

Funded by The Virgin Money Foundation, VODA’s #iwill project aims to engage young people in digital social action. Volunteers on the project are given the opportunity to learn digital and media skills from a range of local professionals on topics including photography, film-making, web and graphic design, blogging and social media. They are then supported by VODA staff to create digital media campaigns around issues in the community that they care about and to work with existing voluntary and community organisations to help raise their profile through these channels.

Joining at the very beginning in June 2018, Hannah Gray has thrown herself in to the #iwill project. Volunteering as a member of the youth-led steering group, she has been an integral part of the project’s development and the transformation in her confidence and skills base has been outstanding. In the early stages of the project, Hannah worked alongside two other young volunteers all of whom wanted to focus their digital media campaign on raising awareness of positive mental health and empowering people to open up and share how they are feeling. The result is #iwill Unfold.

#iwill Unfold is a mental health campaign that uses online and offline media to engage individuals and groups into a conversation about positive mental health, based on the concept of unfolding feelings and thoughts.

The group decided to create a website and social media channels as a means of sharing people’s mental health experiences, plus information about local support groups and relevant articles. They also decided to use the art of origami and the physical act of folding and unfolding as a symbol of the #iwill Unfold campaign and its messages.

To date, the group have folded over 100 pieces of origami, which have all been branded with their nature-inspired logo design and social media tags. When unfolded, each piece of origami has a hand-written positive message which aims to help people ‘unfold’ their own mental health. These pieces of origami will be delivered to organisations, groups, public spaces and services all over North Tyneside, encouraging local people to access the #iwill Unfold website and social media channels and to share how they ‘unfold’ with others.

Since launching the project in August 2018, Hannah has regularly dedicated over 12 hours a week to the campaign development. From folding origami to developing the website design and content, Hannah really has proved that she can turn her hand to anything! Her passion and enthusiasm for the campaign shines through and she has become a regular fixture at VODA and at local community events around mental health.

During her involvement in the project, Hannah has learned a range of skills and her achievements to date include designing the #iwill Unfold logo and branding using an online tool; taking part in a series of planning meetings with her team and VODA staff; and folding over 100 pieces of origami, carefully penning each one with an inspiring quote inside for people to open up and enjoy.

Keen to learn more about local organisations that support people with mental health issues, Hannah has researched existing services extensively. She chose to promote the work of Launchpad North Tyneside through her social media and website channels, and has used the platform as a way of engaging more people online in a conversation about mental health. In October, Launchpad invited Hannah to take part in North Tyneside World Mental Health Day and to host an #iwill Unfold stand at a large-scale event. Feedback from the day was fantastic by all who spoke to Hannah about, and she was brimming with confidence after being given the opportunity.

Hannah said: “I think that the campaign has helped people, it has got people talking. Especially at the World Mental Health Day event, people kept saying it was a good idea and were happy to have their picture taken for our campaign. It’s made people smile, and that’s helping people in my eyes.”

When asked about her proudest moment during her campaign development, Hannah was particularly thrilled to have over 116 likes on social media without having to use any paid promotional tools. Hannah continued: “Loads of people have seen our campaign online, it’s kind of mind blowing to see that on some posts over 300 people have been reached.”

In her own words, Hannah ‘never thought’ she’d be able to develop a website and was apprehensive at first about taking on such a big task as part of the campaign.  “I check the social media every single day, and reply to messages, because I care about it and it is our project and always has been.  I am dedicated to making sure it’s successful. I’ve built an entire website, even though I’ve never done it before. The #iwill workshop around web design with Pete Maughan helped me loads. I’ve done everything on the website now, there’s no way I thought I’d be able to do that. I’ve loved being able to blog on there and make it really personal, sharing my tone of voice in the writing and blog about topics I care about.”

When asked what she saw the future of #iwill Unfold, Hannah said: “I would like to get more people to share their stories with us, and open up more about mental health. If we can start getting some stories on our website then it might encourage more people to share with us. I’d like to start getting out and about with the origami and putting it into local places like the library. I want to think of lots more ideas on how we can improve the campaign and develop them.

I would also love to make a short film about #iwill Unfold and to do some public speaking workshops so I feel more confident when I’m out and about with the campaign. We’re also planning to visit local groups including Creative Minds to find out about what they do, gather some stories and show their users how to fold positive message origami.”

Visit www.iwillunfold.com or Facebook for more information about the campaign.

If you work with a group of young people who are passionate about creating change in North Tyneside though digital media then please get in touch with Josie Robinson at 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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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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