Flexible funding over £10,000 for up to five years to organisations in England who want to take action on the issues that matter to people and communities.
The grants are awarded to voluntary and community organisations or social enterprises for up to five years. They can fund project activities, operating costs, organisational development and capital costs.
Applicants must show how they would:
bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities
improve the places and spaces that matter to communities
enable more people to fulfil their potential by working to address issues at the earliest possible stage.
We were delighted that the BBC Radio Newcastle Breakfast Show was able to join our Good Neighours shopping trip last week. They spent the morning chatting to our shoppers and volunteers to find out more about how this wonderful project helps to support people stay in their own home and keep their independence. You can listen to the feature from last week’s show below. If you would like to get involved, please contact us for more information.
Volunteers’ Week got off to a great start this year with the news that four North Tyneside organisations have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service,the highest honour for volunteer groups in the UK. Collingwood Bowling Club, The Friends of Red House Ramble, The St Bernadette Club and Walking With North Tyneside have all been recognised with this award, which recognises exceptional service within communities
The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced, with 281 awarded this time round, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The award is considered equivalent to an MBE for the voluntary sector and any volunteer-led group of two or more providing a social, economic or environmental service to the local community can be nominated. Organisations are judged on the benefit they bring to the community and their reputation or standing in that area. Winners of the award are announced on 2 June to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Read more here.
The second of our SAINT project’s Little Free Libraries is now in place outside Meadow Well Connected, in the Meadow Well Estate North Shields. The library has been lovingly constructed by volunteers from VODA’s SAINT project and from Meadow Well Connected. The volunteers have also learnt a range of carpentry and contruction skills in the planning and building of the library.
A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community.
This week we unveiled our Little Free Library at The Rising Sun Country Park. This project was developed and constructed with students from Longbenton High School Melrose department with support from SAINT and CAN DO volunteers.
Little Free Library is a community scheme where members of the public are encouraged to take and leave their favourite books. We think The Rising Sun Country Park is a great venue for the Little Free Library and we hope that visitors to the centre will enjoy borrowing and leaving books when at the park.
We had a fantastic time building the Little Free Library and the young people involved learned some valuable skills in construction, teamwork and joinery. Our volunteers also got a lot out of working with these young people to achieve their goal of installing the Little Free Library.
A big thanks to Heather and her team at The Rising Sun Country Park for installing it and to Bay Plastics for providing us a free cut to size Perspex window.
Emma Ramshaw has been volunteering with VODA in North Tyneside since 2008. During that time she has changed the lives of hundreds of young people. Emma was recently awarded Volunteer of the Year at the Pitman Superachievers Awards for her hard work and dedication. Emma volunteers for a variety of charities and organisations including VODA, The Prince’s Trust and NCS and despite her own uphill battle, she continues to create change in our local community.
We interviewed Emma to find out more about her volunteering experience and what motivates her to continue to help others…
Emma Ramshaw, who volunteers for a variety of charities and organisations including VODA, The Prince’s Trust & NCS, has won the Volunteer of the Year award at the Pitman Superachievers Awards 2019.
Emma was nominated by the award by VODA’s Social Action Worker Josie Robinson, who works closely with Emma when she volunteers with VODA. Josie spoke about why she nominated Emma for the award: “For over ten years, Emma has given up her free time to a variety of charities and organisations, helping to care and enabling young people to reach their potential. Despite her own uphill battle, Emma continues to create change in our local community. She is engaging, funny, clever, dedicated and passionate about everything that she does. I couldn’t do the work I do with young people without Emma; and I am very lucky to not only call her a colleague, but a valued friend. She is the kindest person I know and she absolutely deserves to be recognised for her many years of volunteering in North Tyneside.”
Robin Fry, VODA’s Chief Executive commented: “We are very proud of Emma, she is an exceptional person who deserves to win this award for her hard work and dedication. Emma has volunteered with VODA for ten years, and despite the challenges she faces in her own life, she continues to help her local community. Her work empowers others and makes a real difference to people’s lives.”
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.
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.
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.
We’re here to provide support, advice and training to volunteers and voluntary and community groups in North Tyneside. Please explore our website to find out more about the services we provide, or contact us for further information.