Local News

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme 2024

North Tyneside Council is seeking to fund local providers to deliver a high-quality programme of activity during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays for children eligible for free school meals.

Providers may come from the public, private or voluntary and community sector.

The Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme is for children who receive benefits-related free school meals. The aim is to make free places available to children eligible for free school meals for the equivalent of at least four hours a day, four days a week, six weeks a year.

Providers can access this funding to offer free places for children on free school meals alongside other fee-paying children. Where providers are charging a fee for attendance it is encouraged that this is offered at as low a cost as possible.

There are approximately 8,300 children eligible for income related free school meals in North Tyneside. North Tyneside Council hopes to offer an all-encompassing programme to benefit children, young people, and their families.

Easter 2024 – Closes 15 January
Summer 2024 – Closes 1 May
Christmas 2024 – Closes 1 September

Read more about the HAF 2024 funding here.

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North Tyneside volunteering update

Updated 7 December 2023

Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference to a local cause, can be beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing and is a great addition to your CV.

You can search for all available volunteering opportunities on our online database, or take a look at our round-up below, featuring roles with VODA, opportunities with groups and organisations across North Tyneside and Trustee vacancies.

Opportunities available with VODA

Grow & Eat Projects: Grow & Eat seed-sowing session volunteer description

Help Me Be Digital: Help Me Be Digital Volunteer description

DiscoverME Young Person’s Recovery College – Anyone aged 16 to 25 who would like to get involved via this link.

Good Neighbours

Gardening volunteers urgently needed! If you can help, please contact [email protected] or call 07596806378 / 0191 643 2625.

Volunteer opportunities with North Tyneside VCSE groups and organisations

Trustee Vacancies in North Tyneside

Keep up to date with volunteer news by following the North Tyneside Volunteer Centre on Facebook.

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Christmas Appeals 2023

If you would like to do something to support your local community this Christmas, there are lots of different initiatives taking place across North Tyneside. Listed below are just some of the great things going on over the festive period. If you have anything you would like added, please email [email protected] with details and we will add it to the list.

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Cullercoats Watch House trustee SOS

Cullercoats Watch HouseThe Cullercoats Watch House is a fantastically distinctive building, full of local history and they would love to see the building reach its full potential as a thriving community venue.

The existing trustees have already worked hard to bring this to fruition, but they now need support from people who can bring a variety of skills and experience to the table to help them move on to the next stage in gaining the funding needed and steadily bringing in more user groups so the maximum amount of local people (& visitors from farther afield) can enjoy what this magnificent local landmark can offer to its local community.

If you would like to make a  big difference to your local community and help make this happen – then now’s your chance – the potential for what this building could be offering is enormous.

Read more here.

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Volunteer Fair 2023

Volunteer Fair 2023Saturday 7 October, 10am to 2pm at Park View Shopping Centre, Whitley Bay, NE26 1DG

Join VODA and a whole range of local charities and community groups to find out more about the fantastic volunteering opportunities there are in North Tyneside at our upcoming Volunteer Fair in the Park View Shopping Centre, Whitley Bay.

Try out micro volunteering – give 10 minutes to make a difference by making a card, crafting or planting a seed – all ages can take part in these activities.

If you are looking for something in particular, or just want to learn more about volunteering, pop along between 10am and 2pm and one of our friendly team will be there to help you.

For more information call 0191 643 2626 or email [email protected].

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Celebrating the revitalisation of North Shields

Keith HardyWe were delighted to be part of the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) event on 2 September, which celebrated the completion of the revitalisation of North Shields that focussed on Northumberland Square and its surrounding buildings as well as Howard Street, including the historic Exchange Building. The event was ran in conjunction with the North Tyneside Together event, which took place in Northumberland Square.

As well as the renovation programme the HAZ also tapped into the rich heritage and culture of the town, through the Cultural Consortium that saw local voluntary sector organisations working together to provide a programme of arts and cultural activities for local residents and communities. The consortium included VODA, Helix Arts, Remembering the Past, North Shields Heritology Project and the Exchange Theatre.

Georgian Cluedo The event featured exhibitions on local culture, films documenting local heritage working with local schoolchildren, Geocaching, Robo Painting and culminating in the performance of A Georgian Cluedo, featuring local actors and young people, performed to an audience of over 70 local residents and organisations at the Exchange Building. #

The funders of the project Historic England were thrilled with the impact of the project and the event which, was organised in conjunction with the Together Festival and provided a multi-cultured carnival atmosphere, Tom Frater, Historic England’s Regional Director for North East & Yorkshire said it was fantastic to see Northumberland Square being used by so many people, this project has been a great example of the Council and Community Sector, businesses and residents working together to bring this to fruition.

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Get on board with North Tyneside Carers’ Centre

Alison Waggott-Fairley NTCC TrusteeAre you passionate about improving identification and support for unpaid carers? Do you want to make a difference in North Tyneside? Can you commit four voluntary hours per month? North Tyneside Carers’ Centre want to hear from anyone with the skills and experience to help us deliver their mission: to improve the quality of life of carers in North Tyneside.

Trustees are responsible for the governance of the organisation and setting the strategic direction. They are from a variety of backgrounds, such as health and social care, the private sector, and others as carers, all of whom bring an understanding of our local community.

North Tyneside Carers’ Centre Chair of Trustees, Alison Waggott-Fairley, explains why she joined the Board: “With my background and involvement in Adult Social Care, I was extremely aware of the issues faced by carers, all of which I appreciated having been a carer for my mum. I was determined to join the Board to help North Tyneside Carers’ Centre raise the profile of carers and ensure they had access to the support they deserve.”

For further information or to request an application pack please contact: [email protected] or call 0191 249 6480.

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Linskill Riders volunteer wins national award with Cycling UK

Kim & Toby in front of lots of bikesKim Suleman, a volunteer with local cycling group Linskill Riders, is celebrating receiving Cycling UK’s Most Inspiring Individual award for her work leading rides and supporting new members of the group.

Linskill Riders is a community cycling club based at the Linskill Centre in North Shields which runs led rides as well as skills and confidence sessions, all aimed at supporting the health and wellbeing of people taking part.

Kim received thanks at an event organised by Cycling UK’s volunteering team on Wednesday 19 July at the Cycle Hub in Newcastle, alongside Hexham-based Cycling Minds, which won the Most Inspiring Group or Club award. Cycling Minds provides guided e-bike rides and training to young people to improve their mental and physical health and boost their employability.

Lucy Fenwick from Linskill Riders said:

“Kim deserved the award as she is a very inspiring and motivated volunteer, who works hard in her role as a group leader. Despite only starting to cycle two years ago, and having to live with spinal injuries, she qualified as a ride leader last year and now helps organise rides as well as leading them. She goes out of her way to support new members, has a great sense of humour and plays a big part in keeping the group together.”

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Final Third Sector Trends report released

Third Sector Trends have released their fifth and final report, focussing on people, places and policy within the VCSE sector.

Third Sector Trends is the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland’s ground-breaking study of the scale, dynamics and needs of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. It started in the North East and Cumbria 15 years ago and has expanded into other regions. Now, for the first time, the 2022 data covers the whole of England and Wales.

There report show that there are about 200,000 registered Third Sector Organisations (TSOs) in England and Wales. This is, essentially, a local sector. Over 60% of organisations concentrate attention exclusively within the boundaries of the local authority where they are
based (and half of these TSOs just work at neighbourhood or village level).

The report identifies four broad areas of local impact, personal health, personal and social wellbeing, financial security and community wellbeing that third sector organisations work towards achieving.

Read more here.

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Charity supporting older residents thanks to grant funding

Age UK seated pilatesAge UK North Tyneside is supporting older residents to get into fitness and community activities after launching a new range of weekly classes.

With sessions covering everything from Pilates and balance exercises to reading and social groups, there’s something on offer for residents of all abilities.

New classes are constantly being added to the schedule, with current plans for lunch clubs, dinner clubs and a refreshed book club, along with virtual sessions for people who want to join in from home.

While the sessions are fun and beneficial, they’re helping to address health inequalities for older residents in the borough.

They’re designed to reach older residents, particularly those who may be experiencing poor health, and support them to feel healthier and happier.

The sessions have been launched thanks to almost £30,000 grant funding from the Health Inequalities Fund which is hosted by VODA and funded by North Tyneside Council and the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board.

Thanks to the funding, Age UK North Tyneside is able to offer the first session for free, with an additional free session when you bring along a friend, and test a wide range of activities to see which prove popular with older residents.

Sessions range from £3.50 to £5 per session after the free trial, with the cost used to help continue and extend the sessions after the scheme ends.

One class that’s proved popular with residents is the seated Pilates session, where residents take part in an hour-long class to strengthen their muscles and help improve their overall fitness in a sustainable, yet fun way. Mainly led by enthusiastic coach Laura, the class runs every Monday afternoon.

Barbara, Sylvia and Edward have all recently started the classes and are already seeing the benefits.

Sylvia is a few weeks into the classes and has found them beneficial so far, she said: “If I go to a normal exercise class it ends up hurting my knees and then I don’t go back, but coming here to do a seated class means it doesn’t hurt so I can keep exercising rather than not doing it. When I was younger and fitter, I did Pilates and loved it, so it’s good to be back and it’s mainly on the core and we need our core so it’s great.”

Edward was referred to the class from his doctor and has continued to attend classes. He said: “I was referred to the classes by my doctor for my balance as I was walking around like a drunken sailor half the time. I’ve attended balance classes and then I asked if there was anything else I can do to keep up doing exercises, so I’ve come to seated Pilates and other classes a few times a week. I’ve seen a big difference, actually a massive difference and if it wasn’t for my balance I wouldn’t have come along. I’m learning loads, I can stay healthy for longer and I think that’s great.”

Barbara joins the fitness class but takes part in the other sessions like arts too. She speaks highly of the social element of the classes: “There’s a social aspect to these lessons too, it’s seeing people, making friends, sharing experiences and hobbies with others. It would be great to see more people of our generation getting into these classes as it’s been fantastic for me.”

Amber Brady, Health & Wellness Lead Coordinator for Age UK North Tyneside, said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have received this funding. It’s helped us reach even more customers and allowed us to make a real difference to the lives of older people in North Tyneside. Our classes are a fantastic way for people to stay active and build lasting friendships, improving both their physical and mental wellbeing and helping us to end loneliness across the borough.”

Cllr Karen Clark, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at North Tyneside Council, said: “Exercise has lots of benefits for everyone, but we know that for older residents it can be harder to exercise as classes are more difficult to access. It’s great to see a local charity supporting these residents to engage in exercise and offer a format that is effective yet sustainable for those taking part. I’m delighted that through the Health Inequalities Fund we’re able to support organisations to establish offers like these that have a real benefit for our residents.”

The Health Inequalities Fund, developed by the members of the Better Together group and managed by North Tyneside VODA, awarded grants of between £10,000 and £30,000 to 14 Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations in Summer 2022.

All funded activities focus on delivering outcomes relating to the key themes of the recently published Equally Well strategy for North Tyneside – ‘Equal life chances for all’, ‘Thriving places and communities’ and ‘Maintaining independence’.

To find out more about Age UK North Tyneside’s Health & Wellness groups, call the Health & Wellness team on 07974 185 070 or email [email protected].

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