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Sector Connector

Sector Connector special edition bulletin

The latest issue of the Sector Connector bulletin, aimed at Sector Connector business partners, was a special edition printed magazine, which was facilitated by our Sector Connector partnership with yourPrintDepartment.

You can read the full bulletin here.

If you would like to find out more about Sector Connector, please get in touch.

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New look for Sector Connector







We’re delighted to reveal our new look Sector Connector logo and strapline, which has been kindly developed for us via a Sector Connector partnership with yourPrintDepartment in North Shields.

The new logo has been developed in response to the changing nature of Sector Connector and more accurately reflects the professional standard of the project and what it does. Thank you to the team at yourPrintDepartment for your support!

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Sector Connector offer from For You Photography

For You Photography, a photography business based in North Tyneside, is keen to support voluntary and community organisations in the borough.

For You Photography is offering 20% discount on its normal prices for photographic commissions and can help capture events and special moments or take staff photographs for your website and Facebook pages, contact Laurens.photography@outlook.com.

In addition, through Sector Connector, For You Photography is offering a limited number of free photographic sessions throughout the year for voluntary and community organisations. This could include getting professional headshots for your staff page, or creative photographs of the services you offer to help make your social media and website look more professional and unique. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Ian Dodds.


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Trustees Wanted at the Soundroom

The Soundroom is seeking trustees with skills and experience in one or more of the following areas: youth work, human resources, finance and financial management, safeguarding, marketing, building maintenance. A passion for community work, an interest in music and a knowledge of the Gateshead area, particularly Teams and Bensham are also desirable.

Based in a converted 1930s local library building between the areas of Bensham and Teams in Gateshead, The Soundroom is a community music studio which offers music and arts activities for a range of participants. The programme includes drum therapy and music café sessions for adults with learning disabilities, after school performing arts sessions for children, weekly youth night sessions, tea dances for older people, holiday activities for children and volunteering opportunities. The Soundroom also provides affordable venue hire, rehearsal space and recording facilities for other community groups and the general public.

Trustees meet once a month, usually on a Monday night, for 2 hours. Trustees are expected to attend these meetings as well as The Soundroom’s AGM, which usually takes place instead of one of the Monday night meetings.

The duties of the trustees are to:

  • Ensure that The Soundroom complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
  • Ensure that The Soundroom pursues its objects as defined in its governing document
  • Ensure The Soundroom applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects
  • Contribute actively to the board of trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to The Soundroom, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets
  • Safeguard the good name and values of The Soundroom
  • Ensure the financial stability of The Soundroom
  • Protect and manage the property of The Soundroom and ensure the proper investment of The Soundroom’s funds

Trustees are expected to have:

  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • Integrity
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgement
  • An ability to think creatively
  • A willingness to speak their mind
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of The Soundroom

To apply for the role of trustee please send your CV to thesoundroomcharity@hotmail.com along with a short cover letter explaining what skills and experience you could bring and why you’d like to be a trustee. Find out more here.

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Sector Connector Offers of the Month: April 2019

HSBC Financial Wellbeing Workshop

Wednesday 29 May, 10am to 12pm at VODA. HSBC is hosting a half-day workshop to be delivered at VODA. They are offering 12 free places to the North Tyneside Voluntary and Community Sector. The workshop is aimed at managers of staff and volunteers with responsibility for beneficiaries that might need assistance to make best use of their money. Read more here


Tait Walker Charity Sector Breakfast Briefing

Wednesday 1 May, 8am to 10am at Newcastle Racecourse. Tait Walker is running an update event for the Charity Sector, covering Charity Tax and VAT – what’s new; Making Tax Digital; and Insider charity fraud, as well as a general Charity Sector Update.  The event will provide a chance to explore how Making Tax Digital for Business – the government’s vision to have one of the most advanced tax systems by storing and sharing information digitally – will affect those in the Not for Profit sector and how you can manage this for your charity; and to discuss the methods of insider fraud and risks faced by charities, with case study examples and practical steps to remove opportunities for fraudsters.  Spaces are limited, so book your place at joanna.leach@taitwalker.co.uk

Team Volunteering – Do you Need Some Help?

Does your organisation have an outdoor area in need of attention? Is there part of your building that isn’t used because it needs tidying up, cleaned or redecorated? Is there a task that is constantly being postponed because you don’t have the staff or volunteers to deal with it? Are you running a particular event where extra hands are needed? Or is there an exciting and imaginative project that you have had to put on hold due to lack of manpower?

Sector Connector may be able to help you by tapping into the many large businesses in North Tyneside that are giving their employees two to three days per year to volunteer with local community groups. Team volunteering can be a good introduction to your organisation and will help local businesses to better understand many of the issues faced by their local communities. In particular, we’re interested in hearing from you if you would like to set a fundraising challenge for businesses, or would like them to deliver a social action project in your area. Please complete the attached form.

Discounted Web Hosting for the VCS

Solidblueliquid is offering voluntary sector organisations 50% off for life for web hosting. A £10 a month package would only ever cost £5 a month, including 24/7 support and a free SSL certificate (that could save from £50 to £1000 per annum).  If you are interested in discussing this offer, contact Solidblueliquid on nathan@solblu.uk

Digital, Marketing and Risk Management Support

ThirdSectorProtect, which provides a specialist service to meet the distinct insurance needs of charities, is offering assistance to North Tyneside voluntary and community groups to develop digital media strategies, assist with marketing strategies and help with risk management. If you are interested in any of these areas of support, please contact Ian Dodds.

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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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Sector Connector Offers of the Month: February 2019

Carney Consulting Ltd is offering a free place for voluntary organisations on their Mental Health First Aid course which runs across the year. At a time when there is a need for voluntary organisations to support people with increasingly complex issues, this two day course will help participants to spot the early signs of a mental health issue to feel confident in offering help and support to people with a range of mental health issues.

There are seven courses planned for 2019. The next available course is on Tuesday 30th April & Tuesday 7th May. The number of free training places are limited, so please contact Ian Dodds now if you are interested in this opportunity.

HSBC is offering to deliver free financial well-being workshops for voluntary sector employees or beneficiaries. 1 in 3 employees say that they are distracted at work by financial concerns. Please contact Ian Dodds now if you are interested in this opportunity.

Sector Connector Workshops: As part of Sector Connector, a number of businesses volunteer to deliver free workshops on a range of topics that may be beneficial to the voluntary and community sector. As such, if there are any particular topics or business skills that you think your organisation might benefit from and that could be the subject of a future Sector Connector workshop, please get in touch with Ian Dodds.

Details of new Sector Connector workshops for 2019 have now been announced – read more and book your place here

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Institute of Fundraising: Manifesto for Change




The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has launched a call to improve diversity in the fundraising profession.

Fundraising is less diverse than the charity sector as a whole, and less diverse than UK society. Throughout the profession there is under-representation of BAME, LGBT+ and disabled people and men, with unequal progression for women fundraisers.

The Institute has launched a Manifesto for Change as part of the Change Collective – a movement to make fundraising an equal, diverse and inclusive profession where everyone is the right fit.

Read more here

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Christmas is a time for giving!








In the run up to Christmas here are some thoughts about ways in which you might help North Tyneside charities and community groups:

Elf Day – On 7 December you and your work colleagues can unleash your inner elf and wear festive fancy dress to raise money to beat dementia.  You can register here.

12 Days of Christmas Kindness Calendar – This year VODA is inviting individuals, groups or organisations to create a ‘reverse advent’ calendar of ‘non-essential’ items for people in need this Christmas. Just grab a box or a bag, and add an item every day up until 14 December.  VODA will pick up the boxes and donate them to local causes such as foodbanks and local charities. Suggested Items include make up, shower gels, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, bath sets, deodorants, chocolates; razors, nappies etc. Why not take advantage of 3 for 2 offers over Christmas and donate your free third item? Contact us for more information.

Christmas Toys: Cedarwood Trust on the Meadow Well estate in North Shields is collecting toys for children on the estate who may not receive many Christmas presents.  This year the Trust is particularly looking for toys that are suitable for ages 10+. Visit The Cedarwood Trust website.

Make Christmas Special – For many people Christmas is a time spent with family and friends, but for some it can be a lonely time, particularly Christmas Day.  Social Connections North East is working with community and voluntary organisations, churches and the business community to bring together people to make Christmas extra special.  Your business can help by donating a present, sponsoring a Christmas lunch for someone (each meal is £10 and you sponsor on line: Account name: Make Christmas Special, Sort Code: 23-75-24, Account number: 03689060); transporting someone to and from a Christmas Day celebration; preparing and serving Christmas meals.  For more information email: socialconnectionsnortheast@gmail.com

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Sector Connector: Current requests for help




The following is a summary of current opportunities for local businesses to get involved with in the community:

The Red Box Project North Tyneside is a community scheme aimed at reducing period poverty in our area. VODA Volunteers campaign and collect donations of sanitary items, knickers and tights and donate Red boxes to local schools, youth groups and community organisations to quietly ensure that no woman goes without on her period.

The Red Box North Tyneside relies on the kindness of the local community to stock Red boxes in North Tyneside.   As a Sector Connector business you can support the project by:

  • Hosting a public collection point, where local people can donate items to Red Box
  • Donating in kind sanitary items at your place of work. Put a collection box in your office space and ask people to donate sanitary towels, tampons, knickers and black tights
  • The only expense in delivering Red Box is purchasing Red Plastic Boxes to stock with sanitary items. If your organisation is able to donate a few  red plastic boxes to the cause it makes all the difference to the work we do.

If you are able to help, please contact Jo Woolley at jo.woolley@voda.org.uk

The Little Free Library, a SAINT social action project, works with local volunteers who face barriers in their daily lives to design and build Little Free Libraries that will offer access to free children’s books in a public place. VODA is looking for donations of children’s books to fill their Little Free Library which will be installed at Meadow Well Connected in North Shields and at the Rising Sun Country Park for members of the community to access. If you’re able to help, please contact Josie Robinson at josie.robinson@voda.org.uk

Age UK Drivers – Age UK North Tyneside is looking to create a pool of volunteers who can provide door-to-door transport for people who have difficulty accessing other forms of public transport and who need to get to healthcare and hospital appointments. Volunteers should be able to provide up to a half day’s volunteering every now and then. Volunteer Drivers need a clean driving licence, MOT, Insurance & Tax.  Appropriate training will be provided and a DBS check is required. If you have staff who may be interested in joining the pool of volunteers, please contact Sector Connector at ian.dodds@voda.org.uk

Support for people with health conditions that are looking for work – VODA is helping to deliver the Moving on Tyne & Wear (MOTW) programme, which aims to help people aged 18+ who are unemployed due to physical and mental health issues to get closer to work.  As part of this work, we are interested in hearing from Sector Connector businesses who may be able to support MOTW participants by providing work placements, volunteer opportunities, taster days, mock interviews, help with CV writing, customer services training, talks about your business etc. If you are able to help, please contact Sector Connector at ian.dodds@voda.org.uk

LD:NorthEast supports people across North Tyneside who have a learning disability to live their life to the full and feel part of their local community.  In June 2019 they are issuing the Hadrian’s Wall Challenge to walk the 84 mile trail over four days, either as an individual or as a team and in relays – maybe ½ day each. Read more here.

LD:NorthEast is also looking for teams of volunteers do a charity bag pack on Saturday 24 November at Sainsbury’s in Heaton.  If you’re interested, please contact Lisa Wild.

Rookie Sports delivers physical activity programmes that are accessible to all, and is holding a special Christmas social afternoon on 5 December at the PTE club in Byker. The event is aimed mainly at older people in the community.  Money raised from the event will be used to pay for a visit to the pantomime for a group of adults with learning disabilities. The charity is looking for teams of volunteers that can help on the afternoon with running the raffle, helping with bingo (checking winning tickets), etc. Donations of prizes would also be greatly appreciated.  Read more here or more information email June Shone.

Whitley Bay Community Allotments and Gardens is setting up a Community Orchard and is looking for businesses that might like to fundraise a small amount to buy a heritage apple tree that can be donated to the Orchard.  Each tree costs £60, and each tree will carry a plaque with the name of the business donor.  For more information email allotnews@blueyonder.co.uk.

Creative Minds is a not for profit organisation that supports people living with brain injury, neurological conditions, developmental disability and mental health issues to remove some of the barriers to accessing activities.  They are holding a Christmas Fair in December 2018 to raise funds to develop a portable autistic-friendly safe space for community events, and in the run up to the Fair are looking for teams of volunteers to carry out a bag pack at Morrisons, Preston North Road Tynemouth on Monday 3 December 2018.  For more information contact Rebecca Southern at VODA.

Balliol Youth and Community Centre in Longbenton is holding a Christmas Lunch for socially isolated residents on Thursday 13 December  (12.30pm to 2.30pm).  They are looking for teams of volunteers who can give a few hours to help set up the room, serve the meals and provide entertainment.  For more information email alexholding@gmail.com.

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