Saturday 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.
VODA’s Good Neighbours project coordinates a host of friendly volunteers who are keen to support their local community. During these difficult times, we have worked hard to help as many people with grocery shopping, collecting prescriptions, odd DIY jobs and community buddy support.
Mike has volunteered in North Tyneside for many years. He has begun trying some Good Neighbours project volunteering and made a huge difference in a couple of months.
Since September, Mike has visited 5 people to complete handyman jobs including changing a bulb, shaving doors, hammering down laminate flooring and painting damaged skirting boards. Mike has also given over 4 hours of his time to one of VODA’s charity partners, the refugee and asylum seeking charity, Walking With.
One beneficiary had been quoted £240 for a job of which Mike was able to complete half, saving them £120. They told us the DIY had really helped and they were now able to shut their bedroom door properly.
We don’t accept referrals for specific joinery, electricity or plumbing jobs and you don’t need any special skills to be a Good Neighbour, only skills you would use in everyday life.
Mike fits all of his volunteering around his life as it suits him and he has been able to take a look at any ongoing or unmatched opportunities by consulting our new Volunteero platform.
Volunteero is an app that can be used on smartphones or an internet browser. From there, you can enquire further about a Mission to see if it would be a good fit and to access further coordinator support. The team are very happy to work with you over the telephone or by email too if an app isn’t your thing.
Mike has also begun supporting people as a Community Buddy, where you can go for a small walk or a cuppa with people who have been mostly house-bound for the past 18 months. This role is for a fixed number of weeks with a view to building up confidence with being back out in public and with people who have limited mobility.
The Good Neighbours project is also seeking volunteers to help with gardening jobs which could involve clearing and sweeping paths, cutting back shrubs and weeding. We can provide you with some of the necessary tools and you could cheer up somebody who can no longer manage their garden.
We continue to ask all volunteers to follow COVID safety precautions such as mask wearing. If you would like to find out more about our volunteering opportunities please do get in touch!
The PowerofYouth Day, which takes place on 2 June during Volunteers’ Week, is an annual celebration of the contributions children and young people make to society through volunteering and social action. It’s a chance to spotlight the achievements of children and young people.
In North Tyneside, children and young people have donated their time to a huge variety of volunteering projects in the last 12 months. Young volunteers from Monkseaton High School, Norham Community Wing, Southridge First School, Woodlawn School, Newcastle University Geography Department, and Phoenix Detached Youth Project, as well as lots of individual children and young people, have actively supported local communities through craft and creative activities, making treat and activity packs, local event planning and much more. Thank you to all who have taken part.
Here is just a snapshot of the contributions made by children and young volunteers over the past year…
Isolation activity packs with Newcastle University’s Geography students
Drawings by local children to brighten up the emergency food parcels
A little bit of time to make someone smile
Thanks to all the children and young people who volunteered their time during the February half-term holidays with VODA’s ‘A Little Bit of Time to Make Someone Smile’ project, making greetings cards, building community and spreading cheer.
“I found the sheer joy of receiving this very special gesture so profoundly moving and uplifting – it completely improved my spirits.”
Young people can make a difference!
Woodlawn School Christmas Hampers
At Christmas, the amazing children and young volunteers from Woodlawn School helped us with our Christmas hamper project.
The children partnered up with VODA for their enterprise and got 15% discount from Morrison’s Tynemouth for the food. They received donations from staff and parents and raised £90 after expenses from Christmas cards they sold as a social enterprise. A big thank you! #PowerOfYouth
Southridge School cards and Christmas tree decorations
Thank you so much to Miss McIntyre and her class from Southridge School for making these beautiful cards that doubled up as Christmas tree decorations. They fit perfectly into the equally beautiful handmade Christmas envelopes made by the lovely, generous Susan Dawson who normally volunteers with the Linskill Centre. The cards were included in our our festive food parcels.
Thank you to our young volunteers who helped on VODA projects
A huge thank you to all the young volunteers who have helped out in VODA projects during the last year, including Ben, Chris, Lucas, Annie, Chloe and others. Young volunteers have packed Christmas hampers, made quizzes, cards and gift bags and more. Let’s all recognise the #PowerOfYouth.
Monkseaton High School
The students from Monkseaton High School created sewing activity packs for people shielding to take part in at home, wrote positive messages which they sent to a local care home, painted decorative rocks and generally supported craft activities for people shielding. As well as supporting student volunteering, teachers donated hand made cards, prints, and inspirational quotes cards for distribution in the local community. Here’s the video from when they featured in the Spirit of North Tyneside celebration in December 2020.
Ignite Your Potential
“It has felt good to help people in the community.”
Thank you to young volunteers from ‘Ignite Your Potential’ @NTAdultLearning who supported VODA’s Good Neighbours project this year. Young volunteers have made all kinds of treats and gifts to cheer up shielding residents, demonstrating the #PowerOfYouth in supporting our communities.
As part of our Volunteers’ Week celebrations, Paul Hanson – Chief Executive of North Tyneside Council – shared his message of thanks to the volunteers who have supported the North Tyneside community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Albert recently joined Moving On Tyne & Wear after taking early retirement from his job in the ship building industry. He’d spent many years working as a steel fabricator and travelled to multiple countries as part of his job, however his working days weren’t over and he struggled to see what he could do next after what he considered to be quite a limited work history.
Albert discussed his goals with his Navigator Joe, and it soon became apparent that he lacked some digital skills which was affecting his confidence and his ability to move forward. He was only able to write short text messages and make phone calls, so the idea of searching for and applying for job opportunities online was confusing and daunting.
IT WAS CLEAR THAT TO HELP ALBERT, WE FIRST HAD TO ADDRESS HIS DIGITAL SKILLS.
Joe put Albert in contact with VODA’s Digital Champions Outreach Programme. This project works with volunteers to deliver digital outreach support to people who already have a tablet, smart phone or computer and an internet connection, to make the best use of their device. The volunteers work with a person to help and guide them towards being better connected. Due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time, all of Alberts sessions were held over the phone which posed many challenges, however in only 2 weeks he went from being able to send the odd text message to using email to register accounts on websites, attaching documents to emails and even shopping online.
It’s early days, but Albert’s digital skills are growing quickly and competently. His enthusiasm towards the support he has received and the commitment he shows towards getting to grips with what has learnt has been outstanding. When asked what he thought about the Digital Champions Outreach programme, Albert said:
I’m really pleased with it, it’s made the world of difference, and I’m quite proud of myself
And he’s not the only one, we’re so proud of him too! He’s picking up skills quickly, demonstrating dedication and a brilliant work ethic. He’s even started to learn independently by using Google to answer his own questions. His digital abilities will not only help when he is ready to look for a job, but in all other areas of his life too.
If you know of someone who could benefit from support from a Digital Champion, you can refer them here.
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.