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VODA launches North Tyneside VCSE Awards 2021

VODA is delighted to announce the VODA VCSE Awards 2021. These awards are to celebrate the outstanding work of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector in North Tyneside over the past year.

Robin Fry, Chief Executive at VODA commented: “The last year has been the most challenging we have faced in our sector, with so many organisations, groups and individuals stepping up to support the most vulnerable members of our community when they needed it most.

“We did not hold our awards in 2020 as we worked alongside North Tyneside Council with their inaugural Spirit of North Tyneside celebration. However, I believe that it is important to return to them this year, as we return to hosting our AGM in person, in order to shine a light on the truly outstanding achievements of the VCSE sector in our borough.”

The awards are split into 4 categories, which are open to nominations from VODA’s members (sign up to be a VODA member). The awards include:

  • Trustee of the year
  • Young volunteer(s) of the year
  • Volunteer(s) of the year
  • Voluntary or community organisation of the year

These awards are open to all Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations and groups, and their volunteers and trustees, who support the borough of North Tyneside with their activities. View the 2019 winners here.

Please note: These awards are open to all VCSE sector organisations and groups in North Tyneside, as well as their volunteers and trustees. Unfortunately, due to the awards being judged by a panel of VODA’s Trustees, we cannot accept nominations for VODA volunteers or trustees (unless it is in connection with their involvement with a different VCSE sector organisation / group within North Tyneside).

⇒ Click here to make your nominations ⇐

Nominations close at 9am on Thursday 28 October 2021

The winners will be invited to VODA’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 23 November, 9.30am to 11am at the Linskill Centre in North Shields, where they will be presented their awards. The event will also feature the Sector Connector Business of the Year award.

Book your place at VODA’s AGM.

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VODA is here to support the VCS during COVID-19

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected everyone, right across the sectors with many VCSE organisations facing major changes, challenges and uncertainty.

However, we want to assure you that despite all of the changes taking place and the obvious prominence of our much expanded Good Neighbours project to support local residents, VODA is still operating a full service, albeit with most of our staff working remotely.

We are still here to offer services and information, advice and guidance to North Tyneside voluntary and community organisations and groups on:

  • Funding Advice
  • Governance
  • Trustees
  • Safeguarding
  • Volunteering
  • Policy Development
  • COVID-19 Recovery Planning
  • Sector Connector

And a whole range of other subjects! If you have any questions, queries or concerns, please get in touch call 0191 6432626 or email admin@voda.org.uk and we will respond as quickly as possible. However, please bear with us if our response takes a little longer than usual.

Meanwhile we will try to keep you all updated on the latest news coming out of the sector both locally and nationally. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages for daily updates and take a look at our COVID-19 Information Centre on our website.

** Please note, team photo was taken before the lockdown at the VODA AGM in November 2019**

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North Tyneside comes together to provide a lifeline from the community

Press release from North Tyneside Council 28.04.20

North Tyneside Council launched its dedicated Covid-19 support hub last month for those in need of immediate help and support and who can’t call on anyone else.









It’s part of the local authority’s response to the pandemic, helping to shield its most vulnerable residents who are living in their home without support from others, by providing non-clinical help.

And it’s been thanks to local authority staff and an army of volunteers that the hub has already helped over 3,200 residents.

A 62-strong council team – made up of the existing contact centre and 28 others who volunteered to be redeployed from their existing role – have fielded over 3,200 calls from the public. A further 65 redeployed staff are helping to support the hub by making regular welfare phone calls, checking that people have food, spending time talking to them and helping to identify any extra help and support they may need to help them to shield.

The requests into the hub from the public have included help picking up prescriptions, household supplies, grocery shopping and purchasing pet food.

North Tyneside-based charity VODA has then mobilised 255 newly recruited volunteers to carry out over 700 tasks to date, via their Good Neighbours project.

Volunteers from charities Age UK North Tyneside and Dreamshine are also offering a befriending telephone service to chat with people who may feel lonely during isolation.

It really is a community effort – with staff and volunteers from Family Gateway and Cedarwood Trust, two other local charities, also delivering meals to residents, while other charities and community groups are focusing their efforts on providing support over the telephone and via digital channels.

And 43 businesses have offered their services as part of the support hub too, helping to provide essential groceries and prepared meals, through North Tyneside Business Forum.

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE said: “Protecting our most vulnerable residents is always a top priority for this council – and the support hub is absolutely critical in helping to do so right now.

“Working side-by-side with so many remarkable organisations, groups and volunteers means we have been able to help everyone who has urgently needed our support. We could not do this without them, and I would like to thank them all.

“The response from the community has been truly humbling – there have been acts of kindness shown right across the borough. We have had so many community-spirted people willing to help in many different ways, and I am delighted we have been able to coordinate so much of this so successfully through the support hub and, of course, only with VODA’s help.”

Chief Executive of VODA, Robin Fry added: “It’s been amazing to see so many local residents, community groups and charities come together to offer vital support to some of our most vulnerable residents. There has always been a strong culture of volunteering and social action across the borough and we are lucky to have some amazing charities who have been able to adapt their services to meet demand. The contribution of the voluntary sector is going to more important than ever to help our communities recover from this pandemic.”

One of hub’s volunteers is Julie Partridge, a retired teacher from Whitley Bay, who has regularly been grocery shopping and doing telephone shifts talking to those feeling lonely, as well as mentoring young people.

Julie said: “The experience has been an absolute pleasure. I have enjoyed so much about this experience – the smiles, the laughter and the feeling of being a tiny helping part of a much, much bigger movement. I would encourage others thinking about volunteering to just do it!

“I wanted to volunteer during this time because there are many things about the present situation that are so completely beyond our control that I am concerned about people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“One of my regular weekly shopping trips has become a ‘chat’ as well. Once a week we chat on the phone as we go over the list and I make sure that I’m not in a rush when delivering the shopping. The person that I shop for has acknowledged that they are struggling with their mental health in the present climate and seems to enjoy the interaction that we have. Many people have used the phrase ‘human voice’ and I believe that is what is needed at this time.”

The opening hours for the COVID-19 support hub are Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and is available via TEL: 0345 2000 101 or emailing contact.us@northtyneside.gov.uk.

While it is available to anyone in urgent need of non-clinical help in the borough, priority will be given to those identified by the NHS as critically vulnerable due to health conditions.

North Tyneside Council’s contact centre is run by its partner Engie.

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Places to Ride

British Cycling is working closely with Sport England to develop a national network of new cycling facilities that meets local demand. Funding is available to any organisation developing cycling activity in their community, and can be used for anything from equipment packages to activate a local space, through to a new cycling facility.

Support available:

  • Large scale grants (£50,000  £500,000): typically for new facilities or significant improvements to existing venues. Organisations will need to provide partnership funding (ideally 50 per cent). Applicants are likely to be local authorities, charitable organisations or community organisations.
  • Small-scale grants (£1,000  £50,000): for equipment, cycle storage, small-scale facilities or venue improvements. Most grants are expected to be towards the lower end of the amount available. Organisations will need to provide partnership funding (ideally 50 per cent and no lower than 25 per cent). Applicants are likely to be clubs (existing or new), community organisations, educational establishments or charitable organisations.
  • Equipment packages: for equipment packages to activate a local space. Places to Ride will cover 80 per cent of the cost in return for a commitment to deliver and report over three years. Applicants are likely to be local organisations such as clubs, community groups and schools.

No deadline (open until January 2021)

Read more and apply here

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Allchurches Trust

Grants  of £1,000 to £15,000 are available for projects (with a total cost of up to £1m – larger grants may be available) working to promote the Christian faith or any other charitable purpose; grants normally support projects that have a Christian foundation or links and reflect these areas of focus:

  • Building communities, especially where they are hurting or broken
  • Helping people, especially those in particular need, to flourish
  • Growing churches – spiritually and numerically.

While the trust’s roots are Christian, many of the projects it funds support people of all faiths and none. It particularly likes to support organisations working in some of the most deprived areas, right at the grass-roots, unafraid to tackle difficult social issues and working in partnership with other charities and churches to produce something greater than the sum of its parts.

Grants normally fund capital projects and equipment, not salaries or running costs. Most grants go towards making improvements to buildings, although the trust will occasionally look at pump priming new, strategic initiatives that are likely to have a major impact on people and communities, such as by funding new posts to build capacity or extend project reach.

No deadline.

Read more and apply here. 

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Wooden Spoon Society – Capital Grants

Wooden Spoon is the British and Irish Rugby charity which supports projects that enhance and support the lives of children and young people (under the age of 25) who are disadvantaged – physically, mentally or socially. Each year the charity supports around 70 projects.

If a project is a physical, tangible asset of a permanent nature, it must have a minimum predicted life span of five years (preferably 10), be non-transferable and of a permanent nature. Special consideration may be given to funding life-enhancing/medical equipment if it can be shown that the useable life of such equipment is likely to be at least five years. While there is neither a minimum nor maximum grant level, it is unlikely projects of a physical nature under £5,000 in value will have sufficient substance and scale to qualify under the “projected life span” criteria.  If a project is educational or disability sports-focused, there must be a key rugby element to engage children and young people.

No min/max. Schools / non-profit. No deadline.

Read more and apply here.

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VODA’s AGM and Awards Presentation 2019

Our Annual General Meeting and awards presentation took place on Wednesday 23 October at the Linskill Centre in North Shields.

As well as a presentation of VODA’s latest annual report and accounts, the event featured keynote speaker Wendy Burke, Director of Public Health at North Tyneside Council, who discussed Population Health in North Tyneside and the role of the voluntary sector.

We also announced the winners of VODA’s North Tyneside VCS awards. Earsdon and Wellfield Community Association was the winner of Organisation of the Year. Volunteer of the Year was Rizwan Ali, from Walking With in North Tyneside, Young Volunteer of the Year went to Bobbi-Lou Taylor from Tyne Met College and the Trustee of the Year was Anna McConville from Pathways 4 All, as well as a special commendations for Young Volunteer Abi Jackson from Creative Minds and to the Tynemouth Scouts. Read more about the award winners here.

In addition, three local businesses –  Carney Consultancy, Bell Group and Accenture – were presented with their Community Friendly Business Awards by Ian Dodds, who coordinates VODA’s Sector Connector project. Read more about the Community Friendly Business Award winners here


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Chair Talk: new VODA facilitated free Chairs’ network

The role of Chair or Vice Chair can often seem challenging, leadership can be feel isolating. Do you sometimes think it would be good to talk to other chairs that also face similar demands? Would you like the chance to discuss issues and opportunities, share good practice and participate in peer to peer learning with other North Tyneside organisational Chairs and Vice Chairs?

Collaborate in seeking solutions to hot topics such as:

  • Effective trustees and governance
  • Board diversity
  • Trustee Recruitment
  • Training
  • Staff management

Louise Sneiders, Chair at YMCA North Tyneside says: “As a new Chair I’m getting to grips with my role and would love to connect with and learn from others in a similar position. It can feel like an overwhelming responsibility at times, so meeting others, even for a chat over a cuppa would help.”

As part of our Trustee support network VODA is offering to facilitate a free Chairs’ network providing the venue and resources to get things started.

For further information or to register your interest contact Keith Hardy, Core Services Manager at keith.hardy@voda.org.uk or call 0191 643 2636.

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Charity Digital Skills Report 2019

The new Charity Digital Skills report 2019 is now available. The report reveals the temperature of the charity sector and, more specifically, how it’s using digital.

The report – produced by the Skills Platform in partnership with Zoe Amar Digital – is the definitive survey of the digital skills landscape across the third sector.
The aim of the report is to develop a shared understanding of how digital can help charities to achieve their missions.
Headline findings from the report are that more than half of charities (52%) don’t have a digital strategy – an increase from the last two years; and that more than two thirds of charities (67%) want to use digital to increase their impact.
You can find a summary of the Charity Digital Skills Report here, where you can also download a copy of the full report
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NCSC launches cyber security toolkit for charity boards

The National Cyber Security Centre’s latest roundtable event highlighted its new toolkit for boards – a manual for charities to develop their cyber security strategies and create the right dialogue with their trustee boards.

The vast majority of organisations in the UK rely on digital technology to function.

Good cyber security protects that ability to function, and ensures organisations can exploit the opportunities that technology brings. Cyber security is therefore central to an organisation’s health and resilience, and this places it firmly within the responsibility of the Board.

New regulations (such as GDPR) as well as high profile media coverage on the impact of cyber incidents, have raised the expectations of partners, shareholders, customers and the wider public. Quite simply, organisations – and board members especially – have to get to grips with cyber security.

Why have the NCSC produced a Board Toolkit?
Boards are pivotal in improving the cyber security of their organisations. The Board Toolkit been created to encourage essential discussions about cyber security to take place between the Board and their technical experts.

Read more and access the toolkit here.

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