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North Tyneside VODA

The Northern Guide to Happiness featuring VODA

Episode 2 of the Northern Guide to Happiness podcast features our Robin Fry, CEO of VODA, talking about his love of film and music making as well as VODA’s response to the Covid pandemic, supporting volunteers and the local communities over the last 12 months, including helping people with food and prescription deliveries and befriending opportunities. You can listen to the podcast here:

The Northern Guide to Happiness would love to hear from you!

The Northern Guide to Happiness is a podcast funded by the National Lottery Community Fund that aims to put a smile on the faces of people across the North East and beyond. They’re talking to adopted and native Northerners about what makes them happy and what happiness means to them as well as exploring what’s special about the North and how living here makes life happier for its residents.

They are looking for more people to be interviewed as part of the podcast as well as community groups to get involved in the project through our FREE happiness workshops.

For more information; visit thenorthernguidetohappiness.co.uk or email Alex on hello@thenorthernguidetohappiness.co.uk

You can keep up to date with the project by following them on Twitter @NorthHappiness and Instagram and Facebook @NorthernHappiness

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Working With the VCS goes virtual

Monday 15 June saw our first ever online ‘Working With the VCS’ event bringing together 34 representatives from charities, community groups, North Tyneside Council, North Tyneside CCG, Primary Care Networks, VONNE, the North of Tyne Combined Authority and the private sector.

The theme of the event was Building a Recovery Plan for the VCS in North Tyneside and consisted of the following presentations which you can now view and download using the links below. You can also share your thoughts on VCS Recovery by completing this short survey by 26 June.

Vonne’s Carol Botten presented findings from VONNE’s North East VCSE COVID-19 impact survey.  Download the slides here.

 

Felicity Shoesmith from North Tyneside Council outlined the early thinking on a recovery plan for the VCS in North Tyneside. View the draft recovery plan here. We would appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on the draft recovery plan via this short survey

 

Pauline Wonders from Family Gateway and Dean Titterton from YMCA North Tyneside reflected on the potential for a more collaborative approach to supporting beneficiaries.

 

Jackie Laughton from North Tyneside Council discussed the new Poverty Intervention Fund for North Tyneside. Download the slides here. Share your thoughts on this fund by emailing vicki.nixon@northtyneside.gov.uk.

 

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Leigh Culyer: Good Neighbours Volunteer

After seeing a number of posts on social media about supporting the most vulnerable residents of North Tyneside during the COVID-19 lockdown, retired Head Teacher Leigh Culyer from North Shields enlisted to help by joining VODA’s Good Neighbours and the national Good Sam scheme.

Leigh, who is currently studying to be a counsellor at Newcastle College was keen to help people isolating and shielding who would be unable to shop, access essential services and pick up medication. Leigh commented: “I worried that many of these people could be alone and without families or friends to support them. I felt that if I could help in a small way it might make things easier for those most vulnerable who needed support”. Leigh now has four regulars that she shops for each week, as well as delivering prescriptions and topping up gas and electricity.

One of Leigh’s regulars is an elderly lady who lives alone and has existing health conditions and will be isolating at least until the end of June. Her family live in another part of the country and are key workers. Leigh has been delivering shopping to her since the beginning of the lockdown and is the only person she sees from week to week. Their relationship has developed from volunteer and beneficiary to good friends, with Leigh planning to continue her visits when lockdown is over.

Leigh has loved all aspects of the volunteering role, but the biggest part has been getting to know the residents. “The feeling of a community who works together for the benefit of others has been really special. The organisation and the people running the project have been so friendly, helpful and efficient. Overall, the project has brought so many people together for the needs of others – a great positive to come out of this crisis.”

When asked if she would recommend volunteering to others, Leigh said: Definitely, it’s a great way to give some of your time and skills to benefit and support others. You will meet new people, feel part of a community and put a smile on someone’s face. Giving just a little of your time can mean a great deal to others.”

*Photo shows Leigh with her new grandson Albert, born a few weeks before the lockdown.

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