Jackdaw Web Design has been working with a local charity to develop a chat function for their WordPress website so that they can support people who can no longer attend their group or 1-2-1 sessions. They are now hoping to use the experience and knowledge they have gained during this process to benefit the North Tyneside VCS.
If any voluntary organisation is interested in adding online chat to their WordPress website, Jackdaw is willing to provide free advice on the various options available in terms of cost, confidentiality, practical use etc.
Three North East support charities have launched a new e-learning resource for trustees.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Elements Training Portal has been developed by Connected Voice, North Tyneside VODA and Northumberland CVA, who have been working in partnership since 2019 to help trustees overcome challenges such as capacity and geography by giving them the opportunity to access quality e-learning 24/7 from wherever they have an internet connection.
New trustees looking for an introductory course to support their work, will be able to sign up to the Elements Training Platform and study its ‘Good Governance’ course in their own time and at their own pace, and can fit their learning around their schedule and priorities. And what’s more, until the end of December 2021, trustees will be able to access the ‘Good Governance’ course free of charge.
Giovanni Spatuzzi, Strategic Partnerships and Operations Manager at Connected Voice said, “Most individuals who become trustees don’t start out with a well-developed knowledge of governance issues. Instead, they start out with a vitally-important passion for the work of the organisation, and the governance side of things is something they must learn along the way.
“Although we’re just getting started, we want Elements to become the go-to place for people in our sector across the North East, whatever their role, to find flexible, interactive e-learning opportunities that offer a good basic understanding of subjects such as good governance, volunteers and the law, and good fundraising to support them in their work.
“‘Good Governance’ is our first course. It is suitable for new trustees and also for existing trustees who are looking to refresh their knowledge. We’ll be adding new courses very soon.”
Connected Voice, North Tyneside VODA and Northumberland CVA are all well-established and respected membership charities offering local infrastructure support to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in their respective communities across North of Tyne and Gateshead.
The partnership has a combined membership of over 1,500 organisations, with around 3,500 trustee-led charities covering their geographical areas, so we’re anticipating a high demand for the Elements Training Portal.
As well as this new Elements Training Platform, each of the partners also offers a range of other information, training and support. If you’re in North Tyneside, you can contact VODA for support: email email@example.com or call 0191 6432626.
Cedarwood Trust lies at the heart of the Meadowell community, and food is one of the principal themes of what they do. As part of the unveiling of their newly renovated centre, the Trust has launched The Nourish Store.
Nourish is a Community Membership Store, which has been created to bridge the gap between standard supermarkets and food banks to offer a successful, quality shopping experience via a weekly membership system. It supports those on low incomes to reduce food costs, allowing people to better manage their other expenses as well tackling the environmental impact the food industry has on the planet with surplus food waste.
Members simply pay £4 a week to get at least £15 worth of shopping, which includes fresh fruit and vegetables, ambient, chilled, and frozen foods as well as toiletries and cleaning goods too. The store will offer members choice and an opportunity to contribute financially, removing any stigma associated with other initiatives, helping relieve persistent food poverty and enabling those on a low income to have access to a variety of food to ensure that single residents, couples and families can enjoy nutritious meals made with quality ingredients.
The store runs alongside existing services at the Cedarwood Trust, offering a fantastic provision that can benefit all those who access it. This enables those that use the store to access everything else offered by Cedarwood Trust. Services cover everything from debt advice to budgeting, family and pastoral support, training and volunteer opportunities and so much more.
The service is volunteer led, further enhancing people’s opportunity to support their own community, allowing for personal achievement and opportunities for individuals too.
Read more for FAQ’s and how to support this service.
The Screwfix Foundation works with both national and local charities, donating much needed funds to help all sorts of projects – from repairing buildings and improving facilities in deprived areas, to decorating the homes of people living with sickness and disabilities.
The Foundation supports projects with grants of up to £5,000 that will fix, repair, maintain and improve properties and community facilities for those in need by reason of financial hardship, sickness, disability, distress or other disadvantage in the UK.
No deadline – all applications are reviewed individually by our team on a quarterly basis, the review dates are in February, May, August and November.
Two organisations in North Tyneside have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
They are among 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the country who are celebrating after winning the prestigious award this year, with five of them being in Tyne and Wear. The two North Tyneside recipients are:
Remembering the Past
Remembering the Past is a volunteer-led charity that collects and manages a digital collection of stories, sound recordings and memorabilia which reflects every aspect of local life in North Tyneside since the turn of the 20th century. They began collecting memories in 1997 and their collection is one of the longest-running and diverse community history archives in the country.
Whitley Bay Street Pastors
Whitley Bay Street Pastors provide support to vulnerable young people on weekend evenings. The volunteers also coordinate the North Tyneside Severe Weather Emergency Protocol SWEP team who provide emergency overnight shelter to the homeless during the cold winter nights. Over the last 12 months, they have supported approximately 1,000 vulnerable people.
Susan Winfield Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear said: “Whitley Bay Street Pastors are an outstanding group of volunteers providing support to vulnerable people at weekends as well as the homeless in winter.”
Chris Lincoln, Whitley Bay Street Pastors Coordinator commented: “An honour to receive such a wonderful award, caring for vulnerable people for almost 10 years in our community, making it a safer place.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2
June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
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.
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.
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.
Sir James Knott Trust supports charitable activity in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, County Durham and Hartlepool.
The Trust is an excellent local funder that makes monthly decisions on applications of up to £1,000 and larger grants three times per year.
Special consideration is given to charitable activities known to have been of particular interest to Sir James Knott. They include: Providing opportunities for people to congregate such as youth clubs and projects to help the elderly. Sir James was concerned that people could find work and so they support training. He was keen to ensure that that people have a roof over their heads, where they are safe. Finally, Sir James and Lady Knott, having lost two of their sons in active service in the First World War were drawn to military and maritime good causes. .
The Trustees have wide discretion on the distribution of funds. They do not fund research or activity that has already taken place. They do fund faith based organisations as long as the activity is open to those of all faiths and none.
Monthly decisions on grants up to £1,000 and Trustees meet to consider larger grant applications three times a year. Grants totalling about £1.8million a year are made, funded from investment income. Read more here.
If you cannot go to work you should find out from your employer whether you are covered by their sick leave or special leave policy. If you cannot get sick pay from your employer, you might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or another type of financial support:
New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)if you cannot get SSP, you’re under State Pension age, and you have made enough National Insurance contributions over the last 2 to 3 years – you could also get it if your child has symptoms or is self-isolating
Universal Credit if you or your partner are under State Pension age and you have less than £16,000 in savings – you might be able to get it at the same time as SSP or New Style ESA. For help claiming Universal Credit, call Citizen’s Advice Help to Claim on 0800 144 8 444Their dedicated Help to Claim service can support you in the early stages of your Universal Credit claim, from the application through to your first payment.
Pension Creditif both you and your partner have reached State Pension age – you might be able to get it at the same time as SSP
For any other issues (e.g. employment, housing and health issues), call Citizen’s Advice North Tyneside’s Adviceline for free on: 0300 3309 047. These telephone lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Access other information on our local website www.ntcab.org.uk
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.