The Positive Pathways programme will award grants of up to £35k for projects developed by and for veterans. Projects should aim to improve veterans’ mental health and wellbeing by getting veterans out and active. Projects should come under one of four themes:
Here is a round-up of the upcoming funding deadlines for the next few months. These include COVID specific and non COVID funding streams. There are also a number of funds without deadlines – you can view the COVID specific funding here and the non COVID funding here. If you need any advice or guidance on funding, please contact our Funding Advisor Frank Gillender at email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
BlueSpark provides funding for projects of up to £5,000 that aim to improve the education and development of children and young people (age 5-22) by means of educational, cultural, sporting or other activities. It will give particular consideration to projects that it believes will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.
Funding must support a specific project and must constitute a significant proportion of the costs of that project. Funds are made for relatively small-scale projects that might not happen at all or would only happen on a smaller scale without the support of BlueSpark.
Grant applications must state exactly what the grant will be used for – e.g. physical assets, such as sports equipment or lighting for stage productions, services or facilities, such as music or drama tuition, or the provision of experiences,such as theatre visits. These examples are intended to be illustrative and not restrictive.
For the last two years VODA’s #iwill project – funded by the Virgin Money Foundation and part of the national #iwill campaign – has brought digital and media volunteering to young people aged between 14 and 20 (up to 25 with additional needs or disabilities) in North Tyneside.
During the two years 54 young people contributed 1,454 volunteer hours in 20 social action projects and took part in 16 workshops from digital experts.
The project gave young people chance to learn a range of digital and media skills such as photography, film-making, social media, campaigning, blogging and more, and to use those skills to create campaigns around issues that mattered to the volunteers. The programme included regular, facilitated workshops, group sessions and the opportunity to contribute to the Today From Us creative agency that was set up by #iwill volunteers.
Just prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic the group were in the process of planning their end of project event, putting together all of their skills and experience gleaned from their participation in the project. Whitley Bay Playhouse was booked and invitations sent out. They also produced a series of short films to be shown on the evening as well as producing a commemorative calendar.
The purpose of the event was to showcase the achievements of the project and provide young people and local organisations the opportunity to network and recruit young volunteers into their respective causes.
The #iwill project has seen a huge development of young people’s confidence and ability to perform new activities, which they have been able to use towards subjects that they really care about such as mental health and young people, poverty within the local area and challenging the negative stereotypes of young people.
Here is just a few of their achievements…
The #iwill unfold campaign was created to encourage people to open up about their mental health. Inspired by Drummond Central’s ‘Social Media for Social Change’ four young volunteers identified a project around raising awareness of mental health. With the support of advertising, graphic design and web design experts they produced the campaign ‘I will unfold‘ . The group created an entire brand for their campaign with the purpose of encouraging local people to access mental health support and speak out about how they ‘unfold‘ . The group developed branded origami with inspiring messages. The origami has information for social media tags and their website address where people can find further information and advice about the support for mental health in North Tyneside. I will unfold particularly focused on raising the profile of local causes such as Launchpad North Tyneside, DePaul UK and North Tyneside Mind. as well as hosting events at World Mental Health Day and North Tyneside Art Studio. All in all hundreds of origami swans, butterflies and love hearts were made, branded and covered in quotes. These were given out across North Tyneside to spread a little hope.
#iwill unfold video
#iwill worked with 30 young people from TyneMet College across two courses of Health and Social Care as an opportunity to empower young people to create digital content about issues they were passionate about. The students each did 30 hours of volunteering across ten weeks through #iwill which followed a process of ideas generation, team building, digital workshops and project management.
After splitting into smaller groups based on their interests and skill base, teams produced a total of seven digital social action projects to raise awareness within the college and the community.
LGBT stop motion video
Anti Bullying Stop Motion
Anti Sexism film
Two videos for The Red Box Project North Tyneside raising awareness of the scheme within the college and advertising the opportunity to volunteer for the project.
‘When we were first planning activities for Entry and Level 1 students we wanted to have opportunities for the students to try something different, something that would take them out of their comfort zone as well as develop skills that would be useful both personally and for future employment. Engaging with the #IWILL project has developed a social conscience and enabled our students to develop many skills including their communication, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. In their groups they needed to learn to delegate tasks, working with people they may not normally work with and create something they felt confident enough to put on social media. It was an amazing project and one they accomplished so well. Students were participating in their groups, planning how to meet the brief and growing in confidence through the weeks.
“We are so proud of what the students have achieved and they deserved to be proud of themselves. This project was great, led by brilliant facilitator Josie (and others) who were encouraging and committed, this definitely helped the students to get involved.
“Overall, this is a great experience and taught the students so much about themselves; that they are capable and able to achieve so much in a short period of time. We will build on this in future lessons and tutorials to develop these skills even further.” Lucy Whibley, TyneMet College.
TyneMet College: Anti-discrimination campaign video
After exploring the issues people face in our area, the group decided to tackle the issue of discrimination and with the support of a local filmmaker produced a short film to raise awareness of this issue. The group also produced a poster campaign which has been displayed in classrooms across the campus to encourage victims of hate crimes to report them through the correct channels. This #iwill campaign was in collaboration with TyneMet College and Northumbria Police.
Here is their video…
TyneMet College: The Red Box Project North Tyneside
Entry Level students from TyneMet College took part in film making and editing workshops to create two films raising the profile of The Red Box Project in their college. The Red Box Project is a national campaign to end period poverty in young people that successfully lobbied the government to provide free period products in schools.
VODA’s social action worker and national award winning volunteer, Emma Ramshawdelivered a programme of skill- enhancing sessions that aided campaign development for the #iwill create young people. As a result of the sessions a team of 17 young people developed a digital marketing agency called ‘Today From Us’. Today From Us created digital content on behalf of the local sector about issues that were important to them. Local businesses offered up-skilling workshops on graphic design, elevator pitching, filmmaking and photography to aid their campaign development.
Today From Us created their first independent campaign #i_weigh; inspired by actress and activist JameelaJamil’s @i_weigh community. The group submitted images of themselves to the @i_weigh community and JameelaJamil reposted their images on three separate occasions to her 710,000 followers on instagram and facebook.
Stop Loan Sharks
Today From Us worked on a campaign designed to raise awareness of the dangers of payday loans and loan sharks amongst young people. They created new posters and leaflets on behalf of the Illegal Money Lending Team’s Stop Loan Sharks campaign. The Illegal Money Lending Team provided a workshop overview of their core aims and set a the young people a strict brief to test their digital content development capabilities.
Testimonial from Natalie Barker from the North East Stop Loan Sharks Team “Wow I am blown away these are absolutely fantastic and the young people deserve a huge pat on the back.”
Rebrand of Creative Minds
Two young people involved with Creative Minds; a local organisation which provides support to individuals with sensory issues, Autism Spectrum DIsorder and brain injury took on the challenge of re-branding the organisation. Using their personal experience and supported by a local designer, the volunteers followed the process from concept to design to achieve the unique logo and new poster designs.
Rebrand of Tots Tea Rooms
Meadow Well Connected asked Today From Us to help promote their new community produce service, Tyne Fresh. Tyne Fresh aims to encourage the North Tyneside community to support the local food industry through affordable, healthy and fresh produce. The young volunteers were asked to create a short film which promoted the new service as a means of engaging the local community, many of whom face a financial barrier to accessing fresh and healthy fruit, vegetables and meat.
Tyne Fresh also briefed Today From Us to design and create simple but effective recipe cards that offer quick and healthy options for families on a budget. The team was in charge of photographing prepared meals and ingredients that entice a new audience to buy into the Tyne Fresh scheme.
Be the change North Tyneside
Inspired by their impact on the environment around us, three young people sought to make a difference on a local level. After consulting with North Tyneside Council‘s environmental services and Plastic Free North Tyneside, Be The Change was created. Social media pages were set up with branded images and infographics sharing information about how small steps can make big changes to reducing plastic waste and reducing individual impact on the climate.
Support from local creative organisations
Mint Communications hosted a session on marketing and how to attract people using digital platforms and social media. This was to increase knowledge and understanding about what and how to share information on social media.
Venview 360 worked with the group on virtual reality, creating a virtual tour of Whitley Bay Big Local and a mannequin challenge. The feedback from the young people was really good:
For You Photography led a photography walk along the coast at Whitley Bay passing on skills and tips for getting more out of landscape photography,
Feedback from young people volunteering on VODA’s #iwill project
‘I saw #iwill create and thought that it looked good, I like helping people and making a difference when I’m volunteering’
I enjoyed doing the elevator pitch session; we created something out of that which explains what we do. I have learnt skills in teamwork and project management, being able to develop a project from scratch is something that’s helped me develop a lot’
‘I got involved for something to do, I wanted to get out of the house and get some experience. I have learnt skills in using different design software on a computer, communication and photography. Last year I ran my own campaign through #iwill and I have enjoyed coming down on a Thursday for this #iwill session. I am looking forward to people coming in like the loan sharks and setting us challenges.’
‘I got involved because I wanted to help the community; I want to be able to help the charities that aren’t really advertised raise awareness’
‘I have enjoyed meeting new and interesting people, talking to them and making new friends’
‘I came across VODA’s #iwill project on twitter, I decided to come along for the craic. I have enjoyed it and learnt new skills in logo design, photography and film making so far. We’re about to start our first proper campaign so that’s a work in progress.’
‘I came to VODA to find out about volunteering and joined the #iwill project, I wanted to learn some new skills, meet new people and improve my confidence.
Feedback from young people on skills development workshops
‘We all had a laugh doing this workshop and we learnt how to use a proper SLR camera’.
I really enjoyed being interviewed and answering questions.’
‘I learnt about the rule of thirds and how to properly film interviews.’
‘I learnt about radio mics and how to record with camera and use a tripod.’
‘I learned new things and built my confidence up.’
‘I enjoyed everything, it helped my confidence and it was a good team bonding sessions, I learnt more skills.’
We believe that the voluntary sector should be front and centre of North Tyneside’s COVID-19 recovery plans. Despite a number of charities and community groups having to temporarily close their doors, others have been able to provide a remarkable response to support vulnerable residents during the COVID 19 pandemic. We have created this short animation to showcase some of the incredible work you have been doing. The animation was shown to members of the North Tyneside Strategic Partnership this week and will be shared with partners as part of the national #NeverMoreNeeded campaign.
We know full well that many of our members face some significant challenges to adapt and flourish in the COVID-19 ‘recovery’ phase and beyond. Based on the findings of VONNE’s recent survey, as well as conversations we’ve had with many of our members, we have identified a number of key areas of support that will be required by many organisations to help them adapt and thrive over the coming months and years. We appreciate that this will mean very different things to different types and sizes of organisations and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.
Resuming services: although many organisations have continued to offer some level of service, support will be required by some to help resume and redesign face-to- face work.
Workforce: with many organisations having furloughed their staff and others significantly changing the way their workforce operates, we expect many organisations to require support to help manage their workforce in light of COVID-19.
Finance: many VCS organisations will have experienced a significant drop in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will require support to rebuild their finances in order that they can continue to offer vital services.
Governance: the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges around governance for some organisations, but may also offer opportunities for organisations to merge.
Partnerships: whilst some VCS organisations have had to close their doors temporarily, other new neighbourhood-level ‘mutual aid’ groups have been formed. We are keen to support an ecosystem that enables all VCS organisations to work more collectively providing maximum benefit to our communities.
Volunteering: we have seen many more people step up to volunteer as part of the COVID-19 response. We are keen to build on the efforts of volunteers to support our recovery.
Working With the VCS event
Monday 15 June 10am to 11.30am on Zoom
We are keen to develop a VCS recovery plan that is designed by our members. For that reason we are holding a virtual Working With the VCS event on Monday 15th June from 10am – 11.30am. This meeting will provide an opportunity to hear from Carol Botten, Chief Executive at VONNE, as she provides a summary of findings from VONNE’s recent VCS survey. It will also offer an oppor-tunity for organisations to discuss what support they would like to access to help with recovery, as well as what support they might be able to offer others. Please register in advance for this event so that we can send you a link to the Zoom meeting.
Grants are available for the provision of Emergency Aid in communities, the encouragement of volunteering among young people and the enhancement of skills among young people. The Trustees acknowledge the unique challenges faced by the world at this current time and remain ‘open for business’, welcoming new grant applications.
The Trust has few restrictions on the purpose for which a grant may be made, providing it is in keeping with the aims. Capital investments, expeditions, projects and other costs will be considered. Trustees are particularly keen to support small organisations or groups that make a direct impact on communities. Previous grants have typically been for less than £10,000.
This year sees a record number of groups in North Tyneside being honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.
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 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation.
VODA’s Chief Executive Robin Fry commented: “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. I think it is important to show the vital contribution the voluntary and community sector makes to society every day of the year, and even more now in times of crisis. These organisations are #NeverMoreNeeded. I am particularly proud of our small borough of North Tyneside receiving five awards; which is testament to the hard work and dedication of our local community.”
230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups being awarded this year. Representatives of each group will receive their award from Susan Winfield, Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear later this year. Two volunteers from each group will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021 along with all other recipients of this year’s award.
The five North Tyneside recipients are:
Forward Assist’s vision is to engage veterans in community projects that utilise their valuable transferable skills, and enable life changing employment, volunteering, education and training opportunities that reduce social isolation and promote their physical and mental well-being. For some veterans a return to civilian life can be a joyous experience for both them and their families. However, in some cases it can be an experience fraught with transitional difficulties that are multiple and complex in nature and include self isolation, mental and physical health problems, unemployment and relationship breakdown.
“Forward assist is delighted that the invaluable contribution of our volunteers has been recognised by this prestigious award. As a charity that is both registered and based in North Tyneside, I hope that the Queens Award for Voluntary Service will throw light on the outstanding contribution our volunteers make supporting the wider community from the John Willie Sams Community Centre.
“Many of our Veterans go on to work and volunteer with other organisations and they continue to live the Forward Assist ethos of living great lives, filled with passion, meaning, purpose and direction whilst always being of service to others. As founder and CEO I could not be more proud of my army of volunteers!” Tony Wright, Chief Executive Officer. forward-assist.com
Friends of Brierdene, Whitley Bay
Friends of Brierdene was established over 13 years ago when volunteers took on the task of revitalising a run-down green space. As a result Brierdene in Whitley Bay is now a popular local beauty spot that is also a Wildlife Site with habitats that not only benefits the native flora and fauna but is enjoyed by the local community and visitors to the North East.
The work carried out by volunteers has been extensive and included the digging out of the burn, clearing tons of debris, installing new bridges and footpaths. They have developed three improving wildflower meadow areas and four small wildflower glades. This has all contributed to an increased number and diversity of the wildlife with over 1000 different species being identified and recorded and Brierdene now has an established wildlife corridor. In normal time the volunteers are out in all weathers – two mornings a week (Wednesday’s and Saturdays) all year round. As well as working closely with North Tyneside Council and the local schools, they are involved with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Naturelink Northeast. They provide guided tours for schools and young people’s groups, and have encouraged the local schools to grow and plant of some of the wildflowers. They have volunteer days to encourage wider involvement. To help the local community to appreciate conservation they hold an Annual Bio Blitz and a Moth Night, where everyone can take part in finding out more about wildlife in the dene. There’s a core group of volunteers who last year gave over 2100 volunteer hours. Over 180,000 people enjoyed Brierdene in 2018 and it has been well used during lockdown as a great place to walk. friendsofbrierdene.org.uk
2344 (Longbenton) Squadron Air Cadets
2344 (Longbenton) Squadron is one of the biggest Air Cadet squadrons in the North-East, with a catalogue of achievements and successes, including being the top performing Air Cadet unit in the UK. Its Cadet Force Adult Volunteers challenge its young people to achieve in flying gliding, adventure training, sports, leadership exercises and much more.
The squadron has served the community since 1956, but in 2008 it came close to closure. However, since then the adult volunteers have led an inspiring transition from an initially lacklustre unit to a thriving and vibrant detachment that has provided, and continues to provide, previously undreamed of opportunities for hundreds of youngsters from the local area, and supported them to achieve over 1000 internationally recognised qualifications.
The squadron was recognised for the impressive way it supports and works with the community and the young people from within the community and has done so for a sustained period of time. 2344.org.uk
North East Hearts with Goals
North East Hearts with Goals was established by sisters in law Kelly Best and Christine Stephenson in memory of Kelly’s husband and Christine’s brother Neil Best. The charity places lifesaving defibrillators around the North East, there are currently 450+ in place safeguarding communities from sudden cardiac arrest. The team of volunteers quickly grew to include people whose lives had been saved by the charity, as well as local celebrities and the North East Ambulance Service. The group works tirelessly to prevent the needless loss of further life and to date have installed over 450 defibrillators across the region.
The charity operates a mobile heart-screening unit equipped with an echocardiogram and ECG machine and visits sports clubs and other community venues offering affordable, often free, heart screening. This has identified several people to be referred for potentially life-saving further investigations. Christine commented: “25 lives have been saved to date and there will be more I’m sure. Its testament to the incredibly loyal, hardworking volunteers we work with”.
The charity is also working with the FA to educate children and parents to get symptoms checked out.
The charity offers counselling and on-going support following screening or life-saving access to a defibrillator. Feelings of guilt and vulnerability can lead to mental health issues, whilst parents become increasing protective over, and anxious about, the health of their children. nehwg.co.uk
Out of Sight
Out of Sight is a volunteer led charity that supports visually impaired children and their families and carers – often referred to as “one big family”. A significant amount of the children they support are neurologically diverse and often wheelchair users with life limiting conditions. The charity aims to help them and their families make memories, have fun, build friendships and overcome isolation with free trips and events, short holiday breaks in their fully accessible caravan and weekends away.
During lockdown, Out of Sight has supplied toys and crafting materials to the children and are now delivering parcels including facemasks, hand sanitiser, toiletries and food vouchers to the families they support.
Kath Nixon a Retired Family Lawyer and, the Founding Trustee commented: ““This group developed from parents wanting to self-support themselves, when I joined back in 2009 I was overwhelmed by the support they gave me. I took over the running not long after and then registered as a charity in 2013. Since then we have raised significant funds, secured a holiday base suitable for the most disabled child in our care and have opened our first Community Hub and drop-in centre in Dudley. We also support families who are in crisis. All of our services are free and everyone is a volunteer, helping to build the community spirit.
“We are grateful to VODA who have been so supportive to us over the years and who nominated us for this wonderful award. I feel humbled to accept the award on behalf of the charity and volunteers and would like to dedicate this award to our Angels: Leonie, Sam, Mya, Demi, Michael, Chloe and Evelyn”. outofsight.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.