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
You can make a general application to the Community Foundation at any time. If it is eligible, they will look to match it to one of their Funds.
The Community Foundation awards grants to benefit people and places in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and across North East England, through nearly 300 different funds set up by people and organisations who want to make a difference. They know that applying for funding can be difficult, so they aim to help to make it as straightforward as possible.
If you are asked to self-isolate, it is important that you follow the advice which is there to help keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe.
We know that, for many people, self-isolation is not easy. Not being able to go to school or work and missing out on seeing friends and family can be really challenging for our physical and mental health.
It can be hard work understanding and abiding by every rule, especially when things seem to change so often. However, it is now a legal requirement and you can be fined if you do not self-isolate when you are asked to.
We hope that this guide, Navigating self-isolation in North Tyneside, which has been created by VODA – in collaboration with North Tyneside Council – provides you with some useful information to help you stay safe whilst self-isolating. We want to thank you for everything you are doing to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus in your community.
Printed copies of this magazine will be available at the new Riverside community testing hub. Feel free to share and download the online version with anyone you feel would benefit. We will beat this together.
The Curtin PARP Fund supports individuals in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland to realise their potential. The fund particularly prioritises support for carers of all ages, Black and Minority Ethnic people including those with asylum seeker/refugee status, disabled people, homeless people and people who are experiencing disadvantage that prevents them from realising their potential.
Grants of between £500 and £1,000 per year for up to three years, with the condition that evidence of attendance and progress/completion is provided for each year of study or one-off grants of between £500 and £1,000.
Individuals undertaking courses which develop skills and talents.
Activities which develop skills and promote confidence and personal development.
Help to overcome barriers to employment/education
All applications must demonstrate clear aims, opportunity for progression, and measurable outcomes, showing how the planned activity or items will help the individual to realise their potential.
Examples of what may be supported:
Capital items towards further education, training or developing new skills
Course/activity costs where no other support is available
Travel costs to attend courses
Costs associated with CV/interview preparation
Activities which are not a priority for the Curtin PARP Fund
Sports groups/sporting activities for the general public
The fund supports projects in Tyne and Wear and Northumberland that aim to improve the life chances of disadvantaged communities. Grants of up to £3,000 will be made to support the delivery of welfare benefits and employment-related advice and support activities to disadvantaged individuals and families in poverty and in order to achieve one or more of the following:
Preventing or alleviating poverty through increased income
Improved living standards of the most disadvantaged through increased household income
Increasing individuals’ ability to manage their benefits claims to reduce the likelihood of future sanctions/problems
SMART objectives could include:
Increased take up of benefits entitlement
Number of successful appeals against sanctions
Referrals to other support services as relevant/required such as food banks
Numbers of service users successfully making new online claims
Number of service users supported to manage debt
Applicants will need to be located in areas of high deprivation, and to demonstrate that they have experience in delivering this support, and to provide examples of successful outcomes already achieved. Please also indicate if support is required to maintain existing services or for additional resources to meet increased demand.
Applications are invited from mainly smaller (income of no more than £70,000 per annum) organisations but those with a larger income will be considered.
Examples of disadvantaged communities include those affected by poverty, unemployment, homelessness, asylum seeker/refugee status, disability and people with learning disabilities. Activities which are not a priority for the REEDS Grassroots Fund:
Sports groups/sporting activities for the general public
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.