Sector Connector

Ground-breaking new Wallsend community hub officially open

For voluntary and community sector organisations costs are a big consideration. The hub offers flexible office spaces and affordable back-office services such as payroll, accountancy, printing, and HR advice to help reduce costs and allow funding to be spent delivering vital services to the borough’s residents instead.

The ground-breaking hub has been made possible thanks to significant investment from North Tyneside Council and the North of Tyne Combined Authority. The North of Tyne Combined Authority has awarded £250,000 for the development of the new hub on the top floor, with a further £50,000 to support its development over the first couple of years.

Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside Council, said: “The opening of this innovative hub marks a real step forward for the Voluntary and Community Sector in North Tyneside. A place where organisations can access technology and services to support them to grow and deliver their vital services to our residents.

From the initial plans through the final result everything has been specifically designed with the organisations in mind. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved working with VODA and North of Tyne Combined Authority on this project. I’m certain it will be well used.”

Robin Fry, Chief Executive, VODA and North of Tyne Combined Authority Mayoral Ambassador for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector, said: “Our ambition is to create a dynamic Community Hub that becomes the centre of excellence for Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE) organisations across the borough.

“We know how vital a strong VCSE sector is to the health and happiness of people living in North Tyneside. The Hub will offer a range of affordable ‘back-office’ services such as payroll, accountancy, printing, and HR advice.

Mayor for the North of Tyne, Jamie Driscoll, said: “There are no ‘frontline services’ without ‘back offices’. Our local voluntary sector does invaluable work, often with vulnerable residents. But thriving community organisations have basic needs. These might be IT or payroll services, decent tech, or office and meeting space. Funding this hub will help charities and community groups focus more resources on residents – and less on rent and office overheads.”

Wallsend Community First Centre is already a thriving hub of vital services. As well as a library and customer services ran by the council, the ground floor is home to care and connect, Citizens Advice bureau, NHS recovery Partnership Team and most recently, Wallsend Neighbourhood Policing Team.

VODA’s sector connector project will also be based on the first floor, helping to draw in additional pro-bono support from businesses including master classes, mentoring, and maximising volunteer opportunities.

Ends

For more information on accessing the services of the hub, please contact Katie Snowdon at [email protected].

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Sector Connector special edition bulletin

The latest issue of the Sector Connector bulletin, aimed at Sector Connector business partners, was a special edition printed magazine, which was facilitated by our Sector Connector partnership with yourPrintDepartment.

You can read the full bulletin here.

If you would like to find out more about Sector Connector, please get in touch.

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New look for Sector Connector

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re delighted to reveal our new look Sector Connector logo and strapline, which has been kindly developed for us via a Sector Connector partnership with yourPrintDepartment in North Shields.

The new logo has been developed in response to the changing nature of Sector Connector and more accurately reflects the professional standard of the project and what it does. Thank you to the team at yourPrintDepartment for your support!

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Sector Connector offer from For You Photography

For You Photography, a photography business based in North Tyneside, is keen to support voluntary and community organisations in the borough.

For You Photography is offering 20% discount on its normal prices for photographic commissions and can help capture events and special moments or take staff photographs for your website and Facebook pages, contact [email protected].

In addition, through Sector Connector, For You Photography is offering a limited number of free photographic sessions throughout the year for voluntary and community organisations. This could include getting professional headshots for your staff page, or creative photographs of the services you offer to help make your social media and website look more professional and unique. If you are interested in this offer, please contact Ian Dodds.

 

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VODA’s Sector Connector Project Scoops NAVCA Award

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday 19 March NAVCA held their first ever national awards event in London, showcasing the brilliant achievements of their member organisations. We are delighted that North Tyneside VODA’s Sector Connector project came home with the ‘Collaboration and Partnership Working Award’.

The NAVCA Awards have been designed to celebrate local third sector infrastructure – the unsung heroes of our sector – and a total of nine awards were handed out during the evening, including two for the Newcastle CVS.

Robin Fry, VODA’s Chief Executive, said “We nominated our Sector Connector project in the category of Collaboration and Partnership Working as we believe it is a shining example of how the private and third sectors can work together for mutual benefit. Since the project began, over 100 businesses have engaged in Sector Connector, having a hugely positive impact on North Tyneside’s voluntary and community sector. Collaboration is one of our five core values at VODA, and facilitating cross-sector partnerships is a key strategic objective. I am immensely proud of the work that our Sector Connector project has achieved to date, and look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Sector Connector recognises that, at a time when voluntary and community organisations are being encouraged to be more entrepreneurial, the private sector has skills and experience that are useful to charities, whilst those same charities and community organisations can help businesses to better understand the communities they serve.

The project enables any business, irrespective of size, to engage with its local community, whether it’s through the giving of time by providing one-to-one mentoring and advice; taking part in team volunteering days; sharing skills and expertise by delivering workshops for groups of community organisations; or by becoming trustees.

Businesses involved with Sector Connector offer a wide range of support including:

  • Making free spaces available for voluntary organisations on a two-day Mental Health First Aid training course.
  • Provision of free support to design branding and marketing for a community orchard.
  • Delivery of a workshop on ‘getting the most out of your team’ from a private sector personal coach (feedback from which indicates VCS managers who attended have completely transformed the way that they are working).
  • A collaboration project between the business sector and the voluntary sector to explore the regeneration of North Shields town centre.

VODA is always looking for new businesses to get involved in the Sector Connector project, if you would like to get involved, please contact Ian Dodds.

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