Charity trustees are some of the most important people in a charity. They have the potential to enable a charity to thrive or bring its operations grinding to a halt, and a charity’s service users are dependent on its trustees to make good decisions and lead well. Charities need a wide range of skills from their trustees, to understand and address the many challenges charities can face and navigate the changing context in which they operate. They need trustee boards that can challenge one another and the status quo, that bring different experiences, knowledge and ideas, but that are able to work constructively and enthusiastically as a team. That is why board diversity is so important – because diversity brings together the rich mix of qualities that make a healthy and effective board.
Getting on Board has launched new free guidance for charities looking to recruit diverse, robust and effective trustee boards. Getting on Board is a charity that helps individuals, employers and members of professional networks become new leaders in communities through board-level volunteering. They collated the learnings from their Trustee Recruitment Pathways programme into a comprehensive eight step guide to recruiting trustees.
Keep Britain Tidy is seeking new #LitterHeroes Ambassadors to join their volunteer programme.
During your work you may meet members of the public who want to volunteer and have a real passion for community engagement and keeping public spaces clean. Keep Britain Tidy would love you to encourage them to apply to join their enthusiastic #LitterHeroes Ambassadors in becoming community activators across the UK.
The #LitterHeroes Ambassador programme is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and aims to support community cohesion, improve public spaces and help benefit mental and physical wellbeing.
If you want to do something special this summer, why help your local community by volunteering?
In order to let people know about the wide range of volunteering opportunities available in North Tyneside, we are holding a New Year Volunteer Recruitment Fair on Saturday8 June 2019, from 10am to 3pm at The Beacon Centre in North Shields.
There will be stalls and information from a range of voluntary and community organisations who all involve volunteers in their work, as well as members of VODA’s friendly staff team on hand to answer any queries you have and tell you about our own volunteering projects.
There is no need to book – simply call in to the Beacon Centre between 10am and 3pm!
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. See all the award winners here.
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.
The British Red Cross is working with local community groups, charities, retirement homes etc, to deliver some basic first aid skills relevant to the participants. The sessions are free and are delivered at your venue. Generally they are approximately two hours but this can be altered to suit.
The sessions are informal and interactive allowing participants to freely ask questions and giving them the information which is relevant. Topics covered are based on the needs of the group, thereby making it useful, with the aim of improving people’s confidence in an emergency situation. They can also run the sessions as a talk as some groups like to have a guest speaker at coffee mornings/evenings etc.
Any groups interested in this training should contact Nikki Willis, Adult Education Coordinator on 07803 013232, 0191 2334183, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of charities, social enterprises and community groups across the country are working to alleviate loneliness and help people feel more connected to each other. But what’s the best way to know if their activities are working?
The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has released free ‘A Brief Guide to Measuring Loneliness’, a 12 page guide, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, that includes recommended questions for children and adults, plus an editable questionnaire template, to help organisations assess the effectiveness of their work.
The guide is aimed at anyone wanting to understand the impact of their charity on loneliness, especially people with responsibility for monitoring and evaluation. It takes a realistic approach to evaluation to avoid overloading charities and the people they support with too many questions. It acknowledges the strengths of small organisations in collecting evidence about people’s personal journeys, and gives advice on how to have conversations about a sometimes difficult and sensitive topic.
They also acknowledge that those projects that are trying to alleviate loneliness are also aiming to improve the overall wellbeing of people they work with and offer an online guide for measuring wellbeing impact, which can be used alongside this guidance on loneliness to understand the full effect your activities are having on people’s lives.
This is a new funding programme, which will focus on funding projects that aim to proactively break down barriers and tensions between different groups of people, and build a more cohesive and inclusive community for all. The aims are as follows:
Proactively work towards building better community cohesion and trust, and encouraging respect and understanding in the local area.
Proactively promote the inclusion of marginalised groups and individuals in the life of the local community.
Fund work which breaks down barriers and tensions in the local community thereby reducing feelings of division and “them and us”.
The Foundation is seeking applications from community-led grassroots groups and organisations that have a focus of work being at a very local/community level; this could be a housing estate or distinct community.
Applications will be particularly encouraged from areas of high deprivation – but not exclusively – and the Foundation is keen to support communities in coming up with their own solutions to local issues of division. New initiatives and those that may have been tried before or are on-going are considered as long as the work has lasting benefits for those people the projects are aimed at.
In 2018, of the 153 grants awarded 112 were single grants with the remainder being for two or three years. The majority ranged from £750 to £15,000.
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.
BlueSpark provides funding for projects that aim to improve the education and development of children and young people by means of educational, cultural, sporting or other activities. Particular consideration is given to projects that they believe will help enhance the self-confidence, team working skills and future employability of children and young people.
BlueSpark provides funds for relatively small-scale projects which might not happen at all or would only happen on a smaller scale without their support. Funding provided by BlueSpark for any particular project must constitute a significant proportion of the costs of that project rather than being marginally incremental to its funding. If an organisation is able to raise part of the cost of a project itself, that will be a favourable factor in the assessment of a grant application, particularly where the application is for more than £2,000.
The Thomas Wall Trust considers applications for grants of up to £1,000 for small charities running specific projects or activities. Projects must aim to serve the educational and social needs of the community.
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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.