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Website advice and guidance from Jackdaw

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.

Please contact Ian.Dodds@voda.org.uk if you would like to find out more.

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VODA is here to support the VCS during COVID-19

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected everyone, right across the sectors with many VCSE organisations facing major changes, challenges and uncertainty.

However, we want to assure you that despite all of the changes taking place and the obvious prominence of our much expanded Good Neighbours project to support local residents, VODA is still operating a full service, albeit with most of our staff working remotely.

We are still here to offer services and information, advice and guidance to North Tyneside voluntary and community organisations and groups on:

  • Funding Advice
  • Governance
  • Trustees
  • Safeguarding
  • Volunteering
  • Policy Development
  • COVID-19 Recovery Planning
  • Sector Connector

And a whole range of other subjects! If you have any questions, queries or concerns, please get in touch call 0191 6432626 or email admin@voda.org.uk and we will respond as quickly as possible. However, please bear with us if our response takes a little longer than usual.

Meanwhile we will try to keep you all updated on the latest news coming out of the sector both locally and nationally. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter pages for daily updates and take a look at our COVID-19 Information Centre on our website.

** Please note, team photo was taken before the lockdown at the VODA AGM in November 2019**

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GOV.UK COVID-19 guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations

The government has created a new webpage which pulls together all information and advice for VCSE organisations on funding, fundraising and volunteer guidance.

The voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector plays a key role across the country, positively impacting the life of many.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the sector has been mobilising across the UK providing practical and emotional support to vulnerable groups. Understandably, the financial implications to mobilising and supporting volunteers and the increased demand in services has placed pressure on the sector.

The page contains information and advice on how the VCSE sector can safely and effectively support the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

Areas covered include:

  1. Guidance for those working in these sectors
  2. Guidance about funding and fundraising
  3. The role of volunteers

Read more and access the page here.

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North of Tyne agrees new partnership with charity sector to aid recovery

North of Tyne politicians have struck an agreement with representatives of the voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to assist in the region’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Accord commits the North of Tyne Combined Authority to work with the VCSE sector as they start to rebuild once the public health crisis is over.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “Right now attention is on tackling the Coronavirus pandemic. Our voluntary and community sector is doing great work supporting vulnerable people. This Accord shows our commitment to the sector, and our commitment to working with them to aid the recovery of our communities when the virus has passed.”

Read the full story here.

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VCSE Supporting Response to COVID-19

VODA is working closely with North Tyneside Council and Health Services to provide a coordinated response to the current situation.

As part of this we are working with North Tyneside Council and North Tyneside CCG to encourage them to provide reassurance that they will continue to fund VCS organisations even if normal services are on pause.

The Local Authority has set up a Coronavirus helpline – 0345 2000 101 – and we are looking to assess current levels of provision across the VCSE to enable us to provide a cross sector response.

We are aware that many services are currently closed or closing or have altered the way they work. Please help us to keep abreast of what levels of services are currently operating. You can send updates via our website contact page. We will then update our COVID-19 pages and inform the Council and Health Services.

If you have any problems please email our Information & Communications Officer Victoria logan-coulsey@voda.org.uk

Please give us as much detail as possible to help us understand potential provision across the borough, to identify gaps and help support your needs. If you have already provided this detail to our Chief Executive Robin Fry this week then you do not need to do this again.

New online resources

We have updated our website to see a series of animated videos covering essential information for volunteers around safeguarding, volunteering advice, supporting volunteers and telephone befriending. Look out for the latest animation about staying safe when shopping.

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Responding to Coronavirus

In the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic charities and communities groups across the country are pulling out all the stops to support some of our most vulnerable residents whilst also protecting their staff and making plans for business continuity. Here at VODA we are grappling with a number of possible scenarios including staff sickness, the need to cancel activities and the potential shut down of our premises.

To help our members make their own plans we thought it would be useful to share the following links. Please do get in touch if we can be of any further assistance during these difficult times:

Coronavirus Government Guidance –worth checking on a daily basis


NCVO advice specific to voluntary and community organisations


Ward Hadaway advice on supporting your workforce


The Charities Facility Management Group guide to developing a business continuity plan


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Sector Connector Directory of Voluntary Services for use by the Business Sector

Sector Connector has a wealth of local businesses that provide services that might be useful to voluntary and community organisations.  However, we are equally aware that voluntary organisations may wish to raise awareness of the services or facilities that may be able to offer to small businesses or the employees of small businesses. Some of these services might be on a paid-for basis, whilst others may be free of charge.

Sector Connector is therefore compiling a directory for use by North Tyneside Business Forum and which showcases voluntary organisations that provide services that should be of interest to the business community.  This could be anything from counselling or advice services, to room hire and catering.

If you would like to promote your services in the directory, you can provide details here.

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Working With the VCS: how can we make North Tyneside an even safer place to live?

The March 2020 Working With the VCS event, hosted by Whitley Bay Big Local, focused on the vital work of voluntary and community organisations in creating safe, cohesive and resilient communities in North Tyneside. Attendees included representatives from Job Centre Plus, North Tyneside Council, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioners team, and of course the voluntary and community sector. 

We began with an activity to familiarise attendees with one another, moving on to the following presentations: 

Sue Burns, North Tyneside Safeguarding Children Partnership Business Manager 

Multi Agency Safeguarding Arrangements (view presentation here)

  • Sue provided a useful overview of the role of the recently introduced Multi Agency Safeguarding Arrangements which are led by three named statutory safeguarding partners (local authority, clinical commissioning group and the police). Sue spoke about the duties placed on organisations, under Section 11, to have adequate measures in place that safeguard and promote the welfare of children. This duty includes the voluntary and community sector and Sue is keen to hear how the Local Authority might be able to offer additional support around training and advice. Robin Fry agreed to explore this with Sue. 

 Joanne Dean, North Tyneside Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) 

Read here for details of the role of the LADO in North Tyneside 

LADO roles and responsibilities

  • Joanne provided an overview of her role as one of the LADOs for North Tyneside responsible for the oversight and management of allegations made against professionals in the children’s workforce, to include paid employees and volunteers. Joanne explained how this role works in practice and provided an insight into how allegations are dealt with.  

Robin Fry, VODA 

Safeguarding support available to the voluntary and community sector (view presentation here) 

  • Robin shared details of local and national support available to voluntary and community organisations helping them to develop and review their Safeguarding practices as well as manage allegations about their own workforce. Robin said that this information will feature in the next issue of VODA News. 

Rebecca Brown, Project Delivery Lead, Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit 

The work of the Northumbria Violence Reduction Unit (view presentation here) 

  • Rebecca provided an overview of the work of the Violence Reduction Unit across Northumbria. Rebecca spoke about the work that has already been achieved during the last six months and outlined plans to develop a more in-depth understanding of the key themes and areas of focus that may be driving the prevalence of violence across the area. This will result in a programme of work over the next 12 months that looks to support work in a variety of setting including schools.   

Lindsey Ojomo, Resilience, Security Services and Community Safety Manager, North Tyneside Council 

Janine Charlton, Community Safety Officer, North Tyneside Council 

Safer North Tyneside Partnership 

  • Lindsey and Janine ran an interactive workshop providing an opportunity for attendees to explore ways in which their current work adds value to the key Safer North Tyneside’ outcomes. This information will be shared with the Safer North Tyneside Partnership Board which is a  statutory body consisting of North Tyneside Council, Northumbria Police, North of Tyne Clinical Commissioning Group, Northumbria Probation Service, VODA, Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue Service and Community Rehabilitation Company. 


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Hilden Charitable Fund: summer play schemes

Grants of up to £1,500* are available to help community groups run summer play schemes for disadvantaged communities. Priority will be given to projects that can show BME involvement as well as that of children from refugee families.

Projects should be for children aged 5 to 18 years, be locally-based, last from two to six weeks,and have strong volunteer support. Please note, schemes with a budget of more than £12,000 will not be supported.

* based on previous year’s accounts. VCSE (income less than £150k).

Deadline: 29 May

Read more and apply here

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Community Foundation: REEDS Grassroots Fund

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
  • Uniformed groups
  • Environmental projects
  • General Arts projects
  • General community activities

Deadline: None – rolling grant programme

Read more and apply here.


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