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New Year Volunteer Recruitment Fair

If you want to do something special this New Year, why not 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 Saturday 25 January 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!
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Volunteer of the Year: Rizwan Ali

Rizwan Ali is a volunteer with Walking With in North Tyneside, a charity that supports refugees and asylum seekers. Rizwan came to the UK with his mother and sisters to claim asylum in the UK, the family were fleeing for their lives from the Taliban,they were beaten and threatened with violence on numerous occasion. Rizwan’s brothers disappeared and the family still don’t know what happened to them.

Since coming to the UK, Rizwan’s mother has had a stroke and Rizwan  is now a carer for her as well as looking after his three younger sisters ensuring they attended school and helping to run the household. When Rizwan turned 21 he was treated different to his family by the Home Office and his application for refugee status was refused, stopping his payments and support. Rizwan can not engage into any employment and is in threat of being returned to his country on a regular basis. Rizwan is technically destitute, he still lives with his mother and sisters who support him as much as they can on their small amount of money from the Home Office.

However, despite all of the challenges and hardship he faces, Rizwan is determined to better himself and to help others. Rizwan has been attending ESOL classes at college where he has improved his English immensely. He has also engaged with the sports college and is training to become a rugby player. He is also hoping to become a community champion to help others to become more active.

Rizwan has been volunteering with Walking With in North Tyneside for four years, where he supports in the kitchen to cook for all the service users (Asylum Seekers and Refugees) on a weekly basis, even during Ramadan when he cannot eat during the day himself, Rizwan still cooks and gives 100% to his role. He never complains about his own difficult situation and is a credit to Walking With and a great ambassador for Asylum Seekers.

Pauline Hughes from Walking With commented: “Rizwan has overcome a lot of personal issues in his life, he has lost his childhood, his brothers and father, yet he still has a great outlook on life and helps people from all walks of life. He is so unselfish, thinking about others before himself. Rizwan deserves recognition for all his hard work and commitment as a volunteer and a human being.”

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Charities could become ‘de facto state’, warns Newcastle CVS

A paper from Newcastle CVS argues that years of austerity have seen the state retreating from all services in the region and charities have been assumed to be able to step in.

The report provides a snapshot of the charity sector in Newcastle and Gateshead, and is based on 118 responses to a survey run by the CVS in April and May.

Eight in 10 charities in the region said they were experiencing rises in demand on their services, with many reporting that this had been happening for several years.

Read more in this blog from the Third Sector and this feature from Newcastle CVS, or download the full paper ‘Canaries in the Coal Mine’ here.

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Rising Sun Farm seeking new Trustees

The Rising Sun Farm Trust manages a 70.8 hectares (175 acres) farm within the Rising Sun Country Park, which includes pigs, poultry, sheep, a livery, food house & bakery and day care centre (a centre for adults with learning difficulties). The surplus generated from the farming activities goes back to the Trust for investment into the farm for the benefit of the local community and to ensure the long term stability of the farm and its Trust. A partnership arrangement exists between the Trust and North Tyneside Council with a view to managing the entire country park in a joined up and coherent approach.

The farm and country park are free and open to all. There are self-led walking trails and the country park’s Countryside Centre contains a restaurant. Fresh home-grown produce can be purchased at the farm.

The Trust promotes information and educational activities on horticulture and livestock production, provides advice and support on the growing and cooking of healthy foods and provides a welcoming and engaging environment for leisure and recreation activities for local residents.The Trust aims to provide a thriving, high quality, working farm providing opportunities and resources for education, learning, recreation and participation for the community of North Tyneside.

Trustee Responsibilities:

  • To oversee the management of the Trust’s commercial Trading Company
  • To ensure the Trust is meeting its charitable objectives
  • To comply with the charity’s governing document and the law
  • To act in the charity’s best interests
  • To manage the charity’s resources responsibly
  • To act with reasonable care and skill
  • To ensure the charity is accountable
  • To reduce the risk of liability

Main duties:

  • To attend quarterly trustee meetings

Commitment:

  • Trustees are expected to attend an induction session at Rising Sun Farm prior to their first board meeting.
  • Trustees are expected to attend all board meetings, which are held four times a year.

What skills do I need?

You don’t need to have any specific skills or experiences to apply for this role, however all trustees must have:

  • a commitment to the mission of the Farm Trust
  • a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort
  • integrity
  • strategic vision
  • good, independent judgement
  • an ability to think creatively
  • a willingness to speak their mind
  • an understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • an ability to work effectively as a member of a team and to take decisions for the good of the Trust

The Trust is keen to hear from people who have skills and experience in the following areas:

  • management
  • accounting
  • HR
  • charity governance

Read more here.

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British Cycling: Places to Ride Programme

Grants of £1,000 to £500,000 are available for organisations developing cycling activity in their community for the development of new – or the improvement of existing – cycling facilities in communities. Funding can be used for small-medium scale facility improvements or equipment through to large-scale new build facilities across all types of cycling.

The aims of the programme are as follows:

  • Encourage more people from a range of different backgrounds to engage with cycling in all its forms. Provide more opportunities for people to enjoy riding in an accessible and inclusive environment, focusing especially on provision that responds to the needs of women/girls and people with a disability.
  • Invest in opportunities that connect local communities and address barriers to engaging with cycling. Recognise the wider benefits of riding a bike to enable societal benefits such as community cohesion, reducing social isolation and promoting health and well-being through prevention.
  • Deliver a lasting legacy of active environments that provide high quality and affordable opportunities to engage with cycling now, that will continue to be deliverable in the future.

Deadline: No deadline – decision every 12 weeks

Read more and apply here.

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Support Adoption for Pets

Grants of £1,000 to £150,000 are available for charities and not-for-profit organisations whose main activity is one of the following:

  • The rescue and rehoming of UK pets.
  • The provision of temporary support to ensure pets can remain with their owners.

Funding will support projects that have a direct impact on animal welfare, including

  • vet bills.
  • boarding costs.
  • equipment.
  • vehicles.
  • low-cost neutering initiatives.
  • trap, neuter and release.
  • building additions and improvements.

No deadline specified*.
* Applications for £20,000 or less are seen every 3-4 months. Applications for greater amounts are seen at dedicated meetings held every six months. Deadlines depend on the nature of the rescue and the application; organisations are asked to contact the Grant Funding Coordinator for more information.

Read more and apply here.

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National Lottery Grants for Heritage

Following public consultation last year the Heritage Lottery Fund has moved in a new direction and changed its name to The National Lottery Heritage Fund to better reflect the contribution of National Lottery players to its funding.

They fund a broad range of projects with grants of between £10,000 to £250,000 that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK. Heritage can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations.

What you can spend the money on:

  • repairs and conservation
  • digital outputs – this could be digital images, sound files or data, a website with heritage material, an app, or a film made using digital technology
  • new staff posts – this could include part of a current employees’ role, if they were dedicating a specific amount of time to the project
  • paid training placements – this could also include training for existing staff, to support the aims of the project
  • professional fees – includes anyone related to your project in a professional capacity, from architects and heritage professionals to teaching staff

Who can apply?

  • not-for-profit organisation
  • private owner of heritage and partnerships

Please ensure you read all guidance fully before applying and if you require help, you can submit a project enquiry form.

No deadline: The National Lottery Heritage Fund will consider your application and give you a decision within eight weeks.

Apply for a grant of £10,000 to £100,000 here.

Apply for a grant of £100,000 to £250,000 here. 

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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 Laurens.photography@outlook.com.

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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New guide to supporting older volunteers

A new online guide has been released to help charities support age-friendly and inclusive volunteering. The Centre for Ageing Better’s Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering guide sets out key principles to avoid missing out on the talents of people in later life.

The Age-Friendly and Inclusive Volunteering guide introduces six principles that organisations working with volunteers can adopt to address barriers to inclusion and widen participation. These include offering more flexibility, providing opportunities for volunteers to meet and spend time with other people, and making use of volunteers’ individual strengths. It also lists practical examples and recommendations that can help support, recruit and retain older volunteers.

The guide is based on a review into community contributions in later life carried out by the Centre for Ageing Better, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Following the review, the Centre for Ageing Better awarded over £250,000 of government funding to five projects to pilot and share new approaches to age-friendly and inclusive volunteering.

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New Little Free Library at Meadow Well Connected

Photo Credit – Anthony Todd

The second of our SAINT project’s Little Free Libraries is now in place outside Meadow Well Connected, in the Meadow Well Estate North Shields. The library has been lovingly constructed by volunteers from VODA’s SAINT project and from Meadow Well Connected. The volunteers have also learnt a range of carpentry and contruction skills in the planning and building of the library.

A Little Free Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common version is a small wooden box of books. Anyone may take a book or bring a book to share. Little Free Library book exchanges have a unique, personal touch. There is an understanding that real people are sharing their favorite books with their community.

Visit the Little Free Library website to view the location of all the libraries.

Photos credit – Anthony Todd

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