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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. 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.

You can sign up to our Sector Connect e-bulletin here.  

Watch our video for the awards submission…

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Volunteers’ Week Resources from NCVO

Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.

During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

The campaign was established in 1984 by Volunteering England, which merged with NCVO in 2013. NCVO now leads this UK-wide campaign.

Volunteerssweek.org has a range of resources available for organisations wishing to get involved, from running an event to using social media. Organisations are also encouraged to share their stories on social medai using #VolunteersWeek.

 

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Meet the Funders: VODA Funding Fair 2019

Charitable organisations based or operating in North Tyneside are being given the chance to meet one-to-one with some of the region’s top funders, at VODA’s annual Funding Fair on Wednesday 3 April. Taking place between 1pm and 5pm at the Linskill Centre in North Shields, the event is the chance for charities, community groups and voluntary organisations to make up to four 15-minute appointments with funders, giving them the opportunity to discuss their projects, funding needs and get direct advice from the decision-makers themselves.

Funders that will be attendance include representatives from Banks Community Fund, BBC Children in Need, RW Mann Trust, Hadrian Trust, Karbon Homes, Tyne & Wear Sport and more. There is also the chance for participants new to funding to book on to an optional workshop, The Do’s and Don’ts of Making Funding Applications with funding expert Karen Griffiths.

Please note, attendance on the day is by appointment only. Appointments are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. To find out more about the funders and to request a place, please read and complete our booking form. Please allow eight working days for confirmation of your place.

 

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VODA – coming to a venue near you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

VODA and the services we offer are available across North Tyneside and although we are based in North Shields we are keen to make sure that volunteers, groups and organisations across the borough know who we are and what we do.

For that reason, we are taking our services on the road throughout 2019! Members of VODA’s team will be available at community venues on the following dates and times to speak to anyone interested in volunteering in North Tyneside, or in finding out more about VODA and the services we offer to the voluntary and community sector:

We have recently launched a new visual representation of our vision and plans – see picture above – and offering an outreach service is just one way of making sure these plans happen effectively. There is no need to book a place at any of these sessions – just pop along to talk to one of our friendly team to find out how VODA can help.

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North of Tyne Devolution Update

Robin Fry provides an update on the North of Tyne Combined Authority…

Last month, along with my counterparts in Newcastle and Northumberland, I met with officers from the new North of Tyne Combined Authority. During the meeting we received an update on progress made so far and began to explore how the voluntary and community sector can be most appropriately involved.

Those of you who attended the most recent stakeholder event will have heard various politicians acknowledging the importance of engaging with the sector. I was particularly pleased to hear the  new interim North of Tyne Mayor, Norma Redfearn, speaking so passionately about what the sector can offer.

Although the Combined Authority is now in existence, most of the work programme work will not commence until after the Mayoral elections in May 2019. In the meantime an ‘Economic Vision’ has been published on the North of Tyne website, setting out some key priorities. This document does not make any reference to our sector – something we are keen to address.

The ‘Inclusive Economy’ agenda is fundamental to the North of Tyne combined authority and will consist of specific programmes of work but it will also be a cross-cutting theme across other areas of work. The Inclusive Economy Board is where we see a key role for VCS representation and a commitment has been made to ensure this will happen. The Combined Authority has also committed to having a ‘VCS Ambassador’ who will attend Cabinet meetings in an advisory capacity.

In order to move these promising conversations forward we have agreed to hold VCS events in North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland, each with the same format and content. The purpose of the events will be to bring VCS organisations up to speed with devolution progress and discuss how the sector can most effectively be involved.

VODA will be hosting the North Tyneside VCS event on Tuesday 12 March from 9.30am to 12 noon, on place of our regular Working with the VCS Event, at the Linskill Centre, North Shields. Booking details will be shared on our website and social media channels. Please do get in touch if you require any further details.

Read hear for all things North of Tyne.

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Working with the VCS event

In December we held a Working with the VCS ‘Christmas special’ at Pathways4All. The event was attended by 32 people from 25 different organisations. Not only was this an opportunity to enjoy mince pies and hot drinks with colleagues and friends, it also enabled us to shine a spotlight on what an amazing voluntary and community sector we have in North Tyneside.

Everyone fully embraced the festive theme as they shared information about their key successes in 2018 (why they are on the ‘Good List’) as well as their ambitions for 2019 (what’s on their Christmas wish list). It was amazing to hear about Whitley Bay Big Local’s collaborative plans to tackle social isolation this year, the fantastic number of support sessions offered last year to asylum seekers and refugees by Walking With North Tyneside,  SomeOne Care’s plans to celebrate their 30th anniversary, and the ambitions of Earsdon and Wellfield Community Centre to develop more provision for young people.

There was also an opportunity towards the end of the event for organisations to identify key areas of work that they would appreciate some support with, as well things they can offer to others. Amongst the 44 calls for help were things such as help with volunteer recruitment (in particular support to identify new trustees), support to secure funding and opportunities to develop new networks and promote specific areas of work. There were 47 separate offers of support from attendees covering everything from access to facilities to free training. HealthWatch North Tyneside shared their offer of small grants for working with children and young people about their health and social care issues, while the Linskill Centre pledged to offer support and advice on the community asset transfer process. Earsdon and Wellfield Community Association even offered access to their Race Night equipment for fundraising!

In addition, Craig Anderson from North Tyneside Council gave an informative presentation about the North Tyneside Data Store, highlighting the key data sets that are available and the different ways organisations can access the information. The Ward Profile information demonstrated provides quick and easy access to some of the most regularly requested data. This could prove to be a really useful way to support organisations in evidencing need for increased services and investment from funders. You can access the data store here. 

The next Working With the VCS Event takes place on 12 March from 9.30am to 12 noon at The Linskill Centre, North Shields. The event will focus on the new North of Tyne Combined Authority – spanning Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

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Video – North Tyneside VCS: 2018 successes & 2019 ambitions

At a recent event we asked local voluntary and community organisations to share their successes from 2018 and ambitions for 2019. This is what they told us…

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VODA’s AGM and Awards Presentation 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Our Annual General Meeting and awards presentation took place on Wednesday 28 November at YMCA North Tyneside.

As well as a presentation of VODA’s latest annual report and accounts, the event featured keynote speaker Kirsten Edmondson, discuss digital transformation and what it means for the third sector.

Two local businesses – TSG and Turncoach – were presented with their Community Friendly Business Awards by Ian Dodds, who coordinates VODA’s Sector Connector project, and VODA’s main awards were presented by special guest, Chairman of North Tyneside Council, Cllr Tommy Mulvenna. Read more about our award winners here.

See all of the images from the event here

What does VODA mean to you?

During the networking lunch, we asked attendees to write three words or sentences describing ‘what VODA means to you?’ We are delighted to share the submissions below and intend to build on this exercise in to next year, in celebration of a special anniversary for VODA…

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Volunteers wanted to help create Little Free Libraries in North Tyneside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josie Robinson, VODA’s Social Action Worker, blogs about the latest project from SAINT and the search for volunteers who can help to build creative ‘little libraries’ in the community:

“SAINT (Social Action in North Tyneside) works with groups of like-minded volunteers to create meaningful social action projects that have an impact on the local community. Our newest SAINT project has been created by a small team of volunteers who are keen to build ‘Little Free Libraries’ and install them at two locations in North Tyneside.

Little Free Library is a not-for-profit organisation that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighbourhood book exchanges around the world. You can check out their website at www.littlefreelibrary.org.

SAINT staff will support both projects from start to finish with a little bit of funding, materials and knowledge of the local area. Volunteers are taking charge of designing, building, decorating, installing and filling the Little Free libraries but they need more people to help make their projects happen.

So far SAINT has gained permission  for the installation of the libraries with our friends at Meadow Well Connected in North Shields and The Rising Sun Country Park in Benton.  We think these are the perfect locations for encouraging people to access free books, share and spend some time with loved ones over a good book. The library at Meadow Well will primarily focus on providing a free place to access children’s books and will also include ‘random acts of kindness’ for each child to complete in return for lending the book. The Rising Sun Country Park Library will focus on books on the topics of nature, local history and wildlife.

These will run as two separate projects where volunteers can take charge of their Little Free Library from start to finish. Our two host venues have also kindly offered us access to free building space and tools.

We’re on the look out for around five volunteers to join our current team to make these projects a reality. Ideally we are looking for:

  • Someone with a little bit of woodwork knowledge for the Benton library that can keep us right!
  • Creative people, to decorate The Little Free Library in Benton
  • Bookworms who might like to support us to fill both libraries with children’s, history and nature themed books.

If you or someone you know might like to get involved with this exciting new social action project then we’d love to hear from you!”

 

Contact Josie Robinson at VODA for more information.

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