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Volunteer telephone call handlers wanted for COVID-19 support

Dreamshine Community Interest Company is looking for volunteers for their COVID-19 telephone helpline.

The helpline (0300 3658554) covers all of North Tyneside and is for anyone feeling overwhelmed, lonely, anxious, nervous or just needing a good old chat.

The team will be available between 10am and 2pm, 7 days per week, with the potential for the hours to increase if there is demand and volunteers to support it.

You can also register your interest in taking calls by emailing dreamshineresponse@gmail.com or going on their website and completing the contact form.

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Forest Hall YPC seeks new volunteers

Forest Hall YPC is a registered charity based at East Palmersville Sports Pavilion. It is home to Forest Hall Football Club and Forest Hall Boxing Club. It is a very well established club with over 400 members including 50 volunteers with almost 40 qualified male and female football and boxing coaches who support their two main community groups.

Forest Hall FC has 20 teams of all ages, gender and ability including a soccer nursery, disability teams and senior teams including veterans all under their banner. Forest Hall BC invite children from 6 to 16 years and adults of all ability to their very popular daily training sessions. They are inclusive, reflecting their ethos, recreation and sport for all.

The Pavilion boasts four well-kept pitches including a railed senior pitch at the front of the sige, as well as an enclosed 7 a side 3G.  Various other fitness and community groups also take advantage of the large hall and meeting room. A play group, craft and games club, a men’s weight loss football league and Age UK’s Friendly Faces are just a few of the regular activities. The facilities accommodate and serve the wider community with hundreds of users passing through our doors every week.

To ensure the smooth running of Forest Hall YPC and the Pavilion, they are seeking new volunteers who can help continue to encourage and support the community to improve their health and well being.  To work together as part of a team and provide the best facility, activities and services in the locality.

If you’re enthusiastic with a passion for community and enjoy meeting and working with people of all ages and ability please get in touch and pop along for a chat, call 0191 216 0308.

Current opportunities

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BBC Radio Newcastle features Good Neighbours

We were delighted that the BBC Radio Newcastle Breakfast Show was able to join our Good Neighours shopping trip last week. They spent the morning chatting to our shoppers and volunteers to find out more about how this wonderful project helps to support people stay in their own home and keep their independence. You can listen to the feature from last week’s show below. If you would like to get involved, please contact us for more information.

Good Neighbours on BBC Radio Newcastle, 28.6.19 from Robin on Vimeo.

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‘Packing party’ volunteers wanted to help Backpack Buddies Scheme


We are looking for volunteers to take part in weekly ‘packing parties’ as part of a new project which aims to help alleviate food insecurity among local children.

Backpack Buddies is a new SAINT (Social Action in North Tyneside) project launched in collaboration with The Bay Foodbank. The project provides bags of healthy and nutritious snacks to children to take home from school at the weekend when free school meals aren’t available.

There are a number of ways you can support this fantastic scheme:

Donating food items: Volunteers are currently collecting, packing and distributing donated items of food – you can help by buying items from our wishlist and donating them to The Bay Foodbank directly or at The Bay Foodbank donation sites across North Tyneside.

Hosting a donation bin: If your workplace or organisation would like a ‘donation bin’ to collect items, or if you would like us to collect your donations please get in touch.

Packing Party volunteers: We are also looking for volunteers to take part in weekly ‘packing parties’ at Meadow Well Connected (12.30pm to 2.30pm) to help pack and distribute food packages. This is a fun and friendly way to volunteer your time – see the poster above for full details or please get in touch for more information.

IMPORTANT INFO: For health and safety reasons, we cannot accept donations of sweets, nuts, hot dogs, “fruit” drinks made without fruit juice, fizzy pop, crisp, home prepared food including canned/jarred fruits, vegetables and preserves. See below for full details.

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Beach Access North East seeks volunteers!

Beach Access North East (BANE) is a user led charity group that promotes social inclusion, independence and choice for all disabled and elderly people across the North of England. They are dedicated to providing access to the beaches at Blyth South Beach, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth and North Shields with beach accessible wheelchairs for people who would usually not be able to access the beach. This year they are expanding to include beach walkers and wheelchair-safe matting and in the future they hope to purchase a van to transport equipment to more remote areas and a mobile changing place facility – a Mobi-loo.

Beach Access North East has a new storage container for their wheelchairs being placed at Whitley Bay in early June and are seeking volunteers to promote the service and loan out equipment, ideally for a half day at a time. No lifting is required and you are not expected to transfer people to the beach. They also need volunteers to help distribute flyers to local businesses, libraries, clinics etc.If you would like to help, please visit their website.

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Useful Vision – Call for Volunteers






Useful Vision organises a range of entertaining and stimulating activities for vision-impaired children and their families across the North East. They also run skills workshops for older children and teenagers who have sight loss to help them develop the skills and confidence to move towards positive living; as well as very sensory focused toddler groups for the younger children.

They are looking for volunteers to help run their activities. The Activity Volunteer will work alongside the events coordinators to ensure that the activities and skills workshops run smoothly so that vision impaired children, and their families, have an enjoyable experience. They run approximately two family days per month over weekends, monthly baby and toddler groups and additional workshops and days out over the school holidays. Volunteers can commit to as many or as few activities as they can manage – Useful Vision always give plenty of notice of up-and-coming activities.

All volunteers will receive Visual Awareness Training, undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and receive regular support and supervision.  All volunteer costs will be reimbursed.

Read more here or email Louise at louise@usefulvision.org.uk for further information.

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VODA Award Winners 2018!

We are delighted to share the stories of our award winners for 2018, who were presented with their prizes at our recent AGM by Chairman of North Tyneside, Cllr Tommy Mulvenna.

Organisation of the Year


Pathways4All is a parent-led charity providing a range of activities and events specifically tailored for children with disabilities and additional needs and their families.

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Volunteer of the Year

Ryan Wright

Nominated for his voluntary work with Phoenix Detached Youth Project, Ryan has been instrumental in inspiring other young people and groups to get involved in the local community and in the planning, fundraising and launch of The Phoenix Bowl skate park, which opened earlier this year. Read more…

Young Volunteer of the Year

Dylan Weatheritt

Fourteen-year-old Dylan was nominated for his commitment and dedication to fundraising and volunteering with Out of Sight, a charity which provides free outings, events and respite holidays for children with visual impairments and complex disabilities, and their families. Read more…

Community Friendly Business Award 

Technology Services Group (TSG)

TSG were recognised for their involvement in VODA’s Sector Connector project, in particular their donation of laptops which has helped people and volunteers in the community to carry out short-term social action projects around youth employability, Universal Credit applications and awareness raising campaigns.


Community Friendly Business Award


Ali Donkin of Turncoach was presented the Community Friendly Business Award for delivering several free workshops on team building and personal development for the benefit of voluntary and community groups and young volunteers in North Tyneside.

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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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Good Neighbours volunteers visit Tynemouth Lifeboat Station

Volunteers from our Good Neighbours project recently enjoyed a visit to Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat Station, to learn all about the local rescue service and its fascinating history.

The volunteers, who give up their time to support people in the North Tyneside community with small household jobs, basic DIY, shopping and running errands, usually meet monthly at VODA’s offices to discuss their roles, share experiences and receive training and support. But Ian Brigstock, who coordinates the Good Neighbours project, wanted to give something back to the volunteers themselves and get them out and about in the community. “Our volunteers really deserve some recognition and reward for what they do – they support some of the borough’s most vulnerable people with day-to-day tasks and that makes such a difference. Arranging this visit was just our way of saying ‘thank you.’  We’re really grateful to Tynemouth RNLI too for what was a fascinating visit and we’re looking forward to arranging similar visits over the coming months.”

Volunteer Debbie Wood said: “I really enjoyed going down to Tynemouth RNLI with a really nice group of people. We had a talk from one of the lifeboat volunteers about the work they do and the lives they safe. We also got to see the inshore and all-weather boat and try on the life jackets – there’s a picture of me wearing one!”

The Good Neighbours project is looking for more volunteers – this is a great, flexible volunteering opportunity to help people in your local community. Training and support are provided. Read more about the project here.

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