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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.