Working With the VCS

Working With the VCS goes virtual

Monday 15 June saw our first ever online ‘Working With the VCS’ event bringing together 34 representatives from charities, community groups, North Tyneside Council, North Tyneside CCG, Primary Care Networks, VONNE, the North of Tyne Combined Authority and the private sector.

The theme of the event was Building a Recovery Plan for the VCS in North Tyneside and consisted of the following presentations which you can now view and download using the links below. You can also share your thoughts on VCS Recovery by completing this short survey by 26 June.

Vonne’s Carol Botten presented findings from VONNE’s North East VCSE COVID-19 impact survey.  Download the slides here.


Felicity Shoesmith from North Tyneside Council outlined the early thinking on a recovery plan for the VCS in North Tyneside. View the draft recovery plan here. We would appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on the draft recovery plan via this short survey


Pauline Wonders from Family Gateway and Dean Titterton from YMCA North Tyneside reflected on the potential for a more collaborative approach to supporting beneficiaries.


Jackie Laughton from North Tyneside Council discussed the new Poverty Intervention Fund for North Tyneside. Download the slides here. Share your thoughts on this fund by emailing [email protected].


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VCS Recovery in NorthTyneside

We believe that the voluntary sector should be front and centre of North Tyneside’s COVID-19 recovery plans. Despite a number of charities and community groups having to temporarily close their doors, others have been able to provide a remarkable response to support vulnerable residents during the COVID 19 pandemic. We have created this short animation to showcase some of the incredible work you have been doing. The animation was shown to members of the North Tyneside Strategic Partnership this week and will be shared with partners as part of the national #NeverMoreNeeded campaign.

North Tyneside VCS COVID-19 response from Robin on Vimeo.

We know full well that many of our members face some significant challenges to adapt and flourish in the COVID-19 ‘recovery’ phase and beyond. Based on the findings of VONNE’s recent survey, as well as conversations we’ve had with many of our members, we have identified a number of key areas of support that will be required by many organisations to help them adapt and thrive over the coming months and years. We appreciate that this will mean very different things to different types and sizes of organisations and that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

  • Resuming services: although many organisations have continued to offer some level of service, support will be required by some to help resume and redesign face-to- face work.
  • Workforce: with many organisations having furloughed their staff and others significantly changing the way their workforce operates, we expect many organisations to require support to help manage their workforce in light of COVID-19.
  • Finance: many VCS organisations will have experienced a significant drop in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will require support to rebuild their finances in order that they can continue to offer vital services.
  • Governance: the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges around governance for some organisations, but may also offer opportunities for organisations to merge.
  • Partnerships: whilst some VCS organisations have had to close their doors temporarily, other new neighbourhood-level ‘mutual aid’ groups have been formed. We are keen to support an ecosystem that enables all VCS organisations to work more collectively providing maximum benefit to our communities.
  • Volunteering: we have seen many more people step up to volunteer as part of the COVID-19 response. We are keen to build on the efforts of volunteers to support our recovery.

Working With the VCS event

Monday 15 June 10am to 11.30am on Zoom
We are keen to develop a VCS recovery plan that is designed by our members. For that reason we are holding a virtual Working With the VCS event on Monday 15th June from 10am – 11.30am. This meeting will provide an opportunity to hear from Carol Botten, Chief Executive at VONNE, as she provides a summary of findings from VONNE’s recent VCS survey. It will also offer an oppor-tunity for organisations to discuss what support they would like to access to help with recovery, as well as what support they might be able to offer others. Please register in advance for this event so that we can send you a link to the Zoom meeting.
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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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