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VODA’s AGM and Awards Presentation 2019

Our Annual General Meeting and awards presentation took place on Wednesday 23 October at the Linskill Centre in North Shields.

As well as a presentation of VODA’s latest annual report and accounts, the event featured keynote speaker Wendy Burke, Director of Public Health at North Tyneside Council, who discussed Population Health in North Tyneside and the role of the voluntary sector.

We also announced the winners of VODA’s North Tyneside VCS awards. Earsdon and Wellfield Community Association was the winner of Organisation of the Year. Volunteer of the Year was Rizwan Ali, from Walking With in North Tyneside, Young Volunteer of the Year went to Bobbi-Lou Taylor from Tyne Met College and the Trustee of the Year was Anna McConville from Pathways 4 All, as well as a special commendations for Young Volunteer Abi Jackson from Creative Minds and to the Tynemouth Scouts. Read more about the award winners here.

In addition, three local businesses –  Carney Consultancy, Bell Group and Accenture – were presented with their Community Friendly Business Awards by Ian Dodds, who coordinates VODA’s Sector Connector project. Read more about the Community Friendly Business Award winners here


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Young Volunteer of the Year: Bobbi-Lou Taylor

Bobbie-Lou Taylor is a bright, bubbly, enthusiastic and polite student at Tyne Metropolitan College, studying Sports Coaching and Fitness. A former student at John Spence, Bobbie Lou has made an enormous contribution to football in college and in her local community in just her first year at TyneMet.

Bobbie began volunteering aged 14 alongside playing for Newcastle United WFC as she wanted to give something back to her old club North Shields Juniors AFC. Through an existing partnership between the college and NSJAFC, Bobbie gained her first football coaching experience within their FA SSE Wildcats Centre, a centre aimed at increasing the opportunities for girls aged 5 to 11 to play recreational, girls only football. Bobbie was absolutely perfect in this role, encouraging the new girls, leading sessions and activities with immense enthusiasm and she now mentors two young coaches from John Spence School as a lead coach of the centre. The girls from John Spence have been inspired and encouraged by Bobbie.

Alongside this, Bobbi has been an ECFA Football Activator and has volunteered hundreds of hours in schools, college and the local community; particularly female only events and projects. Through her coaching role within the FA SSE Wildcats Centre, Bobbie flourished and gained the confidence to begin coaching a team of Under 15 Girls at NSJAFC. The feedback surrounding the impact that Bobbie has had on the girls and the club has been outstanding and the club have funded her Level 1 Football Coaching Badge due to her levels of exceptional commitment.

Bobbie is reliable, keen to learn and throw herself into any opportunity presented to her. Bobbie was nominated through the college’s Leadership Academy and Northumberland FA for the FA National Leadership Academy for 2019/20. Only 60 young people from County FA’s around the country were selected for this prestigious opportunity; which kicked off with a four day training event at St. George’s Park, designed to inspire and improve their leadership skills so that they can continue to make a positive difference on football in their local communities. The week had an international focus as young leaders were also invited from UEFA Nations, looking ahead to UEFA Euro 2020 and emphasising on a global scale the importance of involving young people in the governance, organisation and development of football.

This is the start of a really exciting future in football for Bobbie and is very much deserved. Bobbie had never really travelled outside of or met anyone outside of the North East before and it was an incredible, eye opening experience for her. Since her return from this week with the FA, she has been even more motivated to volunteer. During a recent match for her new football club Chester Le Street in the FANWL, Bobbie tore her ACL. She has responded in such an inspiring and positive way and hasn’t let it dampen her enthusiastic and every joyous spirit. She has remained focused and despite her injury affecting her mobility, she has been present at every NSJAFC training session and FA SSE Wildcats session.

Furthermore, in her first year as a TyneMet student, Bobbie has been an integral leader within the College’s Sport Leadership Academy and has always been the first to volunteer for any event that we are delivering or supporting in local schools and the community. Her attitude and outlook to getting involved is fantastic and she is an inspiration and positive influence on all of her peers at the college. She has committed hundreds of hours in just one year and we have seen her confidence, wellbeing and skills as a coach improve immensely. Bobbie’s outlook to life and her warm, enthusiastic nature is a breath of fresh air at college, within NSJAFC and with whoever she meets. Bobbi has been integral in the increase in numbers of young girls playing football in Tyne Met and in North Tyneside.

Hannah Marshall from Tyne Met College commented: “Bobbi is a role model to her peers and many have followed in her footsteps and began volunteering at events and football festivals..For someone so young, Bobbie carries so much grace and maturity and is an absolute dream to work with and be around.”.

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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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