Our Learning Choices Legacy Fund is no longer able to accept applications, all the funds having now been awarded to individuals to help them move into employment, self-employment or training.  

Learning Choices Northumberland Ltd was a charity active in Northumberland from 1999 until 31 March 2013. The charity worked with a wide range of individuals to help them improve levels of qualifications, gain further work related experience to assist them back into employment or progress further in their existing jobs/careers. Additionally, the organisation provided careers advice and/or financial help to purchase vital work specific equipment or clothing.

When the company closed a small amount of reserves remained unspent and this was passed to Northumberland CVA to administer a small grants fund to continue to support local people who have secured employment after a period of one month or more of unemployment.  This fund is now exhausted. 

Awarded in accordance with the objects of Learning Choices Northumberland and the wishes of its trustees, these grants have provided an invaluable lifeline for people who have been unemployed for a long period of time, to enable them to move into the workplace or set up their own small business.

Foster care


Are you interested in working with children and young people? Why not find out more about being a foster carer?


Northumberland County Council’s foster care team is running a special recruitment evening programme in 2019.  The next event will start at 5.15pm on Thursday 19th September in the community room at Kingston Park Tesco’s.

The events aim to show how the different types of paid foster care could suit prospective foster carers and their families. Those attending will get the chance to see exclusive videos, be able to chat with foster carers about their experiences, and find out how they could help change the futures of fostered children.

Foster carer Avril Pearson, who features in one of the new recruitment videos, said: “One of the main questions people ask is ‘how do I cope with children moving on?'  I tell them, when you see a child either go back home, go into long term foster care, or be adopted, you know you have fulfilled a key role in supporting them when they need it.

“After that my next thought is ‘who can I support next?’ I love working with both children and families.”

Councillor Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The council currently supports over 155 foster families, but with close to 400 children in care, there is an urgent need for more people to come forward and join the team.  You could make a real difference to the lives of children by offering them a stable home.

“We would love to hear from you, so come along to our event on 22nd May or call our team to have a chat about your options.”

To find out more or book a place at the even on 19th September call Caroline Matthews on 01670 626262 or book your place at www.northumberland.gov.uk/foster

In addition to recruitment events like this, the council runs monthly drop in sessions at the fostering service office throughout the year. Dates and details can be found on the Foster Care web pages above.



Face to face networking takes time.  Opportunities are not always available at a time and place that suits everyone and besides, it's often just too difficult to justify the time out of the office.

Northumberland VINe could be the solution you're looking for.

Volunteer, trustee, CEO, team leader, manager, or officer; Whatever your role in Northumberland's voluntary and community sector, you can be part of the conversation on the VINe.
Through the Northumberland VINe (Voluntary (Sector) Information Network) you can raise issues, promote activities & events, offer support and develop greater partnership working, or simply discuss the weather.Once you become a member you'll be able to send emails to a dedicated email address, which will then automatically send them to every other member. You can choose to receive emails immediately or as a daily digest.
To join the conversation, simply send us your name and email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Northumbria Police provide hour long workshops on the following topics: Raising awareness of PREVENT, hate crime, cyber-crime – scams, wildlife crime, crime prevention – safeguarding, and Claire’s Law/Sarah’s Law – Safeguarding.  Other workshops could include knife crime and gangs. If your community or voluntary organisation is interested in any of the above workshops and would like the Police to come out and talk to your group please call 07736 193410.

On Monday 1 July, the Leaders of the Borderlands Councils and UK and Scottish Government Ministers signed a Heads of Terms agreement setting out the framework, projects and programmes that are included in the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. This announcement is the result of collaborative cross-border working between the Borderlands Councils and has secured a £394.5 million investment package for the benefit of our region - made up of UK and Scottish Governments’ investment combined with financial support from the Borderlands partners.


Further details can be found in the Borderlands July newsletter.

North East charities are currently being targeting by scammers.
Someone will phone to thank you for your involvement or support of some vague community initiative – it may be crime and safety, health, education, etc. – and will thank you on behalf of one of the emergency services.  They will then tell you that they are going to publicise the success of the initiative by distributing a magazine to every house in your area and they will ask you to help contribute to the cost by placing a full or half page advert, which needs to be pre-paid.  Once you send the money, of course, you hear no more.
Please make sure that your staff, particularly your finance teams, are aware of this scam.

Lynemouth Power Station is asking members of the local community to get in touch and nominate a worthwhile cause that could benefit from a variety of office furniture, free of charge.


The plant, which employs over 150 people in South East Northumberland, is currently in the final stages of a major civil engineering programme, one of the largest projects being undertaken in the North East, converting from fossil fuel to biomass electricity generation. And, furniture that was once necessary as part of this process is now no longer required.


Staff are therefore looking to donate 27 oak, conference-style tables to a few worthy causes in much need of equipment to benefit those living in and around the power station and in South East Northumberland. These could be small, locally-based charities delivering vital support services, community initiatives helping residents and young people, children’s sports or youth clubs, schools, activity groups, social venues and so forth.


Janet Mole of Lynemouth Power explained, “We’d really like people to get in touch if they know of any local charity, school or community-based initiative that would benefit from this furniture. The tables are in excellent, almost new condition and would be ideal for a variety of causes. It’s also a great way for us to recycle our resources to help the environment and benefit people in our local community.”


Anyone wishing to nominate a worthy cause for the office furniture should email Janet directly at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Newcastle Building Society has a series of talks that can help people understand more about their finances, make the most of them and protect them for the future.  They are offering these talks free to local groups, charities, clubs and associations:

  • Retirement - Why do they keep changing the rules?
  • Investment - You worked hard for your money, it’s time it did the same for you!
  • Locks, Stocks, and Conmen - Is someone trying to steal your money?
  • Tax breaks & Toy boys - Whether or not you have a Will in place, are you sure your wishes will be fulfilled?
  • Dementia Friends - Why not become a Dementia Friend?
  • First-Time Buyers - Helping you take your first steps on the property ladder


Download the flyer to find out more about these talks. 

If you would like Newcastle Building Society to deliver one or all of these to your community group free of charge, please get in touch with Kelly Beattie, Cramlington Branch Manager on 01670 735813 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North of Tyne Combined Authority



Events took place in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland during March that offered an opportunity to update voluntary, community and social enterprise partners on the current work programme of the Combined Authority and the key emerging priorities.  How other Mayoral Combined Authorities are working with their respective VCSE sectors was also considered. 

Round-table discussions took place on how best to engage going forward and the information from these will now form the basis of a jointly agreed partnership approach which will set out some key principles and commitments  for co-working and governance structures/processes for the future.

Download the presentations and the agenda from the Northumberland meeting below:


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