Northumberland CVA is working in partnership with Connected Voice, Newcastle Volunteer Centre, and North Tyneside VODA to consider whether a common approach to supporting volunteering and voluntary action can be implemented across the North of Tyne area.  

In doing so, we want to:

  • develop innovative systems to support the effective recruitment and co-ordination of volunteers at scale
  • develop a strong system of support and collaboration for neighbourhood-level activity
  • create a strong employee-volunteering scene, enabling private sector organisations to easily support their local communities

The past twelve months has seen thousands of people step up to help out in their local communities and this has created an energy to explore new ways of working together to help address the changing needs of local people and organisations.

We have witnessed the emergence of a volunteering workforce that is extremely diverse, representing a shift away from the ‘usual suspects’ and we would like to champion the continued engagement of these residents to support their communities over the coming years.

Finding, checking, training, mobilising and supporting large numbers of volunteers has required organisations to quickly develop new systems for volunteer training and induction, and the adoption of new technology to efficiently assign tasks to volunteers.

We want to support and encourage these new ways of working.

We are therefore seeking the views of voluntary and community organisations, neighbourhood groups and volunteers about ways in which our services might be improved and delivered more consistently.

If you have an hour to spare, please get in touch and we will arrange a chat with you (telephone, face to face or zoom) so that you can feed in your views and observations.

 

Contact Caroline Burden or Martin Conway

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07825 370 630

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07470 596 374

 

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Need help applying for jobs?

People who are out of work and living in South East Northumberland can now book a place on Northumberland CVA’s next 6-week SkillsUNeed course to help build skills that will help their chances of success when applying for jobs. 

There’s fierce competition right now in the jobs market for every vacancy, so applicants need to be able to make themselves and their CV stand out from the crowd.

Funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the next set of SkillsUNeed sessions starts on Friday 23rd July 2021 at Northumberland CVA's offices on Station Road, Ashington.  To keep people safe from coronavirus, places are limited. Sessions will take place once a week, every Friday for 6 weeks, until 27th August. Each socially-distanced session will last for around 6 hours. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, although the project is unable to provide travel expenses.

Participants will learn how to write the perfect CV, carry out effective job searches, and complete engaging application forms. They’ll also discover the best ways to be successful at interview, prepare for work, and manage on a budget. Guest speakers will attend the sessions to talk about topics such as benefits entitlement, further education courses, free training, careers advice and living a healthy lifestyle.

Graham, who attended previous sessions, said, “The SkillsUNeed course did the world of good for me. Before this, I was out of work for 18 months and I am so pleased I spotted the course advertised on Facebook. I wouldn’t be where I am now without it. The course was really good for me and built up my confidence as a person. I’m now in a full-time role at a busy bar/restaurant and am really enjoying it.”

Linda, another previous participant, said, “I was nervous to attend the training at first, but I am so glad I did. The greatest thing I learnt was to listen more and gain IT skills, whilst also discovering skills I already had. The trainer was attentive and helpful. Before the course, I didn’t really know where to start. However it has helped me so much; I just wish the course was longer!”

If you'd like to sign up, or know someone else who may be interested, download a flyer. For more information and to reserve a place, contact Sarah: call 07826 547 731 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

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Hot on the heels of Northumberland CVA member, Northumberland County Blind Association receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, another member of Northumberland CVA has also won a prestigious award.

Friends of LV50 have won the National Historic Ships UK ‘Virtual Flagship of the Year Award’ in recognition of their creativity and resilience in promoting continued online engagement with the LV50 vessel during the COVID-19 lockdown by creating a virtual tour of the ship.

Prior to winning the grant that allowed them to develop the virtual tour for which the award was given, Friends of LV50 received support and advice from our development officer, Marc Johnson on governance and funding, and attended our very popular funding fairs, which allowed them to develop their winning funding strategy. Secretary of the group, Paul Gibson said, “We have always been happy to rely on our CVA for guidelines on good governance and your help is much appreciated to enable us to better run our group.”

LV is an abbreviation of light vessel and LV50 is one of only three rare Victorian wooden lightships still in existence, and the only one open to the public. The vessel, moored in Blyth Harbour since 1952, was built in 1879 and, as part of the National Historic Fleet, played a role in the D-Day Landings.

Friends of LV50 received the grant from the EDF Energy Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, administered by the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Their virtual tour of the ship has been developed as an educational resource for schools and young people, as well as for a wider audience, using engaging and accessible media. The Friends were supported in its development by local education associations, including the Port of Blyth STEM Hub and the Blyth Schools Partnership

Chair of the Friends of LV50, Lester Sher told the Community Foundation’s philanthropy advisor, Ross Wilson, that the grant has “enabled the separate strands of this project to be brought together to deliver, particularly for first schools, a suite of curriculum-based resources that substantially enhances the opportunities for children to experience, understand and learn from a ‘visit’ to this unique Historic Ship.”

Now that the project has been completed, LV50’s unique history is available to anyone, anywhere who has internet access and ensures that its impact and legacy is now felt well beyond the borders of the North of Tyne area. Find out more about the work of Friends of LV50.

The Northumberland CVA team has also been able to provide Friends of LV50 with support on volunteering policies and recruitment.  

If your organisation is based in or offering services in Northumberland, and you’d like support with governance, funding, project development, community development or volunteering, please talk to us. Simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

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Contracting organisation: Adapt North East

Contract value: £5,000

Delivery period: June to September 2021

 

Deadline: 9am on Monday 17th May 2021

 

In 2018/19 Healthwatch Northumberland worked with Carers Northumberland to gather the experiences of people using home care services and that of their family carers. It was led by a group of family carers in the Coquet Valley where, at the time, there were major challenges in providing home care services.

Northumberland County Council Adult Social Care managers welcomed the final report and they said they would be interested to hear from people in other areas of the county. This project will gather those experiences.

The pandemic has given further reason to revisit the study. A recent national report by the National Institute for Health Research highlighted that people receiving paid for care and people who were providing unpaid care (carers) were having to make decisions about continuing with paid for care and using other services during the pandemic based on the risks involved in different people entering their homes and lack of PPE.

Respondents to the Carers Northumberland Annual Survey also reported a reduction in home care and enabling services during the pandemic.

Overall Healthwatch wants to know what has worked well and what people would like to see happen to services in the future.

 

Project outputs

 The key output required is a report with anonymised information:

  • Describing the process, findings and drawing on these to make any appropriate recommendations for further action by Healthwatch Northumberland, Adult Social Care commissioners and service providers. Report to include an Executive Summary
  • Two short case studies which represent the key theme(s) from the findings

 Applications are invited from suitably qualified and experienced individuals or organisations who demonstrate the conditions for participation listed in the project information document.

 Applications should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. not later than 9am 17 May 2021. Applicants should be available for online interview in the two weeks following this. All applicants will be notified by 31 May 2021.

 

Healthwatch Northumberland was established in 2013 and is delivered by Adapt (NE) based in Hexham. As defined by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, Healthwatch Northumberland is the independent champion for health and social care across the county. Its role is to give a voice to people who use services, encourage and influence positive change to services and help meet the health and social care needs of the population.

 

 

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Today, we've published our March 2021 issue of  Four Corners, our magazine for the voluntary and community sector in Northumberland.

 

In this issue of Four Corners you can read about:

  • How we're reviewing our Equality and Diversity policies and practices
  • Our Re:connect tablet loan scheme for isolated older people
  • Caroline's piece on building on the accessibility of volunteering during COVID-19
  • Bridge Northumberland's success despite the pandemic
  • Our work distributing Ballinger microgrants for groups across Northumberland
  • Partnership working on our Connecting Communities project through COVID-19
  • New themed networks for the Assembly
  • ...and more

 

Download our March 2021 issue of Four Corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the labour market and more and more people are struggling to find work.

Now workless people in South East Northumberland can book a place on our next 6-week SkillsUNeed course to increase their chances of success in applying for jobs, and make anything possible. 

Sessions start on Friday 4th June at Northumberland CVA's offices on Station Road, Ashington. To keep people safe from coronavirus, places are limited.

With funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Northumberland CVA's SkillsUNeed support sessions will help people develop the vital skills they need to make sure they are in the running for the jobs that are out there.

SkillsUNeed is a 6-week course. Sessions will take place once a week, every Friday for 6 weeks, until 9th July. Each socially-distanced session will last for around 6 hours. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, although we are unable to provide travel expenses.

Participants will learn how to write the perfect CV, carry out effective job searches, and complete engaging application forms. They’ll also discover the best ways to be successful at interview, prepare for work, and manage on a budget. Guest speakers will attend the sessions to talk about topics such as benefits entitlement, further education courses, free training, careers advice and living a healthy lifestyle.

Anne Lyall, Northumberland CVA’s Chief Executive Officer said “Far more people are competing for every job vacancy now, so our SkillsUNeed project is vitally important in helping jobseekers learn useful skills that can make a real difference for them in finding and sustaining employment.”

If you think you would benefit from these sessions, please contact Northumberland CVA’s Project Support Worker, Sarah Tate. Simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call/text 07826 547 731 and Sarah will get in touch for a chat about the sessions and what to expect.

All appropriate COVID-19 precautions will be in place to ensure the safety of participants. Social distancing means there are only limited spaces on offer so it is first come, first served.

Download the flyer.

 

 

 

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Northumberland CVA's Re:connect project is a tablet loan scheme for older people that has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The project is supported by IT volunteers and utilises Northumberland CVA’s links with local community organisations, including Bedlington Creative, Choppington Disability Group & Mind Active.

Re:connect aims to help older people become more digital savvy and keep them connected with each other, with friends and families, and with any local community groups they may have been involved with before the crisis hit. Volunteers help people learn how to use the tablet device either via phone calls or in small group sessions online, giving them the knowledge and skills to not only stay connected during the COVID restrictions but also to more easily re-establish their normal social connections outside of the home once restrictions are eased.

We host weekly Zoom sessions where participants can talk freely about any IT issues they’re having, take part in a fun quiz, and hear from speakers who come and talk to the group.

One lady who has used the Re:connect Tablet Loan Scheme said “This has opened a whole new world to me. The volunteers are so patient when they are talking to me over the phone. I didn’t realise how easy it is to use [a tablet]. I wished I had got one years ago. The best bit for me is each night I facetime my sister and we talk for hours, it’s like we’re in each other's living rooms. Brilliant!”

Karen Cox, Project Co-ordinator for our older people’s services, has written a blog about her work in setting up this new scheme during the pandemic.  Read Karen's blog.

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Julie, from Hexham, recieving her tablet 

 

Hexham Community Partnership exists to promote the well-being and prosperity of the town. We run large annual events, support community projects and encourage visitors to spend time in Hexham's fantastic shops, heritage sites and eateries. 

Much of work in the community is delivered through the No. 28 project, located in a Karbon Homes house on an estate in East Hexham, an area where residents face significant social and financial challenges. In normal times, we host some activities, including the Tynedale Lion’s Men’s Shed, a garden project, the Credit Union and face to face digital skills training offered by ourselves and Community Action Northumberland (CAN).

But, says Operations Manager Jez Light, “thanks to Northumberland CVA’s Connecting Communities fund we’ve been able to develop new projects that have already started to benefit the people of Hexham. 

“Our "Click and Connect” digital project provides those most in need of a device and/or data to tackle unemployment or social isolation. We’ve also supported a local Middle School with the loan of devices to help children learn online, and have used the funding as matched funding for a larger bid to the NCC Community Chest, so we now have an additional £6,000 to invest in the project to benefit people in Hexham and also more remote locations in Tynedale/West Northumberland with onsite training sessions, devices and data.

"The funding has allowed us to commission a volunteer opportunity browsing website for our Volunteer Hub that matches volunteers to local opportunities according to interests and availability and provides alerts on new matches. We are keen to have this ready for the anticipated surge in people wanting to get out and about while volunteering. We’re particularly keen to attract opportunities that break the traditional mould of ‘vofindlunteering’. So we’ll list litter-picking and stewarding opportunities but also look for new and exciting opportunities for the young, the socially-excluded and those looking to develop and share existing skills and leadership qualities.

"The third project to benefit is the free Festival of Flame community event at Hexham Abbey. Fire gardens, art installations and over a thousand candles in the Abbey create a visual feast, with toasted marshmallows, hot chocolate and live music enhancing the experience. The ambition this year is for the Festival to grow from its heart in Hexham, expounding into Tynedale and ultimately across Hadrian’s Wall."  

Watch this space...

 

 

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COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the labour market and more and more people are struggling to find work.

Now workless people in South East Northumberland can book a place on our next 6-week SkillsUNeed course to increase their chances of success in applying for jobs, and make anything possible. 

Sessions start on Friday 16th April at Northumberland CVA's offices on Station Road, Ashington. To keep people safe from coronavirus, places are limited.

With funding from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, Northumberland CVA's SkillsUNeed support sessions will help people develop the vital skills they need to make sure they are in the running for the jobs that are out there.

SkillsUNeed is a 6-week course. Sessions will take place once a week, every Friday for 6 weeks, until 21st May. Each socially-distanced session will last for around 6 hours. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, although we are unable to provide travel expenses.

Participants will learn how to write the perfect CV, carry out effective job searches, and complete engaging application forms. They’ll also discover the best ways to be successful at interview, prepare for work, and manage on a budget. Guest speakers will attend the sessions to talk about topics such as benefits entitlement, further education courses, free training, careers advice and living a healthy lifestyle.

Anne Lyall, Northumberland CVA’s Chief Executive Officer said “Far more people are competing for every job vacancy now, so our SkillsUNeed project is vitally important in helping jobseekers learn useful skills that can make a real difference for them in finding and sustaining employment.”

If you think you would benefit from these sessions, please contact Northumberland CVA’s Project Support Worker, Sarah Tate. Simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call/text 07826 547 731 and Sarah will get in touch for a chat about the sessions and what to expect.

All appropriate COVID-19 precautions will be in place to ensure the safety of participants. Social distancing means there are only limited spaces on offer so it is first come, first served.

 

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Download the flyer

 

 

 

SkillsUNeed is funded by:

 

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