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£2m to help young people in the North East »

A major new fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has been set up by the Wellesley Trust, a historic North East charity that once ran a nautical school for the Royal and Merchant Navies. The Trust has sold its land for housing development and the proceeds, realised over the next three years, will be used by the Community Foundation to support youth projects. The first gift of £1.3m into the new Wellesley Trust Fund at the Foundation has also attracted match from a Government scheme, taking the total founding value to nearly £2m, which includes a sum for a first round of grants. In time, the fund will total more than £5m, with grant-making each year expected to exceed £250,000.












The Community Foundation and the Wellesley Trust celebrate their success on the Quayside.


The Wellesley Trust decided to work with the Community Foundation because of its track record in supporting youth projects, its experience in grant-making and its ability to invest charitable funds to support causes in perpetuity. The trustees will be advisors on grant-making from the Fund, with youth groups across Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and County Durham set to benefit. A first round of grants will be made from the Fund before summer 2014.

David Watson, secretary of the Wellesley Trust, said: “We have been occupied by our efforts to sell the trust’s land because we had to realise the assets so we could benefit young people in the area. When we thought about how best to fulfil our purpose going forward, we quickly decided that working with the Community Foundation would be the best option because of its track record and expertise. We are excited to see the Fund set up, and are very much looking forward to getting on with the job of supporting vital youth projects across the region.”

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted that the trustees of the Wellesley Trust came to us to set up the Fund, and that we were able to add to the founding gift through our match scheme. As part of our endowment, the Fund will be invested to support young people for generations to come, and we look forward to showing the trustees the inspiring work across our communities that their giving will be able to support.”

The match for the £1.3m founding gift from the Wellesley Trust comes from a Government scheme called Community First through which the Community Foundation can add £1 for every £2 given to new funds in its endowment. The scheme is designed to encourage giving by individual, family and corporate donors, and to make effective use of charitable trust funds that have not been in active use.

To find out how you can set up a Community First Fund please contact Lisa Cappleman, Head of Philanthropy Development on 0191 222 0945.

Posted on 15/04/2014 @ 2:28 pm
Filed under: News

Surviving and Thriving »

The Survive to Thrive Fund is open for its fourth round and it is timely to reflect on what it has achieved since it began in 2012 and for organisations in Gateshead and Sunderland to think about how it can help them.

Inspired by one of the North East’s leading philanthropists, Guy Readman, the aim of the Survive to Thrive Fund is to create stronger voluntary and community organisations.

ShARP Shop











Enterprising charity and Sunderland grantee, ShARP

It is the defining feature of the fund and is unique amongst donor Funds at the Community Foundation.  Other Funds do support charities’ infrastructure costs with grants for running costs or equipment, and while the Survive to Thrive Fund is concerned with the benefit for people in communities, the focus of the grants is firmly on the organisational arrangements that will enable that benefit to be sustained.

Reports submitted by Survive to Thrive Fund grantees give a clear insight into the world of local charities.  What we see is a mixed picture, but with some general themes emerging about the time it takes to achieve change, the things that can ‘get in the way’ and the importance of a clear goal.  There is also a strong message that however hard policymakers wish for a world without grant aid, the reality is a very long way from this imagined paradise.

However the real value of a Survive to Thrive Fund grant was summed up by two Managers:

“This work couldn’t have been carried out without the support of the Survive to Thrive funding; it has allowed me as manager to focus on the work we need to do that will help sustain the organisation in the future.”

Another said

“(we have)…over the last twelve months dramatically developed as a service, both in its quality and breadth of offer….The role (supported by the grant ) has provided, what is now realised as the missing piece to the organisational staffing structure. Previous work in this area was always taken as an additional aspect of the Manager’s role, but never given the dedicated focus and energy that this….new post and individual has delivered”.

If you are an organisation in Gateshead or Sunderland and would like to be saying similar, things then talk to me about making an application by 16 May 2014.  More information is here

Derry Nugent, Head of Philanthropy Services


Posted on 23/04/2014 @ 3:46 pm
Filed under: News

All hands on deck for Whitley Bay Sea Cadets »

Whitley Bay Sea Cadets has been awarded £3,809 by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland towards the cosmetic renovation of its headquarters. The cadet force is now calling on volunteers from the local community to come forward and help with the painting and decorating of the headquarters to assist the young cadets in restoring the unit to its former glory.

Whitley Bay Sea Cadets have been operating since 1943 and has a strong connection with the local community. The headquarters unit is over 1,150 square metres and has two floors. The unit boasts 5 classrooms, a recreation area, shower and changing facilities, office space, catering facilities and an impressive main deck which can accommodate up to 60 cadets. The painting project is due to commence in April and once complete the unit will be available to hire for private functions as well as being used for internal activities.

Three_Paintinge0a60aLt Jane Fox, Commanding Officer said:

“We are thrilled and feel very humbled to have been given this amazing opportunity. Our unit is in dire need of cosmetic renovation to reflect the vibrant and exciting opportunities we offer young people from our region. We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get started”.

Whitley Bay Sea Cadets works with young people to develop skills and learning. The grant from the Community Foundation will provide funding for new equipment as well as the renovation of the headquarters unit. Sea Cadets enjoy sailing, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, orienteering, first aid, navigation, cooking, adventure training, windsurfing, power boating, meteorology, expeditions, diving, summer camp, regional and national competitions.

Su Legg, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland added:

“The grant from the Community Foundation will provide a more welcoming and attractive place for young people and volunteers to access the Sea Cadet headquarters. Whitley Bay Sea Cadets provide a vital service for young people in our region and we would like to ask that the local community supports the project by offering their free time to paint and decorate the unit. Whether this is an office team building day or an individual with a spare hour on a Sunday, the group will appreciate any kind support that you may be able to offer.”

Whether at sea or on land, Sea Cadets offers an environment where young people can find new confidence and inspiration. Most of the qualifications the cadets achieve are accredited by leading UK bodies meaning that cadets are recognised for their extra-curricular activity. Whitley Bay Sea Cadets are currently recruiting young people from our region aged from 10-to-18 to join them for nautical adventure and fun.

The painting and decoration of the headquarters is due to take place in April. If you would like to volunteer then please email or telephone the unit on 0191 253 0270.

Posted on 15/04/2014 @ 3:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Not So Big Society »

Big SocietyIn April the National Council for Voluntary Organisations claimed that the third sector is now demonstrably shrinking in size. The latest snapshot survey of the North East community and voluntary sector tends to confirm this rather gloomy finding, suggesting that many civil society organisations are now beginning to founder under successive waves of funding cuts.

The latest Surviving or Thriving survey from Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East includes 140 responses from a wide range of civil society organisations across the region. Whilst 70% reported an increase in demand, only 40% had sufficient funding with the rest relying on reserves to cover running costs. For a minority the tank is close to empty: 4 out of 10 groups have just 3 months’ reserves.

The survey suggests that whilst traditional sources of funding (notably local government grants) have continued to decline, new income streams have not developed as anticipated. The number of organisations in the sample contracting for public services, for example, has actually decreased. As a result nearly half of the groups stated that they would cut their services in the coming year, whilst 1 in 5 are likely to close down altogether. In our region, as elsewhere, the boundaries of “Big Society” seem to be rolling back as the level of need increases.

VONNE have called for more grant funding to support voluntary sector groups, and indeed increased support from charitable funders in the region has been forthcoming. However charitable funding alone can never hope to make up shortfalls of this magnitude. It seems likely that the sector will continue to contract for some time to come unless central and local government is able to provide greater transitional support, coupled with a real push to open up contracting for public services.

Posted on @ 2:36 pm
Filed under: News

Sunderland steals the show at the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear Youth Awards »

T&W_GJmr-4719To celebrate the end of his shrieval year, the High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear, Mr George Scott presented 50 awards to community groups in a celebration at the Centre for Life on 27 March 2014. A total of £28,500 was donated through the High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear Fund at the Community Foundation. Sunderland won the lion’s share of awards where The Box Youth Project won the top prize of £2,000 and Boldon Young People’s Project won second place with an award of £1,500. the Roger Spoor ‘Unsung Hero’ Award was won by Phil Tye of Youth Almighty, for his voluntary work in Sunderland and Washington.

Over 220 adults and young people enjoyed an inspirational evening where Sunderland icon Frankie Francis from Frankie & The Heartstrings delivered an address inspiring youngsters with tales of his band’s success and recent community work with the launch of the Pop Recs Ltd independent record shop in Sunderland. The Hindu Nari Sangh, a group from South Shields and a beneficiary of the fund, began proceedings with Bharatnatyam, a classical dance from South India.


The Hindu Nari Sangh performing Bharatnatyam, a classical dance from South India

50 community and voluntary groups from Tyne & Wear all received an award of between £500 and £1,500.

High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear, Mr George Scott said:

“The Tyne & Wear High Sheriff Awards is an opportunity to recognise the work of young people in our region. Tonight we have presented 50 awards which demonstrate the fantastic work being done by young people and voluntary groups in our community. I would like to thank everyone for their fantastic achievement in making Tyne & Wear a great place to live.”

Tony Bell, Director of the Box Youth Project said:

“We were delighted to have been given the top award at this year’s High Sheriff Awards.  We will be using the money towards Box Youth programme. The project engages young people and develops their skills and knowledge through youth work and organising fundraising events for projects such as Project Gambia. The Box Youth Project helps build confidence and work experience for young people, enhancing their opportunities for future employment.”

The High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear Youth Awards recognise the good work of community and voluntary groups in Tyne and Wear who engage young people with meaningful activity. The High Sheriff is by Royal appointment for one year and, as well as supporting the Crown and the judiciary, they also raise money for the High Sheriff’s Fund at a series of events to allow the Youth Awards to go ahead annually.

If you would like to find out more about the High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear Youth Awards for 2014-15 email Iain Riddell on

Posted on 02/04/2014 @ 1:22 pm
Filed under: News

High Sheriff of Northumberland rewards young people in the community »

Numberland_GJmr-3875The High Sheriff of Northumberland, Mr Peter Loyd is coming to the end of his shrieval year. During the year, The High Sheriff gave 51 awards to young people’s community groups in Northumberland totalling £38,500 through the High Sheriff of Northumberland Youth Awards at the Community Foundation. To celebrate the fantastic work of local community and voluntary groups supporting children and young people, a presentation ceremony was held at Alnwick Castle on Wednesday 19 March 2014.

The Northumbria Air Cadets Pipes and Drums and Highland Dancers began the proceedings at Alnwick Castle.


Northumberland Explorer Conrad Dickinson

Over 200 adults and young people enjoyed a fabulous ceremony where Northumberland explorer Conrad Dickinson delivered an address inspiring youngsters with tales of his recent arctic exploration. Northumbria Army Cadet Force Pipes and Drums and Highland Dancers entertained the audience with traditional Northumbrian entertainment in the wonderful setting of Alnwick Castle.

51 community and voluntary groups from Northumberland all received an award of between £500 and £1,250, with one top award of £2,000 going to Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme for its Full Circle Food project. Alan Johnson of Blyth Tall Ship won Inspirational Young Person and Ayesha Banks of Young and Sweet based in Haltwhistle was awarded the ‘Most Inspirational Volunteer of the Year’.

High Sheriff of Northumberland, Mr Peter Loyd said:

“We have had a marvellous night Alnwick Castle and I’d like to thank all the young people for their hard work during my shrieval year. The Fund supports young people in recognition of their good work in the community, and I would like to thank everybody who donated to the fund in 2013-14. I am proud that the young people of Northumberland make our county such a great place to live.”

Numberland_GJmr-4039Glynis Reynolds from Ashington Joint Welfare Scheme said:

“We were delighted to have been given the top award at this year’s High Sheriff Awards, it is always an inspirational evening seeing so many young people from all walks of life.  We will be using the money towards our MIxin it Up programme. This project engages young people and develops their skills and knowledge, to cook affordable, nutritional meals, using fresh fruit and vegetables. The programme helps raise the confidence and self-esteem of the young people, enhancing their opportunities for future training and employment.”

The High Sheriff of Northumberland Youth Awards’ aim is to recognise the good work of community and voluntary groups in the county in engaging young people with meaningful activity. The High Sheriff is by Royal appointment for one year and, as well as supporting the Crown and the judiciary, they raise money for the High Sheriff’s Fund at a series of events to allow the Youth Awards to go ahead annually.

If you would like to find out more about the High Sheriff of Northumberland Youth Awards for 2014-15 email Iain Riddell on

Posted on 27/03/2014 @ 2:24 pm
Filed under: News

Community Foundation appoints new Head of Partnerships »

Adam Lopardo, who first joined the Community Foundation in 2004 as Director of the Sponsors Club, has been appointed to the new post of Head of Partnerships. In this role, he will lead on developing projects that broker and draw in additional funding and other support to benefit the region and the Foundation’s own charitable activities.

Adam LopardoAs Director of the Sponsors Club at the Community Foundation for 10 years, Adam was responsible for private philanthropy and business partnerships supporting culture and creative talent in North East England. Projects included the Business Collectors Network and the Sponsors Den. Most recently he has created and overseen the North East Fund for the Arts with support from Arts Council’s Catalyst scheme. Prior to the Community Foundation Adam spent 8 years at Ticketmaster initially in marketing before going on to run the company’s operation in Scotland. Adam is a board member of AV Festival and the North East Culture Partnership.

Speaking about his appointment, Adam said: “I am excited to be taking on the newly created role of Head of Partnerships at the Community Foundation. Building on its strengths in philanthropy and grant-making, the Foundation can be the eyes and ears for other funders looking to support the region, and it can broker innovative collaborations that help to address vital issues here. I am looking forward to developing new ideas and catching up with key contacts in my new role over the coming weeks and months.”

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation, added: “As well as our work developing individual, family and corporate philanthropy, the Community Foundation works with a range of partners on joint initiatives. Our Board has recognised the importance of this work in levering in money, time and expertise to benefit the region, and so we have created this senior role to build on our efforts. I am delighted that we have appointed Adam as he has a strong track record of working with businesses, public bodies, donors and foundations on collaborative projects.”

As Head of Partnerships, Adam will continue to oversee the Foundation’s culture work which will be led on a day-to-day basis by Ellie Turner. He will also support Katie Wellstead, who has recently returned from maternity leave and will lead the Foundation’s Local Environmental Action Fund, LEAF, a collaboration with the Shears Foundation, Greggs Foundation and an anonymous donor. Alison Forbes, Grant Programme Executive will continue to administer applications to the Fund.

Posted on @ 2:19 pm
Filed under: News

Surviving Winter raises over £22,000 for fuel poverty work in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland »


Surviving Winter raised over £22,000 to support fuel poverty work with disadvantaged individuals this winter. Thank you to everybody who donated.

The Surviving Winter campaign was a plea for individuals to donate their winter fuel payment to those in need this winter. One beneficiary was Age UK North Tyneside, which received a grant of £3,340 to provide fuel poverty work to those who need help and support during the winter period.

John Connelly, Head of Community Services at Age UK North Tyneside said:

“Fuel poverty is a vital issue that affects a large number of elderly residents in our region. Surviving Winter has allowed us to make a difference by providing home visits to work facetoface with those who need our support. The money raised by the campaign has also helped us to host a community event to provide further information on fuel poverty to help build a stronger community where the elderly are safe from the pitfalls of winter.”

Many people cannot afford to keep their homes warm during the winter. With the help of individuals in our region the Community Foundation is able to support elderly and vulnerable people out of fuel poverty. Grants totalling £20,580 were awarded to organisations in Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland and Northumberland to ensure that our region was supported this winter.

Karen Daglish, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland added:

“We would like to thank everyone who donated their winter fuel allowance towards Surviving Winter. Community is our cause, and through Surviving Winter we are able to collectively pool our resources to make a big impact in our region. By supporting our campaign you have helped make the difference on whether someone can eat or heat their home. This is a choice that no one should have to make, and we are delighted that the campaign has proved to be a success and will provide vital fuel poverty work within our region.”

A beneficiary of the campaign who prefers to remain anonymous tells how support from Age UK Gateshead was able to help this winter:

“I was so worried about how we were managing financially and especially about our heating bills.  My wife has asthma and suffers very badly from the cold.  I didn’t think I’d be eligible for any help but a neighbour said Age UK Gateshead had helped them so I gave them a ring.  They helped me claim benefits I didn’t even know about and our weekly income has increased by 25%.  Feeling able to have the heating on more now is wonderful.”

Posted on 18/03/2014 @ 6:09 pm
Filed under: News

Business professionals ‘on board’ with the Community Foundation »


North East businessmen Geoff Hodgson and Ashley Winter hosted an evening with former Sage Group Plc Chief Executive, Paul Walker on Tuesday 4 March 2014 at Trinity House in Newcastle. The evening was attended by professional business advisors to hear how their contribution to the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland could help communities in our region. The event was supported by Muckle LLP.

Geoff Hodgson, Deputy Chair of the Community Foundation said:

“We are delighted to see businesses professionals come together to champion philanthropy in the North East through the Community Foundation. With the UK’s largest independent community endowment, we are keen to build on the culture of generosity in our area to support more local projects. Through their personal networks, ambassadors can help the Community Foundation to better serve our area for generations to come.”

The evening was held at Trinity House on Newcastle’s quayside where, during the fifteenth century, a group of seafarers formed a charitable guild to support the town’s growing maritime community and their dependents. The location proved to be an appropriate venue for modern-day philanthropists who are looking to make a difference through the Community Foundation.

Paul Walker, Ex-CEO of Sage Group Plc added:

“I was delighted to be asked to speak at Trinity House on behalf of the Community Foundation. Trinity House is an example of how a small group of individuals could make a large difference to their local maritime community. Through the Community Foundation philanthropy is helping to tackle modern issues within our region and ambassadors at the Community Foundation can help our community much like the seafarers at Trinity House helped the maritime community in the fifteenth century.”

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland was established in 1988 as a hub for community giving in our region. In the financial year 2012-13, the Community Foundation managed an endowment of £53m, held 300 donor funds and awarded more than £5m in grants to over 1,600 local groups and individuals.

Posted on @ 5:37 pm
Filed under: News

£12,000 raised at International Women’s Day Lunch in aid of the Women’s Fund »


On Friday 7 March 2014, over 300 professional business women attended the International Women’s Day Networking Lunch in aid of the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation.

The lunch raised over £12,000 for the Women’s Fund which awards grants to organisations that help women to feel safe, supported and confident when confronted by abuse, discrimination and a lack of opportunities. A grant to Gateshead Crossroad Carers in 2012 allowed direct support to 28 families by working with the mothers of young carers to live a more independent life. £2,000 was donated to Gateshead Crossroad Carers during the lunch by the Star Fund at the Community Foundation. The event was attended by Kelly Stout, a young carer who talked about how the Fund made a difference to her own life by inspiring confidence in her own mother.

Lynn Readman, Young Carers Manager at Crossroads Care Gateshead said:

“We were delighted to speak at the lunch in aid of the Women’s Fund and would like to personally thank the Star Fund for the fantastic gift of £2,000. The Women’s Fund addresses vital issues in our community, and it was inspiring to see over 300 women unite to support a common cause to empower local women.”

Valda Goodfellow gave a rousing speech about her rise to success in the region as one of the leading names in high-end restaurant tableware. Goodfellows is one of the business success stories of the North East with a £2m maiden turnover and was recently nominated for Newcomer of the Year 2014 at the North East Business Awards.

Valda Goodfellow, keynote speaker at the event said:

“There is a myth that you cannot make a difference by giving a small sum of money, but this is not true. There is a culture of generosity in our area, and collectively we can make a difference to the lives of women in our community. The Women’s Fund can empower us to make a change and support projects in our region that need our support.”

Kate Murphy, Advisor at Rathbones Investment Management, who sponsored the event, added:

“Rathbones are delighted to be able to support the Women’s Fund lunch. At Rathbones we run a number of initiatives such as “your money, your future” where we aim to give young people the confidence to prepare for their journey ahead. The Women’s Fund supports people in a similar fashion, to help women take the next step in their own life, and we are thrilled to support such a worthy cause.”

If you would like to support the Women’s Fund with a donation in celebration of International Women’s Day please visit

Posted on @ 5:32 pm
Filed under: News
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Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland - Enriching lives through effective giving

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