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Regional winner of North East charity award announced by Garfield Weston Foundation »


The first ever North East regional winner of the Weston Charity Awards, that sees charities across the North of England being mentored by senior business leaders, has been revealed.

Over the last year, six charities from across the North East have had access to a team of senior business leaders through the organisation Pilotlight, as part of the awards. Horden Youth & Community Centre (HYCC), which helps disadvantaged and isolated families in one of the most deprived areas of the country, was eventually chosen as the first ever regional winner.

HYCC, Centre Manager, Steve Clark says winning the award couldn’t have come at a better time:

“This has been a game-changing experience for us. I was always the financial worrier – thinking how are we going to pay this core cost? How will we afford that? However the business team really supported us in putting a new financial infrastructure and long-term strategy in place. We are now able to expand our services and our income is rising as a result. We are fighting fit and that’s a great feeling.”

Garfield Weston Foundation’s trustee, Kate Hobhouse, says:

“All the charities have come a long way since they were selected for the Weston Charity Awards and have made the most of the business support they have received over the last year. HYCC really stood out as they have expanded their services, reaching more people in their local community and increased their income – not easy in the current climate. This is what the awards are about, supporting small charities to do more and be fit and flexible for the future. We congratulate them on their success.”

The Garfield Weston Foundation and Pilotlight say they are looking forward to reaching many more charities over the next two years.

Pilotlight’s chief executive, Gillian Murray, says:

“We know that many small charities are finding it tough to fund their work and cope with an increase in demand for their services. As the spending review next week looks set to announce more cuts, it’s more important than ever that charities have access to strategic business support. By bringing together charity chief executives with dynamic business leaders we see how charities benefit and become more sustainable as a result.”

Adam Lopardo, Director of Partnerships at the Community Foundation said:

“A huge congratulations to Horden Youth & Community Centre. The Weston Awards exemplify the approach Garfield Weston Foundation has taken in the North East. They are not just a funder but a supporter and a partner, working with us and others to help organisations in the north east strengthen and grow. ”

Aimed initially at charities in the North East, the Garfield Weston Foundation is now running the awards across the North of England. It is hoped that eventually the awards will expand further to cover the whole of the country.

Posted on 25/11/2015 @ 4:43 pm
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Sir Nigel Sherlock backs Surviving Winter Campaign to keep our communities warm »

Senior Woman Warming Hands By Fire At Home

  • More than 1 in 9 homes in the North East experience from fuel poverty, according to Government statistics
  • The North East has the second highest percentage of homes experiencing fuel poverty in the UK

Sir Nigel Sherlock, KCVO OBE, a Patron of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, is backing a North East campaign to help vulnerable people avoid fuel poverty this winter.

Surviving Winter 2016 is a plea for local people who do not need their winter fuel allowance to donate it to the Community Foundation, who will use it to boost the capacity of voluntary organisations, who provide invaluable help and advice to people who need extra assistance in preparing for, and dealing with, extra costs in winter months.

The Government’s Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics in 2015 highlighted that nearly 12% of households in the North East experience from fuel poverty, with those in central Newcastle upon Tyne and central Sunderland regarded as the most at risk in our region.

JS39233923Sir Nigel Sherlock KCVO OBE, Patron of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland said:

“During my time as Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear I was able to see the crucial role that the voluntary sector plays in supporting our community. For some people in our region they have to make a choice of whether to heat their homes or whether to eat. This is something which must be tackled at a community level, and the voluntary sector works hard to find, and then to help those most at need.

“Last year was a relatively mild winter and improvements have been made but we cannot rest on our laurels as one in nine homes will struggle to stay warm this winter. The winter fuel payment is a lifeline for many people but I would urge those who do not need it to recycle this payment and help local charities help people who do need that bit of extra support.”

Last year, Surviving Winter raised over £20,000 to support fuel poverty projects across the region.

One organisation to benefit was Carers Northumberland which received an award of £2,660 to provide information and advice sessions to carers in Northumberland.

Sharon Spurling, Chief Executive of Carers Northumberland explained:

“Our service provides advice and guidance on finance, benefits, housing, and care support, as well as condition information and advice around the Care Act changes to many people in our community. Thanks to a grant from Surviving Winter we have been able to provide in-house advice and support to carers on fuel poverty and energy use.

“In the last 6 months we have been able to identify where carers may be fuel poor and where they can seek increased benefits or obtain rebates whilst working with them to look at their future fuel management and energy saving techniques.”

One carer was able to apply for a free replacement energy efficient boiler, because it was identified that she qualified under the British Gas Energy Tax because she was living with her partner who has a disability. Other carers have been supported to change energy providers, with one carer saving around £40 per month.

Jon Goodwin, a Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation who manages the Surviving Winter Campaign added:

“Through Surviving Winter we are able to collectively pool the resources of the community to make a difference to those most in need. By supporting our campaign you will help make the difference on whether someone can eat or heat their home, and give someone back their independence. This is a choice that no one should have to make, and if you do not need your winter fuel allowance this year then please donate it to Surviving Winter.”

To donate to your winter fuel allowance and help keep our communities warm please visit

Posted on @ 4:39 pm
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Northumbrian Water a continued source of support for local communities »

rda1Ten organisations from across the north east region have benefited from a share of more than £8,000 in the past year from the Northumbrian Water Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

A grant of £1,254 to Riding for the Disabled in Morpeth will ensure increased opportunities for visually impaired or blind youngsters to get active and experience riding on a horse and help provide safe riding hats for 312 children and adults with a range of disabilities. This is an improvement on 223 children and adults in the previous year.

Sam Orde, a Trustee at Riding for the Disabled in Morpeth said:

“For the safety of our disabled riders we need hats which conform to British Standards and are replaced every three years as recommended. As we provide over 4,000 rides a year, hats become worn, unhygienic and unattractive, especially to riders with autism. We’re very grateful to Northumbrian Water for helping us to purchase new equipment and provide opportunities for young disabled people with a passion for riding.”

rda2Sarah Pinkerton, Partnerships Manager for Northumbrian Water said: “As a local company, we very much want to be an active participant in the communities we supply drinking water to, but we also need to know what the issues are and what local communities need. Working with Community Foundation has really helped us to make the best use of our resources.”

The largest single grant of £2,000 was made to St Clare’s Hospice on South Tyneside to allow greater access to their complementary therapies during the latest round of grants. Another grant for £500 to Fightback (The Society of Disabled Refugee and Asylum Seekers) has helped to support refugees and asylum seekers by funding the purchase of essential toiletries.

Su Legg, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation said:

“Northumbrian Water is an excellent example of a responsible business which really cares about the area in which it operates. Through their fund at the Community Foundation the water company has awarded more than £8,000 to local projects which tackle inequalities providing care and opportunities for people of all ages.”

For more information about funding opportunities at the Community Foundation visit

Posted on @ 4:36 pm
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Accessibility at a community house given a hand by The Gateshead Housing Company and its partners »


Edberts House, in the High Lanes area near Heworth, applied to the housing company’s Community Fund for help to resurface the back yard onto one level, and to install two new handrails to the entrance, making access to the building much safer.

The Fund, which is held by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland was able to support the charity with £4,960 worth of in-kind support, with staff from the council’s Local Environmental Services team doing the work as part of their contribution to the fund.

The Gateshead Housing Company, understanding how integral this community building is to its estate of 250 houses, agreed that the fund should cover the cost of the renovations.

Edberts House is a charity, formed in 2009, which aims to build local capacity and skills, combat unemployment, provide social and leisure opportunities, and promote health and wellbeing.

Activities offered by the centre include basic skills training, an after-school club, and play schemes during the school holidays. There is also a Beaver and Cub group, a weekly older people’s lunch group and a women’s group.

Mark Harrison of Edberts House said, “We’re thrilled with the work, which has made the building much more accessible.

“The new handrails make it safer for people with mobility problems who need support to enter and leave the building, especially during bad weather.”

Kevin Fudge, Estate Officer for The Gateshead Housing Company, said, “Supporting Edberts House is very important to us, as its facilities benefit so many of our tenants. We were delighted to help out through our fund with the Community Foundation.”

Jon Goodwin, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation said, “In the current financial climate, organisations from all sectors need to work hard to ensure that existing resources are used wisely and go as far as possible, and I’m firmly of the belief that time and expertise are as important as money to the voluntary sector. That’s why the in-kind support offered through this fund is vitally important. This fund has supported a host of voluntary organisations to improve the physical environment in which they work.”

The Gateshead Housing Company Community Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is supported by Gateshead Council and Mears.

Since 2006, the Community Fund has awarded cash and in-kind grants totalling over £500,000 to more than 120 groups across Gateshead.

Groups in Gateshead wanting to find out more about applying for a grant should call the Community Foundation on 0191 222 0945 or email to find out about future deadlines.

Posted on @ 4:33 pm
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Former treasurer, Colin Seccombe, joins UKCF board »

Colin Seccombe, Treasurer

UK Community Foundations (UKCF), the national body of which the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is a member, appointed five new trustees at its AGM in London on 5 November 2015.

Among those appointed is former treasurer of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Colin is now in his final year on the Board of TWN having stood down as Treasurer at the last AGM after 5 years in the role.  He is a chartered accountant, formerly Chief Executive of Newcastle Building Society and before that a partner in KPMG.

He expressed his delight at taking up the new post, adding:

“As my time at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland draws to a close, I am delighted to be able to continue my involvement with Community Foundations in taking up this appointment.  Having been involved in recent years with the UKCF Community First Investment Committee, I already see the benefit UKCF brings to the network of 48 Community Foundations around the country and I hope I can contribute to its further success.

“Community Foundations play a vital role in enriching lives in local communities and the need for this can only increase. It’s a source of great pride to me that over its life Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has made grants in excess of £100m and I hope to support this movement in a national capacity in my new role at UK Community Foundations.”

The others elected, all from UKCF member community foundations around the UK include:

Trevor James – chartered accountant with a specialism in charity accounting and a trustee of Sussex Community Foundation

Jane Moss – solicitor and experienced trustee, latterly with Quartet Community Foundation

Laura Keen – chartered accountant, finance director and deputy CEO of Milton Keynes Community Foundation

At the same meeting, UKCF chairman David Sheepshanks CBE and Northamptonshire Community Foundation CEO Victoria Miles were re-elected for a second term. Foundation Scotland chairman Tom Ward was also elected, having previously served as a co-opted trustee.

In addition, John Nickson was co-opted as an independent trustee for a year, while Alun Evans (Community Foundation in Wales) and Sonal Shah (London Community Foundation) were both co-opted for a further year.

UKCF chairman David Sheepshanks said, “We are delighted to welcome our new trustees who each possess a variety of skills and experience that will be valuable to the board.

“We have recently undertaken a governance review with all our 48 member community foundations invited to participate and these latest board elections demonstrate UKCF’s commitment to high standards of corporate governance, and by rotating our trustees every six years we maintain a good balance of experience and fresh ideas.

“I would also like to express the board’s thanks and appreciation to our departing members for their many important contributions.”

Posted on @ 4:30 pm
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Community Foundation AGM 2015 »

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland celebrated a landmark achievement, in awarding over £100m in grants, at its 2015 AGM. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter and was supported by Hay & Kilner Solicitors and the Crowne Plaza Newcastle.

Over 150 members and fund-holders were welcomed by Community Foundation President, His Grace the Duke of Northumberland. During the formal business it was announced that in 2014-15, the value of the Community Foundation endowment rose from £57.9 million to £67.1 million. During the year overall income increased from £7.9 million to £12.5 million as a result of the increase in donations, including match from the government’s Community First scheme. Total expenditure was unchanged at £6.5 million, although the proportion of that represented by grants increased from £5.1 million to £5.4 million.

Chris Lendrum, Anna Blackett and Neil Warwick were all appointed to the board following the retirement of  John Clough MBE, Professor Chris Drinkwater CBE and Sue Winfield OBE. Colin Seccombe announced that he will be succeeded by Alastair Conn as treasurer for the Foundation.

AGM_GJmr-9703Celebrations included a panel discussion led by Caroline Theobald of the Bridge Club. The panel featured Kate Edwards, Chief Executive of Seven Stories, Kamareswaradas Ramanathas (Ram),Project Manager of Young Asian Voices, Paul Harrison, Centre Operations Manager of Bell View (Belford) and Cheryl Spamer, Project Coordinator of South Tyneside Positive Activities & Targeted Youth Support Group. The expert panel discussed the role of philanthropy and how the £100m in grants had supported their projects and also the leadership advice that the Community Foundation offers through its partnerships work.

Entertainment was provided by Crossings Band based in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne. Crossings works with asylum seekers and refugees and through music provides social opportunities and emotional support. The project performed a song titled “£100m stars” to represent £100m of philanthropic giving through the Community Foundation. Kathryn Tickell OBE, an internationally recognised talent and fund-holder closed proceedings with a discussion on the role of the Young Musicians Fund in our region and wowed the audience with a performance of two traditional folk songs.

For three decades the Community Foundation has enriched lives through effective giving and today is recognised as one of the largest and most successful community foundations outside of North America. The 2015 AGM acted as a reminder of the role of the foundation in the North East as a vehicle for philanthropic giving to support North East communitiesAGM_GJmr-9577.

Rob Williamson, Chief Executive of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland said:

“This year marks a landmark achievement for the foundation as we celebrate a milestone of awarding more than £100 million to support charities and community groups in the North East. What makes this achievement most remarkable is that as a small grants organisation our average grant size is £5,000, which means the story behind our achievement involves hundreds of inspirational charities and voluntary organisations, and the donors who helped to make this possible.

“We work with philanthropists and their families, businesses and charitable trusts, as well as partnering with national funders who tap into our local geographical and issue-based knowledge to deliver regional funding programmes in the North East.”

Through the Community Foundation, £100m of grants has helped projects that tackle inequality, support people with housing and homelessness, invest in education, arts culture and heritage, care for the environment and encourage healthy living, and enable young people to take up opportunities.

For more information about the Community Foundation in 2015, please view Our Year 2015 here.

Posted on 10/11/2015 @ 2:49 pm
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Fun knot a problem at Berwick Performing Rope Celebration »

WP_20151022_17_40_51_Pro Berwick’s 900th birthday celebrations came to a stunning finale in late October, with the seven-month ‘Berwick 900’ programme culminating in the Creative Berwick Festival and the Great Performing Rope installation, supported by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

The central element of the Creative Berwick Festival was the Arty-Facts show, a celebration of the arts and craft skills of local people, which took place in the Town Hall. Arty-Facts received a £2,000 grant from the Northern Angel Fund for Berwick, a Community Foundation fund that supports activity that improves the skills of local people, enhances community cohesion and celebrates and enhances the unique culture of the town.

Meanwhile, the Great Performing Rope installation involved 900 memories of Berwick, and hopes for its future, submitted by locals and visitors, being hung from 900 metres of rope which wound its way through the town centre. Over the course of four days the route of the rope played host to a series of performances from storytellers, musicians and local children, who performed a sea shanty written especially for the occasion. The installation was organised by Culture Creative and the November Club, who received £500 from the Northern Angel Fund and £5,700 from the Foundation’s Adderstone Fund, to support the ‘speculative fiction’ elements of the project, working with local young people to imagine what Berwick could and should be like in another 900 years’ time.


In total the Community Foundation has contributed more than £15,000 to activities celebrating nine centuries of England’s northernmost town, supporting a range of different organisations with grants from a number of different funds.

Jon Goodwin, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation, thinks that it is  this diversity and flexibility that enables the Foundation to play a key role in ‘place-building’ – creating a sense of pride and confidence in a specific geographical area.

“Two of our philanthropy themes are ‘creating stronger communities’ and ‘making the area a better place to live’ and in Berwick we’ve done just that, by matching the aspirations of local organisations to bring people together and celebrate Berwick with the philanthropic motivations of our donors and our various funds. It was fantastic to be in Berwick over the finale weekend and feel like the Foundation – and the organisations we have supported – have really helped to build a better Berwick”.

The full list of organisations and projects that the Community Foundation supported as part of Berwick 900 includes:

 Organisation Project Amount Fund(s)
Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival Young volunteers £2,000 Northern Angel Fund for Berwick
November Club Secret Berwick £650 Northern Angel Fund for Berwick
Spittal Improvement Trust Spittal Seaside Festival £3,300 Northern Angel Fund for Berwick / Kerry Grassroots Fund
Berwick Literary Festival Events for children and young people £1,500 Northern Angel Fund for Berwick / Kerry Grassroots Fund
Berwick 900 Arty-Facts £2,000 Northern Angel Fund for Berwick
November Club The Great Performing Rope – Speculative Fiction £6,200 Adderstone Fund / Northern Angel Fund for Berwick
TOTAL: £15,650

As well as this support for the town’s 900th birthday celebrations, in 2015 the Foundation has made grants worth £25,000 to a range of other charitable causes in the town of Berwick, with many more grants made across the wider north Northumberland area. Around half of the total amount spent in Berwick in 2015 has been contributed by the Northern Angel Fund for Berwick, which has made more than £200,000 in grants in its ten-year history.

Posted on @ 2:42 pm
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“What is a Community Foundation?” a video by UK Community Foundations »

UK Community Foundations (UKCF), the national body of which the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is a member, has revealed a new “What Is a Community Foundation” video to help donors and supporters understand how community foundations help channel much-needed donations into the vital local causes that matter to you.

The video, created with help from US animators and community foundation fans Embolden, and UK voiceover specialists Clocktower Creative, tells the story of a child who “dreams big” about how she can make a difference in her community.

When she grows up, her community is in need of help – so she seeks help from her community foundation, who show her the array of causes they help fund – helping her on her “path to personal philanthropy” and making it easier to do good.

Posted on @ 2:38 pm
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It’s Time to Talk: register now for our December 2015 session »


Time to Talk sessions are open to anyone connected to a group, charity, or support agency, and we welcome volunteers, staff members, consultants, fundraisers or trustees.

The sessions have no agenda but are an opportunity for those attending to share thoughts, ideas, good practice, and understand more about the Foundation. Each session will be hosted by two Community Foundation staff and will give you a chance to network and make new contacts. We will provide tea, coffee and a snack.

So, if you want to learn more about the Community Foundation, have any questions about how you put yourselves in the best position to be successful with your applications and would like to visit us in our new home:

Thursday 3rd December: 6pm – 7.30pm

Philanthropy House, Woodbine Road, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1DD

Advance booking is essential on a first-come, first-served basis, and numbers will be limited to one representative per organisation (unless you require a support worker).

You can reserve a place by emailing Sue Martin at

Posted on @ 9:59 am
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Our Year 2015 »

Our Year 2015

Our Year 2015 has launched, celebrating the success of the Community Foundation in enriching lives through effective giving.

Our Year 2015 marks the special milestone of the Community Foundation having now awarded over £100m of grants. The yearbook also describes our work and impact in 2014-15, a year in which we awarded grants totalling £5.4m and increased the value of our endowment from £57.9m to £67.1m – £5.2m in new gifts from donors.

The Community Foundation will celebrate its year at its Annual General Meeting 2015 next week, an exclusive invitation-only celebration for members, fund-holders and partners. The event is kindly supported by Hay & Kilner Solicitors and the Crowne Plaza Newcastle – Stephenson Quarter.

To view Our Year 2015 please click here.

For more information about becoming a member of the Community Foundation please click here.

Posted on 28/10/2015 @ 11:32 am
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Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland - Enriching lives through effective giving

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Woodbine Road,
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T: 0191 222 0945 / F: 0191 284 8413