This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. This message will only appear once.


High Sheriff Awards for young people in Tyne & Wear »

The High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear Awards for young people are now open for applications in 2015. The High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear Awards recognise and reward local organisations, big and small, which support children and young people in a safe and secure environment to develop confidence, to build skills, to find fun and friendship,  and in turn learn how to play a part in the community. Awards are made from The High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear Fund which is held by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.





 The High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear judging at North Tyneside Disability Forum’s Got Talent



Hundreds of children and young people have benefited from the awards since the Fund was established in 1995. The awards can make a real difference to the work of the many clubs, centres, and organisations involved.  They are presented at an annual ceremony which celebrates the achievements of all the children and young people involved and recognises the volunteers who make this all possible.

High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear, Mrs Ruth Thompson OBE said:

“The position of High Sheriff is the oldest secular office in the UK, going back over 1,000 years. As well as supporting the Crown and the judiciary we also raise money for the High Sheriff’s Fund through a series of events to allow the Youth Awards to go ahead annually, but anyone can make a contribution to our awards which means that more young people can benefit in 2015.”

Awards are made to groups in Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, and Sunderland.  A standard award is in the region of £500, with more awarded to the champion of each region, as well as a runner up award and a top award. There is an award for the most inspirational volunteer through the Roger Spoor ‘Unsung Hero’ Volunteer Award. Anyone can donate to the High Sheriff Fund, which means that more groups can benefit in 2015. In 2014 a total of £28,500 was awarded to 50 groups.

Tony Bell, Director of the Box Youth Project and Top Prize Winner of £2,000 in 2014 said:

“We were delighted to have been given the top award at this year’s High Sheriff Awards.  The award has helped our Box Youth programme which engages young people and develops their skills and knowledge through youth work and organising fundraising events.  The Box Youth Project helps build confidence and work experience for young people, enhancing their opportunities for future employment.”

Iain Riddell, at the Community Foundation added:

“The High Sheriff of Tyne & Wear Youth Awards is a fantastic occasion and an opportunity to recognise the work of young people in our community. Young people in Tyne & Wear face many barriers in life, from access to employment, to public perceptions of anti-social behaviour and stereotyping. Our awards ceremony is here to break that barrier, and recognise the shining examples of many young people who are valuable members of our community.”

To find out more about how you can apply for a High Sheriff Award, or if to show your support please visit

Posted on 02/09/2014 @ 4:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Charity appeals for volunteers »

GPNR from Pyle Hide © Keith Cochrane permission grantedA local charity is asking for volunteers to help build a new wildlife viewing hide and boardwalk in one of the area’s best nature reserves.

The Natural History Society of Northumbria has spent 18 months fundraising for the £32,000 needed for the project, which will see a new hide built so that visiting school children can look for rare wildlife such as Otters and Kingfishers.

The project has been made possible thanks to individual donations and combined funding from the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear Northumberland through the Roland Cookson Fund, Local Environmental Action Fund and Northern Powergrid Fund. The project is also supported by the Ridley Family Charity. The hide and boardwalk, at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve in Newcastle, will be made by volunteers and the Society is organising work days when people can come along to help out.

Volunteers managing Gosforth Nature Reserve - webcropGeoff Lawrence, a trustee for the charity, is appealing for people to give him a hand: “We will be starting work on Saturday 30th August from 10am-1pm and after that we will be organising regular work sessions. Everyone is welcome as long as they can carry out physical work and don’t mind getting a bit dirty. Most of the work in the reserve is carried out by volunteers, I will be giving a lot of my time and I hope that people will join us so that we can get the new hide open before the winter.”

Su Legg, Fund Manager at the Community Foundation added:

“We manage a large number of charitable funds here at the Community Foundation with an endowment of nearly £60m. We’re delighted to be able to pool the resources of family philanthropists such as the Roland Cookson Fund, corporate donors such as Northern Powergrid and everyone who has donated to our LEAF programme. We’re delighted to support the Natural History Society of Northumberland with effective grant making and hope that the new wildlife viewing hide will become a regional treasure for local communities.”

To find out more about how you can volunteer at the Gosforth Park Nature Reserve please visit:

Posted on @ 4:12 pm
Filed under: News

Opportunity blossoms with new energy seed fund »


The Northern Powergrid Community Energy Seed Fund has launched at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Applications can be made during September with a total of £50,000 available. Applications are encouraged from groups and projects that are looking to develop new energy schemes in the community.

The fund will offer support for community energy projects in the inception stages, and offer seed funding to provide support such as expert advice, feasibility studies, and meeting spaces. The project aims to encourage a broad range of community energy schemes in the region as well as more prolific renewable energy projects. Grants are available for up to £10,000, but smaller applications of between £1,000 to £5,000 are encouraged.

Mark Pierce, Head of Policy and Programmes at the Community Foundation said:

“We hope that the fund can help to raise awareness of community energy projects, and encourage more participation in managing energy and reducing energy use, particularly in those areas experiencing fuel poverty.”

Siobhan Barton, Head of Communications at Northern Powergrid added:

“Through the seed fund we can identify community energy schemes in our geographical location who we can engage early in discussions about connecting to the network. We’re looking to identify and support a wide number and range of community energy schemes in the North East and Yorkshire.”

The fund deadline is 30 September 2014 and applications must seek to deliver community energy projects in one of four categories. For full guidelines and further information about how to apply to the fund please visit

Posted on 29/08/2014 @ 8:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Effective partnership between Community Foundations and Comic Relief »

kevin-cahill-201407221202039701_thumb-376x250Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, praised the long-standing partnership between Community Foundations and Comic Relief in building stronger communities.  Talking to Third Sector magazine, he paid special tribute to the work of Community Foundations as effective vehicles for charitable giving. Kevin Cahill said, “It would be impossible for us to replicate that knowledge and understanding”, to read the full article please click here.

Posted on 20/08/2014 @ 12:06 pm
Filed under: News

New £40m fund should be informed by local knowledge »

In July the Community Foundation took part in consultations on a new £40 million government fund to help medium-sized voluntary organisations and social enterprises become more sustainable. The fund will launch in 2015.


In our submission we welcome the move, but argue for the need to target the limited resources available on those parts of the UK in most need such as the North East. We suggest it is crucial that funding decisions are informed by local knowledge of those organisations that would most benefit from support, and the local agencies that can help them effectively. Our submission concludes by recommending that the fund be delivered in partnership with local charitable funding agencies, and in particular the Community Foundation movement.

Submissions on the fund are currently being considered, and more information on the fund will be available soon here

Posted on @ 11:56 am
Filed under: News

Five ways to tackle inequality at a grassroots level »

“It is only through working directly with communities that it’s possible to deliver real social change”, writes UK Community Foundation’s Kate Stewart for the Guardian.


Kate Stewart, Partnerships Director at UKCF, blogs for the Guardian on how to tackle inequality locally. With people across the United Kingdom struggling to pay for food and rent, Kate advocates strongly for closer collaborations between the public sector and communities and outlines her five major recommendations to support those most in need.

Posted on @ 11:52 am
Filed under: News

European Social Fund »


County Durham Community Foundation currently has a funding opportunity for groups across the North East including Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The European Social Fund Community Grants programme 2014-15 is a £1.6million fund that aims to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of living. It aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects.

This fund will provide awards of up to £15,000 to groups undertaking activities including help with basic skills, work experience, training advice and guidance, job search assistance, confidence building, personal development and support to overcome barriers to training and employment. Within this £15,000 limit, groups may also apply for support costs to help with Capacity Building their organisation. Capacity Building Grants are not expected to exceed £1,500 except in exceptional cases.

For more information, including the full guidelines please visit:

Posted on 07/08/2014 @ 1:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Wellesley Trust Fund awards over £72,500 to local community projects »

TallShip_GJmr-1790The Wellesley Trust has awarded its first round of grants through the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The Fund gave £72,746 to fifteen projects to support young people across a wide range of youth projects, with a particular interest to those with maritime links.

One group that benefitted from a grant of £8,754 was Blyth Tall Ship in Northumberland. The grant was awarded to purchase large machine tools for marine engineering apprenticeships and training courses. Blyth Tall Ship deliver day school experiences in traditional boat building for 10 to 14 year -olds and foundation learning in engineering skills for 14 to 28 year-olds. Heritage boat building is used as a catalyst and inspiration for change, helping young people to consider engineering as a future career.

Jonny Bell, a boat builder and trainer at Blyth Tall Ship said:

“I would like to thank the Wellesley Trust and the Community Foundation, who have allowed us to purchase large machine tools for our marine engineering trainees and apprenticeships. We use high ratios of trainers to learners to ensure the very best opportunity to learn and progress our learners into future employment.”

The Wellesley Trust Fund aims to help young people into employment, and training and have access to services that can ensure that young people become valued members of the community. Other beneficiaries during this round include Mental Health North East, based in Birtley, who received a grant of £7,000 to provide an information service for young people at risk of depression and suicide. St Anthony Youth Education Service in Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne received a grant of £4,000 to provide a new programme of photography, dance and home furnishing activities following a consultation with local young people.

TallShip_GJmr-1821David Watson, secretary of the Wellesley Trust added:

“The Wellesley Trust is delighted to have made its first round of funding to local projects in our region. By working closely with the Community Foundation we identified young people as our main priority, and we’re delighted to give something back to the local communities of which Wellesley originally operated.”

The Wellesley Trust Fund was established as an endowment at the Community Foundation after the Trust sold its land in Blyth 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 Wellesley Trust Fund at the Foundation 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.

Posted on 05/08/2014 @ 4:36 pm
Filed under: News

2014 Third Sector Trends Survey »

Real-estate-trendsThe 2014 Third Sector Trends study is currently underway in North East England. The research is being co-funded by Northern Rock Foundation and the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, through its Vital Tyne and Wear and Vital Northumberland Funds.

Penny Wilkinson, Chief Executive, Northern Rock Foundation said:

“The Third Sector Trends Study is crucial so that funders like us and the Community Foundation can understand the charitable sector, and identify the challenges that can be addressed through effective grant-making. The Vital Fund grants were crucial in allowing us to continue the programme, and will go a long way in helping all funders to understand how they can better support our region.”

The evidence collected from the survey will be used for planning how the Community Foundation will invest in voluntary and community organisations and raise awareness of issues here with national funders.

The survey only takes 10-15 minutes and can be completed here.


Posted on @ 4:12 pm
Filed under: News

Charity Commission revises its guidance for new charities » Charity Commission is hoping that its revised guidance will encourage people to think carefully about alternative options before setting up a charity, such as supporting an existing organisation with the same aim or setting up a named donor fund with their local community foundation.

The Commission acknowledges that community foundations have a reputation for the effective management of charitable funds in order to maximise their impact at local level.

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is able to offer an alternative, cost-effective solution to those who are interested in local charitable giving and has a unique local knowledge of a wide range of charities and community groups in the North East.

You can read the full Charity Commission statement here.

You can read the new guidelines here:

How to set up a new charity 

Closing a charity

For further information about opening a named fund through the Community Foundation please call Lisa Cappleman, Head of Philanthropy Development on 0191 222 0945 or email

Posted on @ 4:01 pm
Filed under: News
Older Posts »
Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland - Enriching lives through effective giving

Cale Cross
156 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne
T: 0191 222 0945 / F: 0191 230 0689