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Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs 2015 »

Vital SignsVital Signs reports are being produced across the UK, and internationally. Their purpose is to inspire philanthropic giving, ensuring that it reflects an understanding of the needs and views of local communities.  We believe that Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs 2013 did much to increase awareness of the needs of the area, encouraging both local giving and an influx of charitable funds from national charitable trusts. We hope that this latest publication will be equally successful in attracting funds to support the people, organisations and places that make Tyne & Wear a great area to live and work.

Vital Signs is aimed at an ‘informed public’ rather than a policy audience, and looks at ten themes ranging from work and learning to the environment and arts, culture and heritage.  For each we offer a grade to reflect our assessment of how we are doing in relation to the rest of the UK, and our assessment of the need for more  charitable giving to deliver positive change. This year our grades reflect some very positive developments in relation to themes such as work, learning and safety  but also raise concerns about the health of local residents and whether Tyne & Wear is becoming a less fair place to live.

We hope this initiative to stimulate a conversation about more effective giving and community action in response to priorities in our area will resonate with anyone who is interested in improving our quality of life in Tyne & Wear. We would welcome your input, and hope you will encourage people to get involved

For more information you can view Tyne & Wear’s Vital Signs 2015 here, or visit

P.S. Why not complete the Vital Signs Community Assets survey here for a chance to win £100 in gift vouchers to spend in some of Tyne & Wear’s great shops?



Posted on 06/10/2015 @ 10:50 am
Filed under: Blog,News

Arts Partner Meeting & Welcome to our new home »

Wednesday 7th October 4.30pm – 6pm

Supported by Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy      AF&P

Our first Arts Partner meeting in our new home will focus on the findings of our recent survey which has asked the North East business community to record their current levels of business engagement with the arts. It also looks at what has been pledged for the coming year. The findings will be discussed by an expert business panel who will also provide insight into the forecast for the North East business economy.

There will be welcome drinks and tapas on arrival. Presentations and panel discussion will be in the boardroom at 5pm. There will then be an opportunity for questions and networking over a glass of wine until 6pm.

Ted Salmon, NE England regional Chairman will be in attendance to discuss what is currently driving regional business debate and provide some commentary on the current business conditions in the region.

We are also very pleased to add Mark Pierce, our Director of Policy and Programmes, to the bill. Tyne and Wear Vital Signs 2015 launches on 6th October so it will be hot of the press! Mark will be here to highlight what the statistics tell us about the Arts, culture and heritage theme and give us some pointers on how to use the data to inspire and inform philanthropic giving and partnerships with the private sector.

This event  is a partnership project with the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme.

To attend RSVP to or call 0191 2220945 

Posted on 01/10/2015 @ 11:19 am
Filed under: Culture Partnerships Blog

Owen Pugh cements support for youth project »


A leading North East construction firm has cemented its commitment to a Tyneside youth project, which has provided valuable support to over 3,000 young people since it launched over 20 years ago.

The Owen Pugh Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has awarded £1,500 to D2 Youth Zone in Newcastle, taking the total amount that the organisation has received from the fund to £13,000.

D2 was initially set up by the church in 1994 to address young people’s issues on the Newbiggin Hall Estate in Newcastle and has developed into a highly valued contact point for young people, primarily within the 13 to 19 age group, who can access advice and guidance on a range of important issues which can affect their life chances including employment, sexual health and relationships and alcohol awareness.

The project, which employs two experienced youth workers, one full time and one part time, also engages young people in constructive and inspiring activities including a body image campaign where young women exposed the unrealistic expectations placed on them by the beauty industry, and a garden tidy scheme where young people offered a free service to elderly and disabled residents, as well as other constructive activities including art projects which divert young people away from the streets.  D2 also acts as a signposting agency to more specialist services.

Despite operating on limited resources D2 has demonstrated significant success.  In 2014, 25 out of the 30 young people Not in Education, Employment, or Training (NEET) that the organisation was engaged with are now either employed, in further education or undertaking apprenticeships.  Last year D2 was named the third best performing organisation from 72 outlets across the city in tackling issues around sexual health and relationships.

Angela Smith, team leader at D2, who has worked at the project for the past 13 years, said: “D2 has provided important services to teenagers and young adults from the Newbiggin Hall Estate for over two decades and during my time with the organisation the relationships I’ve developed extend to second generation family members.  The project’s success is based on building trusted relationships over time and breaking down barriers.  We rely on funding in order to be accessible to young people at the times they most need support.

“The financial contributions we’ve received from the Owen Pugh Fund at the Community Foundation have been invaluable in helping us to continue to operate in more challenging times, but what’s just as appreciated is the fact that the company really values the important work that we do as a neighbourhood project.”

Owen Pugh has pledged £30,000 to benefit a number of charitable organisations over the next 12 months through the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, one of which is D2, a long-term beneficiary.

Commenting on the company’s ongoing support of D2, Jan Elliott, Training Development / CSR Manager at Owen Pugh, said:

“The D2 project provides much needed support to young people in the Newbiggin Hall Estate around vitally important issues that can impact on their wellbeing and life chances.  Owen Pugh is committed to helping young people to reach their full potential, so we are pleased to continue to support D2 both financially and in whatever way we can.”

Jon Goodwin, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation added:

“The Owen Pugh Fund is a great example of how local businesses can give something back to the local community and how the Community Foundation can help facilitate sustainable, long-lasting relationships between socially responsible companies like Owen Pugh and innovative, responsive community groups like D2.”

Owen Pugh first got involved with the Community Foundation in 2007 and since then has donated in excess of £125,000 to help over 40 projects and organisations.  In addition, Owen Pugh has continued to support other charitable causes on an ad-hoc basis.

Posted on 30/09/2015 @ 2:31 pm
Filed under: News

Community leaders urged to dig deeper and encourage philanthropy, as part of UKCF Conference »

UKCF ConferenceCommunity Foundations (UKCF) Conference to discuss the future of local charities and the need for innovative leadership.

The conference took place from September 23-35 at the Assembly Buildings Conference Centre in Belfast and has been generously hosted by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI). Inspirational speakers included England rugby legend Sir Clive Woodward, US communities guru Paul Schmitz and Big Lottery boss Dawn Austwick.
Commenting on the event and the fantastic example set by its hosts, UKCF chair David Sheepshanks said: “Northern Ireland is already increasingly seen as an inspirational model in the field of community integration, inclusion and connectivity, brought about through social investment.

“During this excellent conference we have already been given a first-hand insight into examples of the unstinting leadership and perseverance of some very committed individuals and groups who have made this happen, both here in the province and elsewhere.”

However, while he praised the excellent ongoing work of the UK’s community foundation model, he admitted there is more local chiefs can do to lead by example and help safeguard communities.

“Community foundations are doing well and are collectively already the 10th largest donors in the UK,” he said.

“However, we know we are really only scratching the surface. We have a shared membership ambition to grow our combined endowment to £1 billion by 2020 and to grow our community grant making exponentially.

David added: “We are committed to promoting the culture of local community action and giving to meet the ever growing needs of our communities.

“To do this we need more local leaders to encourage growing numbers of people that can put something back into their own locality, to do so, to get involved and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing what can be achieved.”

Meanwhile, CFNI Chief Executive Andrew McCracken said: “We are delighted to host UKCF’s prestigious biennial conference, which brings together international specialists in philanthropy, finance and investment, and leaders in the GB and local third sector to explore creative, ground-breaking models of funding.

“We believe that the community in Northern Ireland can work together to create the kind of society we want, and that the Community Foundation – a space that enables local people to invest their money in local communities in the most effective way – is a vital part of us creating that future.”
For more information about the conference please click here or follow the story on twitter at #UKCF15

Posted on @ 2:27 pm
Filed under: News

Northern Powergrid launches fund for community energy projects »

npgNorthern Powergrid, the company responsible for managing the network which delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, is offering local groups the chance to secure funding to kick-start their own community energy project.

The electricity distribution company is offering grants from £1,000 to £10,000, as part of the Northern Powergrid Community Energy Seed Fund.

The fund, which is in its second year, offers support to community energy projects at their inception stages.  It was established by the electricity distribution company as part of its commitment to supporting and working with local communities to deliver affordable and sustainable energy solutions.

Managed in partnership with Community Foundation Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, the fund aims to encourage innovative smaller projects by community groups interested in reducing and managing their energy use or tackling community and social issues like fuel poverty and sustainability in rural communities.

The Fund is open until 27 October for applications from community groups within Northern Powergrid’s operating area across the North East, Yorkshire, Humberside and northern Lincolnshire.  Northern Powergrid will consider any application under the broad definition of Community Energy.  This includes generation, reduction, management and purchasing – and everything from tried and tested through to innovative technologies and new initiatives.

In addition to the Community Foundation Tyne, Wear and Northumberland, Northern Powergrid is working with National Energy Action, Community Energy England, VONNE, Involve Yorkshire and Humber and other community energy experts to promote the fund and assess applications.

Anne-Claire Leydier, sustainability manager at Northern Powergrid, said: “As the company responsible for managing the power network that safely delivers electricity to people’s doors, we want to support and work with local communities to deliver affordable and sustainable energy solutions.

“Our fund is an important way to help communities kick-start new energy initiatives and engage with them about connecting to their local power network. Last year we helped 10 new projects get off the ground and we are keen to help more new community energy projects this year.”

Mark Pierce, Director of Policy and Programmes at the Community Foundation, said: “The Northern Powergrid Community Seed Fund is now in its second year and has established itself as an important way to help raise awareness of community energy projects and encourage more participation in managing and reducing energy use, particularly in those areas experiencing fuel poverty.”


To find out more about how to apply to the Northern Powergrid Community Seed Fund visit  Prospective applicants may also want to visit the Community Energy Hub ( for further useful information about community energy in advance of applying. Successful fund applications will be announced in December 2015.

Posted on @ 2:25 pm
Filed under: News

A new home for Philanthropy in the North East »


Philanthropy House is unveiled as the new home for philanthropy in North East England. Formerly known as The Old Chapel, it has become the new base for the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which now owns the property. Sharing the address in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, will be Northern Rock Foundation and the Shears Foundation.

The building originally opened in 1882 as the Emma Robson Memorial Church as part of an expansion of Methodist membership in Newcastle. In 2001, the Church was bought by Northern Rock Foundation and converted to offices and meeting space. In December 2014, as the first of a number of legacy awards, Northern Rock Foundation made a grant to the Community Foundation towards it purchasing The Old Chapel. The remaining purchase costs were supported through a gift to the Community Foundation from its Patron, Lyn Shears, in memory of her late husband, Trevor Shears OBE.

The Community Foundation has renamed the building Philanthropy House in honour of its heritage in Gosforth, the support of Northern Rock Foundation and the Shears, and to mark its continuing role as a home for philanthropy advice, services and support. As well as providing offices, grantees of the three Foundations will be offered space in the building for meetings and events free of charge.

Ashley Winter OBE, Chair of the Community Foundation, said: “Philanthropy House is a name which reflects both the heritage and future of this significant building. We are delighted to make it our base. This would not have been possible without the support and generosity of Northern Rock Foundation and our Patron, Lyn Shears. We look forward to working with them, and with others, to make the building a genuine home for philanthropy. Owning our building will further strengthen the Community Foundation, enabling us to invest in other ways to benefit the area in years to come. We look forward to welcoming donors, partners and grantees of the three foundations to this fantastic space.”

Lyn Shears, co-founder and trustee of the Shears Foundation, said “Through our relationship with the Community Foundation, Trevor and I learned how to become proactive as philanthropists. Trevor was a passionate supporter and a trustee for six years. As its Patron, I’m delighted to have been able to help the Community Foundation secure this new base, and to be able to do so in Trevor’s memory. I know Philanthropy House will be a wonderful home for wider philanthropic activity for years to come, including that of the Shears Foundation.”

Alastair Balls CB, Chairman of Northern Rock Foundation, said “Northern Rock Foundation is pleased that through our grant to the Community Foundation, the chapel, in its new guise as Philanthropy House, remains as a local community asset and a resource for the voluntary and community sector throughout the region.”

Posted on 15/09/2015 @ 3:55 pm
Filed under: News

Port of Tyne helps events flow by the riverside »

Bugs_GJmr-6324A donation from the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is helping to educate young people about wildlife on the River Tyne.

Young people in North and South Tyneside are benefiting from the Tyne Watch Project, a summer programme of wildlife activity run by Durham Wildlife Trust. The project is being supported by the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund at the Community Foundation, which has funded a series of summer events on the River Tyne. Events include a Pond and Bug Safari, a Bat Walk and an Otter and Water Vole Walk. The events aim to provide fun for young people this summer whilst educating them about the importance of preserving our regions natural surroundings and wildlife.

The Port of Tyne Community Action Fund supports community and voluntary groups in North and South Tyneside, Newcastle and Gateshead and the River Tyne Corridor. The fund supports projects which work with local communities to improve the environment, employability, life-skills or community involvement.

Durham Wildlife Trust manages nature reserves across the North East, delivering conservation projects to protect our region’s wildlife whilst providing education and volunteering opportunities for thousands of children and adults every year.

Elaine Holdsworth, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation said:

“Support from the Port of Tyne Community Action fund has helped Durham Wildlife Trust to deliver its Tyne Watch Project, a programme of summer activities that not only brings joy for children and young people in our region but helps to educate them about the natural beauty that surrounds us and its role as a natural habitat.”

Bugs_GJmr-6336Heather Coltman, Port of Tyne Community Action Fund Panel Member, said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Shibdon Pond for the Pond and Bug Safari. It was wonderful to see young people taking part, creating bug hotels by recycling plastic bottles and being so positive about our local wildlife. It is important to create enthusiasm about our natural habitat and I’m delighted to see the joy and support of so many young participants this summer.”

Kirsty Pollard, Community Education Officer at Durham Wildlife Trust said:

“We would like to thank the Port of Tyne Community Action Fund for supporting the Tyne Watch Project this summer. We have had some fantastic fun educating young people about wildlife in our region whilst helping them to understand the importance of our natural habitat. From Pond and Bug Safari’s to bat, otter and water vole walks, we’ve been able to spot some fantastic wildlife and bring much joy and enthusiasm by engaging with nature in a healthy and positive way.”

For more information about Durham Wildlife Trust events visit

Posted on @ 3:52 pm
Filed under: News

Brian Roycroft legacy reaches £100,000 milestone »

img130For over 30 years, Brian Roycroft CBE made a unique contribution by helping young people in local authority care, and he was one of the longest serving Directors of Social Services in the UK.  Sadly, Brian died in 2002, but he left a remarkable legacy of progress in social welfare and a more optimistic future for children in the care of local authorities through the Brian Roycroft Fund at the Community Foundation.

The legacy of Brian continues through the Fund, which has reached a landmark in awarding over £100,000 to help young people who have been in local authority care achieve their aspirations and prepare for adult life.

The Brian Roycroft Fund was established at the Community Foundation during Brian’s lifetime to mark his outstanding contribution to social welfare.  The Fund is a legacy to his vision and today continues to support the hopes and aspirations of care leavers.  Since 1998, hundreds of young people have received support from the fund and grants have helped young people to develop their skills and talents, improve confidence and wellbeing and contributed to increased employment prospects.

Pat Roycroft, Brian’s wife and an advisor to the Fund said:

“During his career, Brian had been responsible for thousands of children in local authority care and he had taken a great personal interest in their upbringing and subsequent careers.  When Brian retired in 1993, his friends, family and colleagues decided to set up a Fund to continue this work. Brian suggested that the Fund should support young people who have been in care by providing financial support in their transition to adulthood.  Brian would be delighted to know that the Fund has now awarded over £100,000 which is a fantastic legacy to the work of my husband.”

Mike Worthington, Chair of the Brian Roycroft Fund Panel said:

“Brian Roycroft was an inspirational leader.  Whilst his work as Director of Social Services in Newcastle was internationally recognised, he never lost sight of the service’s purpose – meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our society.  When Directors of Social Services in England & Wales were asked to nominate their ‘Directors’ Director’ by the Sunday Times magazine, the majority chose Brian.  I was privileged to know Brian as a colleague, mentor and friend.  I am proud to have chaired the Brian Roycroft Fund Panel since his death in 2002.”

Derry Nugent, Director of Philanthropy Services at the Community Foundation said:

“Brian is remembered as one of the most charismatic and influential social services directors of the last 30 years. Brian’s philanthropy has supported hundreds of young people and we’re delighted to continue legacy through the Brian Roycroft Fund. We would like to thank Pat and Emma Roycroft, and the fund panel for their support and dedication to Brian’s cause.

“Philanthropy is often about asking the question, ‘the world would be a better place if…’ and Brian believed passionately about the welfare of children in local authority care and their ability to reach their full potential. Young people leaving care face many challenges and Brian’s legacy will continue through the Fund to improve the lives of young people in their difficult transition to adulthood.”

For more information on the Brian Roycroft Fund and for details on how to apply visit

Posted on @ 3:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Time to Talk sessions – “on the road” with new venues and new times »


The Community Foundation is planning a series of Time to Talk Roadshows across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, and will be running two early evening and one Saturday morning session at our new base in Gosforth this autumn. The sessions are a great way to learn more about the Foundation and for us to learn more about you, for networking, and sharing good practice.

We expect the roadshows to be very popular, and a session to be hosted by Newcastle CVS is already full. There will be a roadshow in Sunderland on 29 October hosted by the VCA and in November there will be sessions in North Northumberland hosted by Northumberland CVA and in Gateshead hosted by Gateshead Council. Roadshows in South Tyneside, north Tyneside and south Northumberland will take place early in 2016.

In addition, the Time to Talk sessions at the Community Foundation’s new base at Philanthropy House in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne will be held on:

Tuesday 6th October: 6pm – 7.30pm

Saturday 7th November: 10am – 11.30am

Thursday 3rd December: 6pm – 7.30pm

More for information about Time to Talk at the Community Foundation please click here.

Posted on @ 3:49 pm
Filed under: News

North East social enterprises to be supported by innovation conference »

VFNE logo 2Moves by the region’s annual innovation conference to extend its work to include supporting social enterprise have been welcomed by the sector.

Venturefest North East, to be held on 13th October at Gateshead Hilton, is introducing a new strand of activity to this year’s event to support and finance social enterprise, alongside its usual work with innovative businesses.

The event will bring together a range of funders who are actively seeking organisations in which to invest and bring about positive outcomes for people, communities and society as a whole, as well as a financial return. Third sector specialists will also be providing guidance to social enterprises on how to source and secure funding in an increasing competitive environment.

Jane Hartley Chief Executive VONNEJane Hartley, Chief Executive of VONNE (Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East) said: “Charities and social enterprises in the North East are struggling to survive with cuts in public funding yet rising demands for their services.  This event gives the chance to meet socially motivated investors and could prove a valuable alternative funding source so we’d urge organisations to register their interest.”

These additions to the Meet the Investor programme element of Venturefest North East further widen the appeal of the event to businesses seeking funding to grow their operations. The event already promises to gather under one roof 35 investors representing billions of pounds-worth of funding sources and the extension to cover social enterprises has been welcomed by the sector.

The investors taking part in the event are focused on identifying innovative businesses with strong potential in a broad range of business sectors and stages of growth, from tech start-ups to high value manufacturing.

Using a fast and effective format, organisations will be given the chance to meet a series of well-matched potential investors in a short space of time. Prior to the event, businesses are given support from the Business Growth Service to refine their business proposition to maximise their chance of securing investment.

Venturefest North East_Simon Green_Landscape ImageDirector of Venturefest North East Simon Green said: “A wide range of funds will be represented at the event, including investors who are specifically looking for social enterprises, charities and businesses with a commitment to bring about positive social impact.

“Though the investors will be interested in different types of projects, their one common goal is to uncover genuine enterprise ideas that will generate a return on their investment as well as social good.”

Social enterprises and businesses seeking funding can register their interest in the event at

Posted on 07/09/2015 @ 1:06 pm
Filed under: News
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Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland - Enriching lives through effective giving

Philanthropy House,
Woodbine Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
T: 0191 222 0945 / F: 0191 284 8413