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Important notice: office move and temporary closure »

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In late August, the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland will be moving to new premises in Gosforth.

Please note the Community Foundation will be temporarily closed from Monday 17 August 2015 until Friday 4 September 2015. We will not be able to process requests for funding during this time and we may experience a backlog once business is resumed on Monday 7 September.

Our new registered address will be:

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland
Philanthropy House
Woodbine Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel. 0191 222 0945            Fax. 0191 284 8413           Email.

We thank you for your patience during our move.

Kind regards,

Rob Williamson
Chief Executive

Posted on 22/07/2015 @ 10:46 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Philanthropist unveils vision for the future with founding grant of £50k to TyneMet’s IGNITE Centre »

TyneMet_GJmr-4497The Platten Family Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has made a founding grant of £50,000 to support the creation of the IGNITE Centre for Engineering & Innovation at TyneMet College.

Philanthropist Tony Platten hopes the centre will support more young people to think about a career in engineering and believes that young people are currently unaware of this as an option.

Tony said, “As far back as I can remember I have had a screw driver and a pair of plyers in my hand and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my career, and went into engineering from an early age. In the last four years I have lectured on electronics and entrepreneurship and I have been disappointed that the majority of students do not know what they want to do with themselves or their careers.”

The Ignite Centre for Engineering & Innovation, an exciting and forward-thinking project from Tyne Metropolitan College, will house a comprehensive technical training suite. The Centre will provide specialist training in fabrication, electrical engineering, welding, milling and turning.

IGNITE forms the significant expansion of TyneMet’s Engineering department and will be a cutting edge facility equipped with state-of-the-art engineering equipment to deliver a wide spectrum of training services to individuals and employers.

Tony adds that the IGNITE Centre will become a powerful asset in the North East to fill a shortage in engineers.

Tony said “Through its shipbuilding and locomotive heritage the North East was once a hub of engineering and a force across the world.

“However by the year 2025 it is expected that there will be a shortage of around 800,000 engineers and technicians and the North East in particular has a shortage of mechanical engineers, electronic engineers and electrical engineers for all of the new industries.”

The launch of the IGNITE Centre marks another achievement in the College’s STEM journey – already known for its leading position in the region for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths; TyneMet’s expansion of its engineering capacity realises the College’s ongoing commitment to supplying forward thinking learning facilities to boost the local economy.

TyneMet_GJmr-4487Tony Platten, a former electrical engineering firm owner, argues that local firms in the North East are suffering due to a skills shortage as young talent leaves the region to pursue careers in other parts of the UK.

“Local firms are losing out to industries in other parts of the UK and have not got the apprenticeship schemes in place to recruit more engineers with an enthusiasm for engineering.

“However, the enthusiasm and dedication of TyneMet College and its staff is an asset to the local community. I am impressed with plans for the IGNITE centre and proud to be a founding donor to its cause, which I hope will become a leading school of engineering and innovation for young people in our region.”

The IGNITE Centre will feature a host of educational spaces – including an area dedicated to the region’s industrial heritage. Visits from local school children will enthuse them about careers in engineering and manufacturing whilst learning spaces offer the opportunity to find out more about engineering in a STEM-related capacity.

Jon Vincent, Principal & Chief Executive of TyneMet College said:

“There is a growing need for specialist engineering training, the new facility is well positioned to enhance our offering to employers and to stimulate the North East’s response to employer demands in a fast moving sector.

“The launch of the Ignite Centre in the heart of our local community is testimony to that commitment. As the only college in the North East to hold the prestigious STEM Assured standard, we are passionate about enthusing and engaging young people in the field of engineering.

TyneMet_GJmr-4511“We are delighted to be in award of the grant from the Platten Family Fund at the Community Foundation. The founding donation will supplement Growth Deal Funding provided from the North East Combined Authority (NECA).The Platten family’s commitment to encouraging young people into engineering careers is one we absolutely endorse – their interest in the IGNITE Centre is highly appreciated.”

Research from the Community Foundation’s Vital Signs suggests that too few young people in Tyne & Wear have the confidence to set their sights on higher skilled jobs. Derry Nugent, Head of Philanthropy Services at the Community Foundation comments how philanthropy can be used to raise aspirations whilst boosting the local economy.

“As an active philanthropist Tony Platten has a strong philosophy about how we can support projects and initiatives which create work opportunities for young people in our region.

“Through the support of thoughtful, targeted philanthropy projects such as IGNITE Centre will become a vital asset for our local community as more young people are encouraged into engineering to create a pool of talent in our region.

“Tony wants to encourage more young people to think about engineering as a career option but the key is to retain our young talent and provide opportunity through employment in the region.

“I’m confident that the IGNITE Centre will be able to do just that as it seeks to prepare young people for future industries whilst working with local employers to create a pathway to work.

“By creating a generation of enthused future engineers philanthropy can help to create a platform for North East firms to grow, as talent can be recruited locally.”

The IGNITE Centre for Engineering & Innovation is due to open in September 2015. For more information please visit

Posted on @ 2:03 pm
Filed under: News

How much fossil fuel has been used in your lifetime? »

The Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) at the Community Foundation is backing national campaign #KeepItInTheGround which encourages people to think about the impact of fossil fuel use.

Established in 2006, the Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) is a grant-making Fund dedicated to supporting and inspiring communities in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to tackle environmental issues in their local area.

LEAF supports local environmental projects that reduce, prevent or mitigate global climate change. In doing so, they have a positive impact on local people’s lives. The Fund encourages communities to be active and pioneer new ways of addressing environmental issues.

By using the tool below you can calculate how much fossil fuel has been extracted since you were born. The figures highlight the staggering amount of oil, coal and gas we take out of the ground – and how quickly change is needed.

LEAF is doing its part to #KeepItInTheGround by supporting projects such as Transition West Gateshead who received a grant of £947 in June 2015. The project aims to provide speakers to local organisations to encourage people to reduce CO2 emissions and increase their resilience to future resource scarcity.

On Saturday 18 July the group held its first event, a Local Food Festival, to encourage local people to think about the importance of using local produce as an easy way to think about their CO2 emissions and food miles.

For more information about future events with Transition West Gateshead visit

Posted on @ 1:12 pm
Filed under: News

Staff member recognised at celebratory awards dinner »


Sue Martin, Grant Programme Executive at the Community Foundation was recognised for her volunteering contribution to Sported at an awards ceremony at the House of Lords last week.

The inaugural Vanessa Brown Volunteer Award recognises the contribution made by Sported’s volunteer mentors to the growth and development of the charity’s 3,000-plus members. There were 12 regional nominations for the award with Sue Martin winning for her contribution to Sported North East. Derek May also received an award for his contribution to Sported North West.

The award was launched this year to celebrate the life of Vanessa Brown – a Sported staff member – who sadly passed away last year. Vanessa enjoyed a long career in the community sport sector and left a lasting legacy at Sported, helping Sir Keith Mills realise his vision of establishing a UK-wide network of community groups and the creation of the Sported charity.

The winners of the inaugural award were announced by Sir Keith Mills and Baroness Sue Campbell at a special celebratory dinner for the nominated Sported volunteer mentors at the House of Lords.

Sue has mentored numerous Sported members in the North East. Her experience working in the community sector has made her aware of the sustainability and funding challenges faced by groups and is expertly placed to guide them.

The Community Foundation would like to congratulate Sue on her outstanding success in being commended for her contribution to the voluntary sector. Well done Sue!

Posted on @ 1:09 pm
Filed under: News

Gateshead’s ‘Billy Elliot’ leaps at the chance of a £39,000 scholarship to a London dance school »

Photo courtesy of The Journal

Photo courtesy of The Journal

Two arts funds at the Community Foundation have helped a top young talent secure a scholarship at a prestigious dance school in London.

Gateshead teenager, Kyle Jones, has been offered a £39,000 scholarship by a leading dance school after Kyle ‘wowed’ recruiters at a showcase in London. The Emma Newton Fund and the Lady Betty Martin Fund at the Community Foundation awarded £1,100 for the talented youngster and his family to attend a showcase in London.

Newcastle College student Kyle, lives with his parents and older brother in Lyndhurst, Low Fell. He has been dancing since the age of six and practises regularly at Buzz Theatre Arts in Birtley.

Following support from the Community Foundation Kyle leapt at the chance to visit a showcase in London and take part in day classes where he would be viewed by top UK schools.

Proud Mum, Gill said: “He’s always wanted to go there but it costs a lot to go. You can take classes with a choreographer. We were told there were auditions the following week but we couldn’t afford to go back down. It broke my heart because I thought he was going to miss out.”

Out of the blue the school’s founder Wendy Headford suggested dropping in to the class to have a look at Kyle.

“And that was it,” said Gill. “She saw him dancing for three minutes and took him there and then.

Normally young hopefuls have to undergo a lengthy application and audition process

Gill said: “They don’t normally give out scholarships but she offered him a three-year scholarship worth £39,000.

“We were crying buckets. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen.”

They waited until the end of the class to break the news to Kyle and the former pupil of Kells Lane primary school and Beamish Academy could not believe his luck.

He remembers the complex dance step that impressed her – “it takes a lot of strength and flexibility” – but said he was not nervous about being watched because he was concentrating so hard.

“My mam and dad said ‘Masters wants you to come’ and I said ‘this isn’t a joke is it? It’s not a prank?’ but they promised it wasn’t. It took a long time to sink in, we all began to cry!”

He was taken to meet the principal and other directors and he noticed dancers at the school, who overheard the news, were giving him the thumbs-up. It’s a dance step closer to fulfilling an ambition Kyle has had since childhood when he first developed a love of all dance.

Dance also plays a big part in the musical theatre course he is studying at Newcastle College which he now has to give up at the end of his first year to make his move down south. Kyle has set up an online Go Fund Me account to try to raise enough funds to cover his living costs at the Masters Performing Arts College in Essex where he will be training from September.

“It’s basically to pay for accommodation and the uniform and everything,” he said. “Although I have the scholarship, it’s still a lot of money for all of that. I’ll be grateful for anything.”

In the meantime he is in rehearsals for his ensemble role in Newcastle Musical Theatre Company’s production of Sister Act coming to Newcastle Theatre Royal in August which will see him share the stage with his dad who’s a member of the company.

Then it will be full focus on his new life and his long-term ambition of being a professional dancer and ultimately a choreographer. “It’s beyond exciting,” he said.

Anyone wanting to make a donation can do so at

Posted on 07/07/2015 @ 2:51 pm
Filed under: News

North East voluntary organisations up for National Lottery Awards »



Two North East charities have been nominated for a national award. National Lottery Good Causes has seven categories in total with a £2,000 prize and a national TV spot for each winner. You can vote now on causes you believe to be the most worthy across the UK.

From the North East, Orca’s Your Seas project has been nominated for an ‘environment’ award whilst Tyne Gateway has been nominated for an ‘education’ award. The Your Seas project was established in 2012 with support from the Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) at the Community Foundation.

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

“The North East has a very strong voluntary sector and I’m delighted to see two brilliant projects nominated for a Good Causes award. Our LEAF partnership at the Community Foundation aims to inspire environmental action, and has funded Your Seas from its initial concept. The project has grown and is a fantastic opportunity for young people to take part in an engaging and exciting learning activity that previously was not available to them.”

Anna Bunney, ORCA’s community wildlife officer, feels the project has made a huge difference to the local community. As part of the team, she ran the on-board wildlife centre which enabled her to work with visitors and passengers, teaching them how to spot sea creatures in their natural habitat, and how to protect their marine environment. “I have seen first-hand the difference that learning about these creatures can make to people,” she said. “The energy levels and excitement of children on school trips is amazing. Whales and dolphins really inspire children to think about the environment and what they can do to help.”

Tyne Gateway, the North East-based child poverty charity has also benefitted from support at the Community Foundation with an award of £1,400 in 2014 to provide short breaks for families.

The National Lottery Awards is an annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery funded projects. Winners will be invited to appear on national television and take home a £2,000 cash prize for their project. Awards are given across seven categories, reflecting the different types of projects that benefit from National Lottery funding. These are: Art, Education, Environment, Health, Heritage, Sport and Charity/Voluntary.

For more information and to show your support for the North East nominees please visit

Posted on @ 2:49 pm
Filed under: News

Remembering Carole Howells MBE »


Carole Howells MBE, a major figure in the North East charity sector, and in the history of the Community Foundation, sadly died on 24 June 2015.

Carole was the Director of Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service for 22 years. In the late 1980s, having just joined the CVS, Carole was part of the steering group that worked to establish the Community Foundation. She then joined our founding board as Vice-Chair and chair of the grants committee, a role she held for nine years. She also chaired the panel for our Kellett Fund, and wrote a report on its support for older people to mark the Fund’s 10th anniversary in 2007. A year later, she was the author of a report looking back at the history of the Community Foundation as a whole as part of our 20th birthday celebrations.

Carole was a lifetime individual member of the Community Foundation and maintained a keen interest in our affairs, especially when I succeeded our founding Director, George Hepburn, in 2009. Of course that interest was partly because I was just one of many people in the sector who had the benefit of working for and learning from Carole at an earlier stage in my career!

Carole had a degree in Philosophy and Psychology from Bristol University, a Masters in Education from the University of the West Indies, and an MBA from Durham University. She had a first career in psychological research and then worked for four years for NACRO, the national organisation working with ex-offenders, before coming to Newcastle in 1987 as Director of NCVS. She was also a member of the Tyneside TEC board, a governor of Newcastle College and a member of the North east Regional Committee for the National Lottery Charity Board. After her retirement from Newcastle CVS, she continued to be involved with TDI (The Derwent Initiative) and Involve North East as a trustee and Chair respectively.

Our thoughts go out to those closest to Carole at this sad time.

Rob Williamson
Chief Executive

Posted on 06/07/2015 @ 11:49 am
Filed under: News

Sunderland groups getting ready to rumble over XX Commonwealth Games legacy programme »

 Fourteen_GJmr-7530Community and voluntary organisations in Hendon and Ryhope are set to benefit from a legacy programme worth £360,000.

The Fourteen programme is run by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and funded in partnership with Sunderland City Council, the Community Foundation and the Spirit of 2012; which established the programme from the legacy of the 2014 XX Commonwealth Games and the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The programme is now launching a large grants scheme and the Community Foundation is encouraging organisations in Hendon and Ryhope to apply.

Fourteen aims to support local communities to improve individual wellbeing, perceptions towards disability, help people overcome isolation and connect communities through social activity and volunteering

Fourteen_GJmr-7554BBC The Apprentice’s Katie Bulmer-Cooke, who has family in Hendon, recently visited Hendon Young People’s Project to find out how community projects can benefit from Fourteen.

Katie, who now manages her own personal fitness business, said: “I was very impressed with Hendon Young People’s Project and saw first-hand the passionate champions who support people in our local community.

“I believe strongly in health and wellbeing, and in managing my own personal fitness business I have seen changes in people’s lives. Community groups such as Hendon Young People’s Project provide this opportunity at a grassroots level to ensure anyone can have access to top facilities. I’m delighted that the Fourteen programme can support activity such as this to create stronger communities in our region.”

Hendon Young People’s Project is just one of many organisations that is eligible to apply for funding through the Fourteen programme. The Community Foundation’s large grants scheme through Fourteen will make awards of between £15,000 and £50,000 to support revenue projects including activities, project-related costs and core expenses such as staffing.   

Karen Daglish, Community Programmes Manager at the Community Foundation, said: “Fourteen aims to support community groups in Hendon and Ryhope that enable people to take an active part in their communities through sport, art and cultural activity, education and volunteering.

“The local priority for Fourteen is social action and volunteering and our large grants scheme aims to provide a pillar of support to strengthen our communities for generations to come.”

The deadline for applications to the Fourteen large grants scheme is noon on Monday, August 10.  Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by the end of September 2015. For more information on how to apply and for a full set of guidelines please visit

Posted on 23/06/2015 @ 4:09 pm
Filed under: News

Owen Pugh commits £30k through the Community Foundation »

3A leading North East construction firm has cemented its commitment to supporting young people and disadvantaged communities in the region by pledging £30,000 to benefit a number of charitable organisations over the next 12 months.

The Owen Pugh Group, which has its head office in Dudley, North Tyneside, and another four sites across the region, has donated the funds to the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

Organisations set to benefit from the 2015-16 Owen Pugh Fund include long-term beneficiaries Phoenix Detached Youth Project (PDYP), which works with young people in the Meadowell and Chirton areas of North Shields, and Liberdade, an organisation that provides arts and health initiatives for learning disabled people across Tyne and Wear.  Additional projects will then be recommended for support by the Owen Pugh team, after being shortlisted by the Foundation, and funds will be allocated to those that best meet the company’s corporate social responsibility objectives.

Rob Huggins, Director at Liberdade, is delighted with the funding:

“Our primary aim is to enable people with learning disabilities to lead extraordinary lives. The support we have received from the Owen Pugh Fund at the Community Foundation has enabled us to go the extra mile supporting the learning disabled community. We will use the new funds to take groups on residentials and to support our work around social inclusion. This work has now led to us taking on Gosforth Civic Hall which we will run as a truly inclusive community and arts venue from early 2016.”

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.

John Dickson, chairman of the Owen Pugh Group, said:

“I am pleased to confirm that Owen Pugh has donated a further £30k to the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, taking the total amount committed over the past seven years to more than £125,000.

“We are a business that recognises the importance of supporting the communities in which we live and work, and, in particular, helping young people to realise their ambitions, whatever their circumstances.

“Seeing the positive impact of our contributions to organisations like Liberdade who carry out such valuable work, really does make it all worthwhile.”

Jon Goodwin, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation added:

“Owen Pugh is a brilliant example of a local business which cares about the area in which it operates. Corporate philanthropy can have a major impact on the lives of local people and, by targeting young people, Owen Pugh is ensuring that future generations have a fairer opportunity to live long and fulfilling lives. We would like to thank Owen Pugh for their continued support in helping to improve the lives of local people in our region. “

The Owen Pugh Group comprises five trading companies operating in the civil engineering industry, undertaking earthmoving and demolition, drainage and groundworks, plant-hire and haulage, quarrying, inert waste and drain cleaning, and CCTV surveys.  The group is headquartered in Dudley near Cramlington, with other bases in Blaydon, Stockton-on-Tees and Bassington Lane in Cramlington, as well as Marsden Quarry.  The Owen Pugh Group employs 428 people across its sites.

To find out more about the corporate philanthropy at the Community Foundation visit

Posted on @ 11:12 am
Filed under: News

UK Community Foundations President urges Government to back Community Foundations »

presUK Community Foundations (UKCF), the national association of which the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is a leading member, is calling on the Government to support community foundations across the UK following the £130m success of the Community First matched giving scheme.

On the back of discussions about next steps following the Community First scheme, UKCF’s honorary president, Baroness Prashar, has spoken about community foundations. She made her speech during a debate in the House of Lords on 11 June on the role played by civil society, generated on the back of the House of Bishops’ pastoral letter “Who is my neighbour?”, which focused on reviving community values in politics.

The baroness used her position as a Cross Bench member of the House to stress the vital importance of the work of community foundations across the UK. She highlighted community foundations’ work and reach in local areas, and urged officials to consider further match giving initiatives and ways of better leveraging local funding.

She said: “What I like about community foundations is the thinking that underpins them. It is about local engagement, local giving and bringing together donors and doers to support local communities to meet local needs. It is about building local social capital, inclusiveness, investing in local communities, empowering local communities and valuing community-led solutions to local issues.”

Baroness Prashar went on to push the Government to act on the recent successes of the Community First endowment match challenge, which raised £130million for local causes. Under this scheme, the government matched donations to community foundation endowments by 50 per cent.

She added: “If not, will the Government please consider looking at such schemes that lever local funds and engage local communities and that may contribute to our vision of one nation?”

To read the Baroness’ speech in full, please click here.

Posted on @ 11:08 am
Filed under: News
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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