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Building Better Governance North East Programme »



In partnership with MVDA, the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is pleased to be bringing CASS Business School’s Building Better Governance to the North East. This is part of our Partnership programme supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

The programme is designed to share Cass CCE’s governance experts’ pracademic knowledge with sector leaders to improve governance effectiveness across a series of seminars.

The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is supporting a buy-one-get-one-half price offer for organisations which book two full series places (for a senior manager and a trustee to attend). This offer is limited to organisations with an annual turnover of up to £750,000 and is only valid until 11th September 2015.

For more information about the seminars please click here or to view the booking form click here.

Posted on 21/08/2015 @ 3:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Time to Talk sessions: Autumn 2015 »


This Autumn, the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland is running two early evening sessions and one Saturday morning session of our popular Time to Talk discussions from our new base in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.

The 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 visit us in our new home:

Tuesday 6th October: 6pm – 7.30pm

Saturday 7th November: 10am – 11.30am

Thursday 3rd December: 6pm – 7.30pm

The sessions will be held at:

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

(full directions will be sent in advance of the session)

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 05/08/2015 @ 4:18 pm
Filed under: News

Berwick buoyed by success of philanthropic fund »


In a year of celebrations for Berwick, a group of local philanthropists are marking a triple milestone in the life of a charitable fund they established to improve quality of life in the town.

The Northern Angel Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland was set up in 2005 to support charitable activity that improves the skills of local people, enhances community cohesion and contributes to the unique and diverse culture of Berwick.

While the town itself celebrates its 900th birthday in a high profile – and sometimes noisy – fashion, the anonymous donors who established the Northern Angel Fund are quietly marking its tenth birthday, the point at which more than half a million pounds has been donated to the fund, and having made £200,000 in grants.

The fund is held by the Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland; a third of the fund’s donated income is made available for immediate grant-making, with two-thirds held in the Community Foundation’s endowment. This means that the fund will exist in perpetuity to support community action in Berwick for generations to come.

Since 2005 grants worth a total of more than £200,000 have been made to worthy causes in Berwick, including Berwick Youth Project, Prior Park Residents’ Association, the Maltings, and Spittal Improvement Trust.

WP_20150526_013Recent beneficiaries include the West End Residents Association, who used the funds to erect a decorative metal arch on the banks of the Tweed, and Berwick All Abilities Swimming Group.

In 2015 the fund is playing a key role in Berwick’s celebrations by making grants to the Berwick 900 project itself as well as to this autumn’s film and literary festivals. The fund also supported the Spittal Seaside Festival in August.

Ashley Winter, Chair of the Community Foundation said:

“The Community Foundation is a hub for community philanthropy. We inspire and support giving that strengthens communities and enriches local life. I see the Northern Angel Fund as a great example of this where local philanthropists can actively pool their resources in support of the charities and community groups that make Berwick a better place.

“It is clear that the fund will play a vital and sustained role in supporting community activity in Berwick for years to come.  As Berwick marks its 900th year anniversary, we can celebrate its past but also look to its future, thanks to the generosity of the philanthropists through the Northern Angel Fund at the Community Foundation.”

The Community Foundation is encouraging further donations to the Fund, to ensure that it continues to grow to meet the ever changing needs of communities in Berwick.

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

“If you want to anonymously support charitable activity in Berwick while pooling your giving with those who share a common interest, the Northern Angel Fund is the way to do it! You can give any amount from £1 upwards, on a regular or one-off basis, and in doing so join our fellowship of donors committed to supporting charitable activity across Berwick, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear for generations to come.  If you’re interested in leaving a legacy in your will, we can discuss that with you, too.”

For more information please contact Jon Goodwin, Fund Development Manager at or by telephoning 0191 222 0945.

Posted on @ 2:52 pm
Filed under: News

Them Wifies to leave a lasting legacy to local communities following 36 years of service »

ThemWifeys_GJmr-5205Them Wifies, a community arts organisation based in Newcastle, is set to close its doors after 36 years of service supporting disadvantaged communities in the North East. The charity, which helped people to lead healthier, more positive lives through creativity and the arts, is leaving a legacy by transferring assets to the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberla  nd as well as Josephine and Jack learning resources to Monkfish Productions CIC.

Them Wifies is well known for its work with girls and women for much of its tenure; but more recently it developed and delivered creative services for both women and men with learning disabilities and a range of initiatives that have addressed the well-being of young people.

ThemWifeys_GJmr-5242Them Wifies will cease trading on Friday 28 August 2015; Barbra Robson, Chief Executive of Them Wifies explains:

“Over the last few years we have had great success at raising project funding but more recently, securing core funding has proven to be a challenge. We have worked tirelessly to address this issue but we have now reached the stage where we have been unable to secure sufficient funding to deliver a programme of work to the high standard that Them Wifies is known for.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our funders and commissioners, partner organisations, the board of trustees, all core and sessional staff who have worked so hard to deliver excellent work and in particular all the people who have participated in the projects and programmes over the years.

“Them Wifies is very sad to go, but we hope that you will have happy memories of us, both past and present. We will deliver outstanding contracts as agreed by the 28th August 2015 and hope that our legacy can continue through the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation and Monkfish Productions.”

As part of its legacy Them Wifies is leaving all remaining assets to the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation. The Fund supports projects in the North East helping women to feel safe, supported and confident when confronted by abuse, discrimination and a lack of opportunities. Support from the Fund includes grants to Them Wifies for the development of the Josephine programme and to support the creation of a second Josephine cloth woman.

Gill Lowing, Fund Development Manager at the Community Foundation said:

“Them Wifies will be greatly missed as an innovative, fun and exciting project which had a large impact on the lives of local people in our region. Projects such as Josephine and Jack  are  much loved and very important tools which  teach people with learning disabilities the importance of staying clean, as well as issues around sexual health and personal wellbeing.

“We would like to thank Them Wifies for the transfer of assets to the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation. As an endowment fund, this gift will help the Fund to grow meaning we can meet the needs of women in our community for generations to come. This is a powerful legacy for Them Wifies to leave behind and we would like to thank them for their fantastic contribution to North East communities over the past 36 years.”

Medic_GJmr-8861Learning resources, Josephine and Jack, are being transferred to Monkfish Productions CIC, a social enterprise which delivers a range of projects, commissions and productions to help disadvantaged communities in our region.  The life size and anatomically correct cloth people are a unique learning resource for people with learning disabilities through a range of workshops exploring health, sexual health and wellbeing.

Monkfish is delighted to receive the  formal transfer of Josephine & Jack and will continue to use the cloth people in a creative way to support people who experience barriers to health and wellbeing.

Claire Murphy-Morgan, Artistic Director of Monkfish Productions, said:

“We are very excited about the future projects for Josephine and Jack.  We look forward to ensuring that they go from strength to strength as a lasting legacy to the work of Them Wifies.”

Posted on @ 1:33 pm
Filed under: News

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 22/07/2015 @ 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

Important notice: office move and temporary closure »

Move template


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 @ 10:46 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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
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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