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During the COVID-19 lockdown Connected Voice and our Support and Development team have continued to support the wide range of voluntary and community sector organisations in Newcastle and Gateshead. We know that some of you have had to close your buildings and have adapted what you offer so that you could continue to support some of the most vulnerable people living in our communities.

As lockdown has begun to ease and following the Government's announcement that Community Centres can open from 4 July, we have been talking to a number of you about how you plan and approach the future. How can you ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, community members and customers when you think about re-opening your building and the reintroduction of some of your activities and services?

The following documents have been developed to give some guidance to those of you who operate from a community building. We recognise that each of your organisations will have specific and particular risks unique to you. These could include the age range, the abilities and the needs of people who use your services and it will almost certainly include the design, size and layout of your building.

Over £50,000 has been raised through our Citylife Line appeal and grants have been awarded to local organisations in Newcastle who have been working tirelessly to support the most vulnerable people and communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Citylife Line fundraiser was launched in April (17th) to enable people to contribute to the Citylife line initiative – which was something we developed jointly with Newcastle City Council to ensure there was a place where people could access support if they weren’t already connected to one of the voluntary and community groups who were helping across the City.

In her latest blog Lisa Goodwin, our Chief Executive, reflects on the Black Lives Matter campaign and the issues of tackling racism and structural inequality in our Voluntary and Community sector (VCS).

She discusses how Connected Voice Haref is highlighting the health and structural inequalities on BAME communities of COVID-19, and the role of our Advocacy service as part of a nationwide advocacy movement embedded in the fight for social justice on an individual and collective basis.

To read the blog visit: Reflections on the Black Lives Matter campaign

If you would like some help or advice on how to implement practices that improve equality and diversity please contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Newcastle and Gateshead Funding Fair 2020 banner 5Small Charity Week North East logo

Connected Voice is thrilled to welcome you to this virtual version of our Funding Fair - running from 17 June to the end of July - our biggest virtual event yet!

It isn't just a substitute for our normal 'real-life' event. It has some distinct advantages; you can take part at any time and dip in and out of it for a few minutes at a time and come back. There is no registration or booking and it's not just for one day.

We've focused on offering you a wide range of support, advice and guidance around funding and a whole host of other issues to help you be the best for your communities.

Lisa Goodwin, Chief Executive, Connected Voice 

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Expert Seminars

Helping you build your skills, experience and success in funding is what we're all about.

We've assembled a series of short Expert Seminar videos, to provide a range of guidance, support and top-tips to help you build your fundraising skills and direct your precious time and energy to their most effective use.

This why we call our event a Funding Fair and not a Funders' Fair – it's about you and your funding, and helping you be even better for the communities you work in and with. It's your Fair!

Using the Fair couldn't be simpler. Just visit the different Areas, click on the images and it will take you to the video on our own Connected Voice You Tube channel. For the best experience, we suggest that you switch off 'autoplay next video' on your own You Tube settings, as otherwise you may be taken to unrelated videos. This is down to you and outside the control of Connected Voice. Please note links to Powerpoint slide presentations may not work on Mac devices. 

 Newcastle Fund Round 11

 Newcastle Fund Round 11 Presentation

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Funding and Advice Services

In this section, you'll find short videos from a range of funding support and advice services, including some of the major funding sources that we know you will want to know more about.

There will be more videos added from a wider range of funding sources and services as the Fair continues, so please do visit us again.

These will help you put faces to names, and save you time and disappointment by getting the key headlines of funders priorities and processes. No matter how good your idea, you need to go to the right funder with it.

You'll also find an introduction to the range of services, and some of the people, from across the Connected Voice family. You can discuss your approaches to funding with our Support and Development Team throughout the year, not just during the Fair. It's what we do. You can contact Connected Voice using our main number 0191 232 7445 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and if you are outside of Newcastle or Gateshead, we can put you in touch with our sister organisations across the region.

Why not use our handy Funding Checklist to outline your funding priorities. This will help you clarify your idea, identify what you need for success and help you communicate it quickly and clearly to everyone.

If you are a funder or other exhibitor who wants to contribute , please do get in touch. This isn’t about increasing demand on funders resources, but of helping inform potential applicants of how to prioritise their fundraising time and energy, and avoiding approaches that don’t fit. So it’s a win all round. The closing date for new videos will be Friday 11 July.

Using the Fair couldn't be simpler. Just visit the different Areas, click on the images and it will take you to the video on our own Connected Voice You Tube channel. For the best experience, we suggest that you switch off 'autoplay next video' on your own You Tube settings, as otherwise you may be taken to unrelated videos. This is down to you and outside the control of Connected Voice.

Newcastle Fund
North East Social Investment Fund

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Dragons' Den Showcase

Here you'll find a series of short videos sent in to us from a range of local voluntary, community, charitable and social enterprise organisations. This is your chance to join with us in a celebration of all that is best in the North-East voluntary, community charitable and social enterprise sector: Innovation, resilience, adaptability and our trademark openness, warmth and humour. You can't fail to be inspired, impressed and even moved by what is on show here. You might also find organisations that you might partner with, share ideas, – perhaps even find a new opportunity to join them as a trustee or volunteer

Why not send us your own short video of the great work you are doing too? Tell people want you need. Shy bairns get nowt! Funders, of course, aren't dragons, and there won't be instant handfuls of cash, but it's an effective and enjoyable way of showing what you do in a dynamic and different way. It might well catch the attention of a funder who wasn't on your radar.

It will also put you in the running for some valuable support, expertise and guidance from across the Connected Voice family of services, and in-kind branding guidance from our good friends at Altogether Creative who worked so hard on our own rebrand last year.

The closing date for new videos is Friday 11 July.

Drop us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want to take part but not sure how to do it. You don't have to be a budding Spielberg – if you can take a picture on your phone, you can make a video. You just press the video button on your phone camera. And, if you already have a video that you've put up on social media, let us know.

Using the Fair couldn't be simpler. Just visit the different Areas, click on the images and it will take you to the video on our own Connected Voice You Tube channel. For the best experience, we suggest that you switch off 'autoplay next video' on your own You Tube settings, as otherwise you may be taken to unrelated videos. This is down to you and outside the control of Connected Voice.

Age UK Gateshead 
Colour Junction with the Comfrey Project

Connected Voice, the local voluntary sector infrastructure support organisation for Newcastle and Gateshead, is proud to be part of Small Charity Week North East 2020. We've planned a range of innovative and timely events and opportunities across the week including Skills-Building Sessions and our Virtual Funding Fair with a live phone-in funding advice service. We're delighted that a number of our partner infrastructure organisations across the North East will be offering a phone-in service to their own localities alongside us.

A new discretionary fund worth over £3 million, has been released for businesses who fell outside the scope of the Government’s previous Coronavirus emergency business grant schemes. An additional 600 businesses are set to benefit from grants of £5,000 which will include:

  • Small businesses that operate from shared offices or other flexible workspaces. Examples could include units in industrial parks, science parks and incubators which do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • Bed & Breakfasts which pay Council Tax instead of business rates;
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

This programme of grants is country-wide, and being administered by local councils with funding that comes from central government. 

For more information from Newcastle City Council, eligibility criteria and to apply for the fund visit: Newcastle City Council Coronavirus Discretionary Business Grant Fund

For more information from Gateshead Council, eligiblity criteria and to apply for the fund visit: Gateshead Council COVID-19 Business Support Grants: Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund

 

The newly published results of the North East VCSE (Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise) sector COVID-19 impact survey, carried out by VONNE in partnership with Local Infrastructure Organisations (LIOs), including Connected Voice, and members of the NE and Cumbria Funder's Network, highlight a number of worrying statistics and confirm the severe limitations upon the sector in our region at the current time.

That said, the report also highlights how well organisations in our region have adopted collaborative working practices and digital service delivery in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.