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We have recently made some changes to our senior management team following a review.

We would like to remind everyone that we are still actively advocating for our service-users through covid-19 pandemic with a combination of remote/home working and essential visits.


Connected Voice responded quickly to government lockdown guidance, closed our city centre office and ensured staff were equipped to work safely from home. We have been working well since mid-March with the following measures in place:

National Lottery Community Fund portal for bids to the Government-funded Coronavirus Community Support Fund: Now Open

National Lottery Community Fund's portal for applications to the Government’s new Coronavirus Community Support Fund is now open for applications. This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England. The Fund has two key objectives:

  1. To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  2. To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Find out more: https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-05-20/statement-about-the-coronavirus-community-support-fund

The application process, online forms and the way different sizes of bid have been structured, mirrors the pre-existing ones for applications of under and over £10k.  For more details and how to apply:https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-under-10k and https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding/programmes/covid-19-funding-over-10k

Karl Wilding CEO of NCVO said "There is more for the government to do to help support good organisations which we’ll need more than ever for the recovery. We're going to continue these conversations with them" https://twitter.com/NCVO/status/1263145797199302656

Lisa Goodwin, Chief Executive of Connected Voice said "We’re pleased that after a long delay since the initial announcement of this funding, VCS organisations can apply for the NLCF Coronavirus Community Support Fund from Friday. They have released £200m to start with and will release the rest at a later date. If you want some support with your application please give us a call. Because of the immense challenges facing VCS organisations at the moment our team are helping not only to review and advise on applications, but to draft them for you if capacity is an issue for you right now. Contact us to see how we can help."

 

We’re over the moon to learn that we have been nominated for the community organisation multi strand category of the National Diversity Awards. Equality and diversity play an integral part in our work across the Connected Voice family of services so we are pleased this shines through and we want to say a special thank you to the person who nominated us (which is still a mystery!)

In order for us to be shortlisted, and we really hope to achieve this, we need your support with our nomination. Judges will be looking at the quantity but also quality of nominations that we receive between now and 8 June.

If you can spare a few moments before 8 June, we’d really appreciate your help. Please visit: https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate/29860/ and submit a few lines about why we deserve to win in this category.

Plans are moving ahead for bringing a virtual version of our Funding Fair to you on 17 June, as the centrepiece of our local activities supporting Small Charity Week 2020. We'll have more details in the coming weeks. We hope to bring you a series of funder videos setting out their priorities, processes and examples of the kinds of projects that are successful in securing funding. We'll also be offering a live phone-in funding helpdesk on the day itself.

Showcase what you're offering in our Funding Fair 2020 Virtual Dragon's Den. At last year's Gateshead Funding Fair we ran our very own Dragon's Den, in which three organisations pitched to a panel of four funders. Funders, of course, aren't dragons, and there were no handfuls of cash, but it was an effective and enjoyable way of organisations honing their pitch skills, showing us all what they do in a dynamic and different way, and 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.

Haref has been working in partnership with Gateshead Council and GemArts / Gateshead Visible Ethnic Minorities Support Group to produce videos in community languages with key health messages about COVID-19.  Following the success of this work in Newcastle, we worked with Gateshead council to identify relevant languages for residents.  We used the same public health key messages on social distancing and GemArts / Gateshead Visible Ethnic Minorities Support Group volunteers produced videos using the messages in French, Farsi, Arabic and Kurdish.

Today 22 April 2020 is #EarthDay

Its an international celebration and day of action to build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet.

The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. The enormous challenge - but also the vast opportunities - of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary Earth Day. 

Due to COVID-19 we are unable to hold our AGM which was due to happen today (21 April). Rather than postpone indefinitely, our trustees have agreed to cancel the AGM for this year and to share information with our members and stakeholders digitally. 

This includes a video report from our Chair Simon Elliott, a special animation highlighting our work over the past 18 months, and our Annual Review:

Newcastle department store Fenwick has kick-started our citywide charity appeal to raise funds for Citylife Line

Citylife Line is the new support service that is helping vulnerable people and those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout Newcastle. Over the past few weeks we’ve been working with Newcastle City Council and key charities in the city to support local residents to get the provisions they need, whether they are self-isolating or staying at home because they are particularly at risk of serious illness from the virus.

Newcastle City Council has spent tens of thousands of pounds on food and provisions. Now we have set up a fundraising page with them to appeal for further donations to support those in need of help.

There has been lots of coverage this week of the government’s £750m charity rescue package. This is a very small amount of money when you divide it up across the country, and across the huge number of charities who may need it. Here is what we know so far, with thanks to NCVO (National Council of Voluntary Organisations) and ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) for providing some of the detail.