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On the Hoof in March brings you wellbeing, health and social care news for people working in and with the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle and beyond.

In this issue find out about: Wellbeing and Health Open Forum highlights, the Integration Challenge, Equal Arts HenPower, Helix Arts Action: Story!; Deciding Together feedback reports and session; Transforming care for people with learning disabilities; Child health profiles; Care Act statutory guidance; and more.

The Commission for Health and Social Care Integration in the North East, set up as part of the North East devolution agreement, has made a call for evidence. The Commission is looking at how more joined up working and collaboration could help address health inequalities and enable residents to live more healthy and active lives.

The Commission is considering a number of themes: how to support people to stay well and independent; how to improve health, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace; how devolution and greater say over training and skills, housing and economic development can improve the region’s health.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England and chair of the health commission in the North East, said: “We very much hope that organisations and individuals from across the North East with an interest in health and social care will respond to our call for evidence”

Cllr Mick Henry, Leader of Gateshead Council and health and social care lead for the North East Combined Authority, (NECA) said: “This is a real opportunity for local organisations and people with an interest to inform the work of the commission and to play their part in helping us to improve health and wellbeing, which in turn will have a positive impact on our efforts to improve the economy of the North East.”

Voluntary and community sector organisations and residents in the NECA area of Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear can submit written evidence, such as reports, letters and presentations by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to HSC Commission, North East Combined Authority, Quadrant, Cobalt Business Park, The Silverlink North, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY. Deadline for submissions is Friday 22 April

A lot has happened since last week when the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne delivered his eighth budget. The Government has now dropped its plans to make cuts to Personal Independent Payment (PIP). Other measures in the budget that remain and will have some direct or indirect impact on the voluntary sector are bulleted pointed below.

  • No change to business rates for registered charities. They will still get the 80 per cent mandatory business rates relief. Small business rates relief rises to £15,000; which might mean some charities do not pay any business rates at all
  • £45m of banking fines will go to military charities and other good causes over the next four years. (None of these are based in the North East, but some of the national ones have local branches and members)
  • £12m in receipts from the so-called 'tampon tax' will go to charities associated with women and girls. (None of these are based in the North East, but some of the national ones have local branches and members)
  • An extra £5m for a social impact bond aimed at reducing rough sleeping, taking its total value to £10m. This is part of a £115m fund to tackle homelessness.
  • A new corporation tax relief from April 2017 for museums and galleries on the cost of temporary and touring exhibitions.
  • £60m for community-led housing developments in rural and coastal communities through community land trusts, which are set up by local people to develop and manage homes that are affordable for those who live there.
  • The amount that people can earn before having to pay income tax, which will go up to £11,000 next month, will increase to £11,500 in April 2017, the Chancellor said: this will mean slightly fewer people will pay no tax and will therefore be unable to claim Gift Aid on their charitable donations.
  • Further spending cuts of about £4bn by 2020 - this will place additional pressures on Local Authority budgets

Each year Newcastle CVS produces a list of what is happening locally to celebrate International Women's Day. Here is our list for 2016 and we would like to congratulate the Gender & Society Research Hub at Northumbria University for organising The Festival of Feminist Ideas and Actions.

There is an online version (with links embedded) and a print version (with full link addresses displayed). 
See the list of events (online version)
See the list of events (print version)

On the Hoof in February brings you wellbeing, health and social care news for people working in and with the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle and beyond. In this issue find out about: Connected people connected communities; work on legal highs; Families Information Service; practice guidance on self neglect; new safeguarding adults training programme.

The latest consultation on Deciding Together, Newcastle Gateshead CCGs proposals on the future of specialist mental health services, closes on 12 February.

Deciding Together offers different scenarios for future in-patient service including options that would retain hospital units in Newcastle and Gateshead and others that would centre clinical care in Morpeth.

Newcastle CVS held two consultation events in December and February, inviting voluntary sector organisations in the city to consider the scenarios and also a number of community services proposals.

All the community services proposals were broadly welcomed but with some qualification because it was difficult to see how they could all happen in practice. Concerns were expressed too about a gap opening up between community services based in Newcastle and Gateshead and hospital services that might be based in Northumberland.

The difficulties for patient’s, their families and friends of traveling between Newcastle, Gateshead and Morpeth, especially if they have to rely public transport, also featured heavily in consultation discussion and led a preference for maintaining in-patient units in Newcastle.

You can read Newcastle CVSs full response to Deciding Together on our Research, Reports and Responses

As part of the Council’s desire to meet the challenges of 2020, it commissioned Newcastle CVS to produce a report on the current position of the voluntary and community sector, the support it needs and uses now, and looking to the future in 2020. In order to ensure independence, Newcastle CVS commissioned SkillsBridge to carry out interviews with local voluntary organisations.

These reports look at the position of Newcastle and its current challenges. The reports have a number of separate elements – interviews with 29 key public sector leaders, 20 local voluntary and community organisations, 10 key support (infrastructure) organisations, a survey of 71 local organisations and a background review of the key policies affecting the voluntary and community sector locally and nationally. The result is the most comprehensive study carried out for many years on behalf of the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle.

VCS 2020 a force for good

VCS 2020 Understanding Current Support to the Voluntary and Community Sector delivering in Newcastle City

A Newcastle Children’s Trust Making A Difference Event about the difference MADE to enable young people to make a good transition. Transition MADE was held in November 2015 @ Excelsior Academy 6th Form College.

The event included fast and focused four minute talks followed by discussion groups, films made by young people, and promises made by participants.

Summary report Transition MADE 27 November, with embedded documents
Transition MADE 27 November report in full

Read the comprehensive Newcastle CVS response to the Newcastle City Council budget proposals 2016/17. 

On the Hoof brings you wellbeing, health and social care news for people working in and with the voluntary and community sector in Newcastle and beyond. In January’s issue find out about: the next wellbeing and health open forum; the City Council budget consultation; Newcastle Integration Challenge and Proof of Concept; Adult Safeguarding Peer Review; home care in Newcastle; and new work to offer support for young homeless people.