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Last night, NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and Community Action) hosted an awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of local support and development organisations throughout England. Newcastle CVS was shortlisted in four categories and picked up two awards: an award for Embracing Digital and a joint award for Leadership.

NAVCA has a membership of over 200 organisations that support over 145,000 local charities and voluntary groups so we are immensely proud to have received two awards, in a very strong field. There was a strong representation of outstanding work from the North East, as North Tyneside VODA also picked up an award for Collaboration and Partnership.

NAVCA Award for Leadership

Sally

In our entry for Leadership, Chief Executive Sally Young spoke about the challenges of leadership, in particular about our invitation to provide support in Gateshead following the closure of the local infrastructure organisation, and the eventual restructure that was required after winning the tender to provide this support. Expanding into Gateshead involved building trust and relationships with local charities, public sector staff and politicians who may have felt worried that because the local infrastructure organisation had failed, the voluntary sector had failed. Sally Young and our team engaged with people, listened to them about their concerns, reassured them and constructed a service that would fulfil the needs of Gateshead’s communities.

 

NAVCA Award for Embracing Digital

We have been investing a lot of time and resources into our digital services so we are delighted to have our efforts recognised through this award. Digital technologies offer a powerful way to extend our reach beyond our geographical area and using digital allows us to do things that we have never done before. In our entry for Embracing Digital, Sally Young spoke about our work involved in developing and managing OurGateshead community website; the challenges in running a community website and the benefits to professionals who use OurGateshead for social prescribing and understanding the reach of the voluntary sector. Sally also spoke about our DIY Advocate app, which is used by our Advocacy Centre North project to complement their award-winning service. The app offers tremendous scope to be applied throughout different voluntary and health services as a decision-making tool and, in addition to rolling out the app internally, Advocacy Centre North has already licenced the app to several large organisations who are looking to enhance their existing services through digital technologies.

DIY Advocate    OurGateshead

 

Shortlisted categories – Collaboration & Partnership Working and Campaigning & Advocacy

We were also shortlisted in a further two categories for Collaboration & Partnership Working and Campaigning & Advocacy. Sally Young spoke about our work in promoting smaller organisations to work together in partnerships to apply for grants and about our original project called the Newcastle Voluntary Sector Consortium, that was set up to facilitate this. The network is now a separate charity called Blue Stone Consortium that has 42 partners working in Newcastle and Gateshead.

On Campaigning and Advocacy, Sally Young highlighted our recent work in promoting the national #LiftTheBan campaign to lift the ban on the right to work for people seeking asylum who have been waiting for longer than six months for a decision. In our 90 year history, tackling inequalities and poverty has always been a strong theme for Newcastle CVS. We signed up to the national campaign and used our existing contacts to try and influence local decision makers. We promoted the campaign through our social media networks, on our website and in our newsletters. We wrote to MPs locally, asking them to support it – they all did. We also produced a model resolution for the two local councils, which they have supported. Our efforts were highlighted in Lift the Ban’s own email updates to the 150 strong national coalition.

Newcastle CC lift the ban    If the ban trying to survive on 5

 

Sally Young said “All of the Newcastle CVS team are really proud to have been shortlisted and been recognised for our work. It is particularly fitting in our 90th year that we continue to provide an award-winning service to local people, organisations and communities. We look forward to the future where we hope to offer additional services and support to even more organisations.”

The hard work of local infrastructure charities is often overlooked, particularly in the general public eye, where charities and large organisations that directly support individuals tend to receive the most support. We would like to thank NAVCA for organising these awards, which are a great opportunity for us to celebrate our achievements. We would also like to extend our congratulations to all shortlisted entries and winners at the awards last night.

You can view the full list of winners on the NAVCA website

Contact us

Higham House, Higham Place,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AF


Tel:      0191 232 7445
Email: information@cvsnewcastle.org.uk

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