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Hot on the heels of Northumberland CVA member, Northumberland County Blind Association receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, another member of Northumberland CVA has also won a prestigious award.

Friends of LV50 have won the National Historic Ships UK ‘Virtual Flagship of the Year Award’ in recognition of their creativity and resilience in promoting continued online engagement with the LV50 vessel during the COVID-19 lockdown by creating a virtual tour of the ship.

Prior to winning the grant that allowed them to develop the virtual tour for which the award was given, Friends of LV50 received support and advice from our development officer, Marc Johnson on governance and funding, and attended our very popular funding fairs, which allowed them to develop their winning funding strategy. Secretary of the group, Paul Gibson said, “We have always been happy to rely on our CVA for guidelines on good governance and your help is much appreciated to enable us to better run our group.”

LV is an abbreviation of light vessel and LV50 is one of only three rare Victorian wooden lightships still in existence, and the only one open to the public. The vessel, moored in Blyth Harbour since 1952, was built in 1879 and, as part of the National Historic Fleet, played a role in the D-Day Landings.

Friends of LV50 received the grant from the EDF Energy Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, administered by the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Their virtual tour of the ship has been developed as an educational resource for schools and young people, as well as for a wider audience, using engaging and accessible media. The Friends were supported in its development by local education associations, including the Port of Blyth STEM Hub and the Blyth Schools Partnership

Chair of the Friends of LV50, Lester Sher told the Community Foundation’s philanthropy advisor, Ross Wilson, that the grant has “enabled the separate strands of this project to be brought together to deliver, particularly for first schools, a suite of curriculum-based resources that substantially enhances the opportunities for children to experience, understand and learn from a ‘visit’ to this unique Historic Ship.”

Now that the project has been completed, LV50’s unique history is available to anyone, anywhere who has internet access and ensures that its impact and legacy is now felt well beyond the borders of the North of Tyne area. Find out more about the work of Friends of LV50.

The Northumberland CVA team has also been able to provide Friends of LV50 with support on volunteering policies and recruitment.  

If your organisation is based in or offering services in Northumberland, and you’d like support with governance, funding, project development, community development or volunteering, please talk to us. Simply email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.