Three North East support charities have launched a new e-learning resource for trustees during Trustees’ Week 2021, which runs from 1st - 5th November.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, the Elements Training Portal has been developed by the three organisations: Connected Voice, North Tyneside VODA and Northumberland CVA who have been working in partnership since 2019 to help trustees overcome challenges such as capacity and geography by giving them the opportunity to access quality e-learning 24/7 from wherever they have an internet connection.

New trustees looking for an introductory course to support their work, will be able to sign up to the Elements Training Platform and study its ‘Good Governance’ course in their own time and at their own pace, and can fit their learning around their schedule and priorities.  And what’s more, until the end of December 2021, trustees will be able to access the ‘Good Governance’ course free of charge.

Giovanni Spatuzzi, Strategic Partnerships and Operations Manager at Connected Voice said, “Most individuals who become trustees don’t start out with a well-developed knowledge of governance issues.  Instead, they start out with a vitally-important passion for the work of the organisation, and the governance side of things is something they must learn along the way.

“Although we’re just getting started, we want Elements to become the go-to place for people in our sector across the North East, whatever their role, to find flexible, interactive e-learning opportunities that offer a good basic understanding of subjects such as good governance, volunteers and the law, and good fundraising to support them in their work. 

“‘Good Governance’ is our first course.  It is suitable for new trustees and also for existing trustees who are looking to refresh their knowledge.  We’ll be adding new courses very soon.”

Connected Voice, North Tyneside VODA and Northumberland CVA are all well-established and respected membership charities offering local infrastructure support to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in their respective communities across North of Tyne and Gateshead. 

The partnership has a combined membership of over 1,500 organisations, with around 3,500 trustee-led charities covering their geographical areas, so they’re anticipating a high demand for their Elements Training Portal.

As well as this new Elements Training Platform, each of the partners also offers a range of other information, training and support.  If you're in Northumberland, you can contact Northumberland CVA for support: email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01670 858688.

To register on Elements and study the 'Good Governance' course free, go to:





The Elements Training Portal is funded by:





Northumberland CVA are hosting an online workshop on 9th November 2021 at 2pm with Richard Walton from the Virgin Money Foundation on their Community Anchors' Fund. Organisations based or delivering services in Northumberland are invited to join the workshop.

The Community Anchors' Fund supports those vital, independent, locally-led organisations, committed to driving positive economic, social or environmental change within a community.

The fund offers grants of up to £30,000 to organisations from the North East of England.

To apply to the fund you will need to evidence that your organisation provides a range of services and practical support relevant to the needs of the neighbourhood in which you live.

Book your place on the workshop via Eventbrite or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


As holders of the NCC commission to provide support services to the VCS in Northumberland from June 2014 to September 2021, Northumberland has made some wonderful achievements and we’ve put just a few of them together into an infographic as a celebration of our work over the past seven years. 

Looking just at the practical support we provided, here are some of the headlines:

Over the course of our holding of the commission, we have supported a total of 1,508 groups with information, advice, training and practical help on issues including funding, governance, safeguarding and involving volunteers.

We delivered 16 multi-funder Funding Fairs in 11 different areas of the county, allowing 553 groups to attend 2,456 appointment slots.  That’s a total of 409.33 hours of face to face advice given direct to Northumberland groups by funders as a result of our work.

After receiving our support, over the seven years we have held the commission, groups in Northumberland have successfully raised a total of at least: £14,500,000 to fund their activities.


Download the full infographic as a PDF.










Northumberland CVA is a Local Infrastructure Organisation (LIO).  Usually, when we try to explain to people from outside of our organisation what that means, they tend to look a little puzzled. 

We're not alone among LIOs in struggling to concisely define what we do.  LIOs have always found it difficult to explain the term precisely, and even NAVCA, the national membership body for LIOs, finds it difficult to explain easily - to the point that they are currently carrying out work to demystify the term.

NAVCA describes LIOs as "the beating heart of a community's voluntary sector" and they've published an infographic to explain what that means.  They're continuing their work to demystify local infrastructure further.

In the meantime, here at Northumberland CVA we're in the process of reviewing our service delivery, and so the need to clearly define the services we offer has risen right to the top of our agenda. 

In an attempt to make it clearer for our service users, we've taken some of the information NAVCA has gathered, together with comments from our staff team, and we've come up with this comic strip conversation between an imaginary employee of Northumberland CVA who takes a call from an equally imaginary trustee of a local community group, who calls for information on what we do and how we can help their group.






We hope this has made our local infrastructure support service offer clearer for you.  If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our services, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01670 858688.  

If you'd like to know more about becoming a member of Northumberland CVA, visit our membership page, where you'll also be able to download a membership application form.






This training comprises access to pre-recorded online training videos, followed by a 2-hour live session, via Zoom, on:

Tuesday 2nd November 2021
1pm - 3pm


We're excited to be able to offer the voluntary sector in Northumberland this FREE digital online training opportunity to learn how to make great videos to promote your work.  The training will be made up of:

Access to pre-recorded training (around 2 hours of viewing) delivered by Mark from Pocket Video School, which covers:

  • The equipment you need to use
  • How to actually film your video
  • Editing
  • Optimising a YouTube Channel (where you put the videos to share them once created)

Plus a 2-hour live session with the MINT Business Club team on:

  • Why video is important
  • The benefits of video
  • Mapping out a content plan for video.
  • Plus discussion on confidence and tracking

Plus optional access to additional pre-recorded training videos on recording for Instagram Reels and Facebook. To book your place on this FREE training, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., stating 'Video Training' in the subject line. Since this training is online , we need email addresses for each attendee, so if you are booking for more than one person, please remember to include this information.







People who are out of work and living in South East Northumberland can now book a place on the latest of Northumberland CVA’s very popular 6-week SkillsUNeed course to help build skills that will help their chances of success when applying for jobs.


In today's job market, it's important to stand out.  SkillsUNeed can help build your confidence so you do that, changing your impossible to possible.

Funded by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the next set of SkillsUNeed sessions starts on Friday 22nd October 2021 at Northumberland CVA's offices on Station Road, Ashington.  To keep people safe from coronavirus, places are limited.  Sessions will take place once a week, every Friday for 6 weeks, until Friday 26th November. Each socially-distanced session will last for around 6 hours. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, although the project is unable to provide travel expenses.

Participants will learn how to write the perfect CV, carry out effective job searches, and complete engaging application forms. They’ll also discover the best ways to be successful at interview, prepare for work, and manage on a budget.

Guest speakers will attend the sessions to talk about topics such as benefits entitlement, further education courses, free training, careers advice and living a healthy lifestyle.

If you'd like to sign up for SkillsUNeed in October, or know someone else who may be interested, download a flyer.  For more information and to reserve a place, contact Sarah: call 07826 547 731 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Graham, who attended previous sessions, said,

“The SkillsUNeed course did the world of good for me. Before this, I was out of work for 18 months and I am so pleased I spotted the course advertised on Facebook. I wouldn’t be where I am now without it. The course was really good for me and built up my confidence as a person. I’m now in a full-time role at a busy bar/restaurant and am really enjoying it.”



Linda, another previous participant, said,

“I was nervous to attend the training at first, but I am so glad I did. The greatest thing I learnt was to listen more and gain IT skills, whilst also discovering skills I already had. The trainer was attentive and helpful. Before the course, I didn’t really know where to start. However it has helped me so much; I just wish the course was longer!”








Wednesdays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th October 2021, 9.30am - 12 noon, followed by a Q&A session until 12.30pm
Online via Zoom

This 4 week, fully funded training is for anyone living in the North East of England (except Co Durham or Teesside) who is employed or self-employed.
The learning objectives include:

  • Marketing Tracking - find out what's actually working
  • Goal Setting - set one important, achievable marketing goal
  • Time Management - stop doing ineffective marketing and wasting time
  • Planning your marketing for success
  • Content planning - what to say and how to say it

Everything delivered on this course is to help you discover WHAT LEADS TO WHAT - that is, what do you GET from the marketing actions you take.
And yes, there is plenty of time to talk - the Masterminding groups we facilitate as part of this training results in the most valuable feedback for all the participants.
If you want to join Nicola Jane Little in October, on a Wednesday morning each week in October, (starting on Wednesday 6 October and the three following Wednesdays) and to have access to the training on playback, please register your interest by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., stating 'Marketing' in the subject line.
N.B. Because of the way this course is funded, it is available only to people who are employed (and your employer needs to be aware you are attending) or self-employed (and registered with HMRC).  Unfortunately, it is not available for volunteers, unless they are also employed/self-employed elsewhere.





We are looking to expand our team of Volunteer Buddies across Northumberland.

Northumberland CVA’s Supported Volunteering project supports individuals on the Bridge Northumberland programme, undertaking volunteering opportunities to develop their confidence and life experiences to improve the skills they need to find work.

Gordon, one of our long-standing buddies said ‘After retiring I wanted to give a little back to the community and being a volunteer buddy has allowed me to do this while improving the employment prospects of the volunteers I support. For those I have supported on a weekly basis I have seen each and every one of them grow in confidence, until for some they are perfectly capable of working unsupported’.

What being a Volunteer Buddy involves;

  • Be able to explain things clearly and have empathy and understanding
  • Willing to commit to a minimum of one half day per week plus training prior to becoming a buddy
  • Undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Be willing to accompany and in some cases transport individuals to placements
  • You will be required to advise your insurance company that you are volunteering and must provide proof of insurance and registration details to enable us to confirm your car is taxed and MOT
  • Out of pocket expenses will be paid.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Volunteer Buddy, please call Lisa on 07818511690 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  




Tuesday 21st September 2021, 1.30pm - 3.30pm
Online via Zoom


Climate change is an issue that everyone is talking about, but it can be hard to identify practical steps that your organisation can put in place. This online session is for anyone working or volunteering in the voluntary and community sector in Northumberland.  It will look at:

  • How funders are increasingly looking for organisations to have an effective environmental policy
  • What elements should be in a contemporary and meaningful environmental policy
  • How can you engage the communities you serve in making a difference
  • Ten achievable and practical things you can do to make a difference

The session will be especially useful for organisations that do not currently have an environmental policy or procedures, or are looking to update existing ones to reflect the declaration of a climate emergency.
This 2-hour session will be delivered on behalf of Northumberland CVA by our colleagues at Connected Voice.
To book a place, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with ‘Climate Emergency’ in the subject line.  Since this is an online session, we need email addresses for each attendee, so if you are booking for more than one person, please remember to include this information.