Darlington Small Sparks Funding Opportunity – Preventing Social Isolation in Adults and Older People

The primary aim of the pilot funding is to develop innovative ways of reducing social isolation/promoting community inclusion and the intention that as many barriers as possible to this occurring will be reduced or removed completely.

Grants available £500-£3,000

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicant does not have to be a registered charity;
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are a group with a set of rules, management structure and either a separate bank account in their name or evidence that funds are held by another organisation, for example a parish council, other registered charity;
  • Annual income must be less than £50k.

Closing Date for Applications:

Applications can be submitted by email to info@teesvalleyruralaction.co.uk or by post to Tees Valley Rural Action, 33-35 Cadcam Centre, High Force Road, Middlesbrough TS2 1RH by 5pm Friday 15th November 2019.


Application Form Below

Darlington Small Sparks Application Form Final 23092019


Lingdale Produce Show 1st Revival 2019

Lockwood Parish Council would like to thank everyone who helped to organise and make the Lingdale Produce Show a great success this year. Special thanks go to a small group of Lingdale residents who got behind the event to make sure that it happened, these are Cllr Anne Clayton, Stef Tyrka and Audrey and Geoff Bishop-Bailey. Thanks also go to Tony Rutter who judged the show and everyone involved in volunteering, donating prizes or taking the time to put in a show entry.

There were over 220 exhibits in the show and considering that there has not been a produce show in Lingdale for over 20 years this was a welcome and encouraging start to the revival. It was wonderful to see the variety of exhibits on display in the Village Hall and the event was enjoyed by exhibitors, visitors and all of those involved in helping to organise the event on the day. It is hoped that the success of this show will be built upon for future years and that next year even more growers, bakers and creators will take part. Trophies were awarded for Family Cup, won by Ann Lightburn, Points Trophy won by Sue Osborne, Best Floral Exhibit won by Bryan Teasdale and Best Vegetable Exhibit won by Sue Osborne.

The Produce Show also coincided with the first Lingdale Scarecrow Festival – so another thank you to all those involved with this event, particularly Tracy Bonnard who assisted local families to create their own scarecrows as part of her Thursday family craft class at the Lingdale Village Hall.

The 26th August 2019 was truly a showcase of community spirit in the village of Lingdale.

The Lingdale Produce Show was sponsored by Lockwood Parish Council, Big Local and Tees Valley Rural Action Group.

Skelton Townscape Heritage Project – Summer 2019

This last period has seen TVRA’s role in the Project permanently memorialised as part of the Mosaic Trail.   The Trail has been completed with a panel representing all the Partners and the Lottery.   Watch this space for news of the final Trail Leaflet.

Phase 2 of the building façade works is currently nearing the end of procurement with an announcement in the Autumn on the selected contractor

Our volunteers continue to work on a range of projects, including Recorded Memories,Snapshot in Time”, (Tranche 4  of this building recording Activity will be carried out in September) and our  Historical Booklet, intended to record the work of the Project and relate it to the history of Skelton.


Charities and Brexit Regardless of Outcome, Preparation is the Key – Update from NCVO

NCVO has published guidance to help charities prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Despite a tumultuous few days in parliament, it is vital that charities are thinking about the implications of any Brexit scenario, including no-deal, and putting measures in place that are flexible and resilient. To accompany the guidance, in conjunction with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office, discussing ways in which civil society organisations can prepare for a no-deal exit.

In the last few days, parliament has passed legislation that mandates the prime minister to request a Brexit extension if MPs have not approved a withdrawal agreement by 19 October. Any extension must be approved by all 27 EU member states (which is not guaranteed), and the prime minister has vowed that we will not seek one, even though this could lead to court action against his government. So while a no-deal at the end of October is now less likely, it cannot be ruled out.


Step Forward Tees Valley Takes a Step into Rural Communities

People living in the rural areas are being helped by an innovative project to support them to find work or training.
Tees Valley Rural Action (TVRA) is working as part of Step Forward Tees Valley – a programme designed to help people overcome the barriers stopping them finding work.
TVRA specialises in helping people in rural, isolated communities who may face unique challenges when looking for work.
Janice McColm, Rural Development Manager  with TVRA, said: “We are targeting people who have previously found it hard to get a job because of issues such as self-confidence, addiction, a conviction or ill health.
“We work closely with people ensuring they receive the right support from a range of specialist services, helping to build on their strengths. People living in rural communities can often become isolated because of a lack of transport, digital skills or access to services but we can help to ensure nothing gets in the way of someone finding work.”
Step Forward Tees Valley, is run by the Northern Inclusion Consortium (NIC) and jointly funded by the National Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.
To find out more about the project contact Janice McColm on 01642 213852 or email jmccolm@teesvalleyruralaction.co.uk.

More information can be found on here or you can also find the project on Twitter @SFTeesValley or Facebook /stepforwardteesvalley.

Our Community Matters Project – Heaven Scent Wynyard

A sensory garden has been created outside Wynyard Woods Care Home to improve the outlook from rooms and give residents and wildlife a refuge.  The Wynyard residents, who volunteered on this project, were approached by Janice McColm, Rural Development Manager with Tees Valley Rural Action (TVRA), to tell residents about an intergenerational project called “Our Community Matters”.  TVRA is working in partnership with Youth Focus: North East on a project that is aimed at working with individuals aged 13 – 25 and 50+ to tackle loneliness and isolation through the delivery of local challenges.
The project offered people the opportunity to co-produce an intergenerational event, activity or campaign over 5 weeks in their local community to tackle isolation and loneliness using the 5 ways to well-being as the basis of the project and they are; connect, give, keep learning, be active and take notice.   Each group is given a budget of £500 from the National Lottery Community Fund and the project challenge aims to reach 100 people.
The team is made up of volunteers from the Care Home and other Wynyard residents who have built, painted and planted three raised planters for the use of the Care Home residents. One planter is on long legs to enable wheelchair users to work on the it.  The planters have been planted with annuals and herbs, which will be used in the Care Home kitchen.  This constituted the National Lottery Community Fund money.
In addition, there is a small corner garden that has been cleared of sad shrubs by Wynyard Estate Services and dug over by a team of volunteers of all ages.  The corner garden design was agreed in Spring 2019 and the path was laid in mid July 2019.
The garden is being created by Wynyard residents for the benefit of all Wynyard residents.
We celebrated with a launch day for the community on 7th August 2019.
Well done everyone involved

Cleveland Fire Support Network – A Service To Help Around The Home

Are you, or do you know someone, who would benefit from a little extra help with jobs around the home and garden?

It’s important our community is safe and we are all able to live in a home free of danger. Unfortunately for some this is not possible, as a result of being unable to complete essential DIY jobs, and becoming a target of cowboy tradesmen.

If you are EITHER:

Over 60 years of age
Registered with a disability

The Cleveland Fire Support Network Handyperson Scheme would like to make your life easier and safer by helping with the small practical jobs and gardening, including:

🏠 Indoor 🏠

🖼️ Essentials – curtain rails, shelving, picture hanging, plug and light bulbs replacement, moving furniture within the property
🚭 Safety measures – fitting smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and grab rails
🔒 Home security – door and window locks, door chains and door viewers
💡 Energy efficiency checks – installing draught excluders, radiator heat reflectors and energy efficient lightbulbs

🏡 Gardening 🏡

🔨 Repairs to gates, fencing and pathways reducing the risk of tripping hazards
🛡️ Security lighting installation
🌲Hedge trimming, lawn mowing

There will be a cost of £18 per hour to cover our costs as the scheme is not funded, but ran and managed by us to address the need in the community! Bookings are limited to 1 hour slots each time so we can support as many people as possible.

To find out more about the service please call 01642 288009

We would also love to hear from you, if you have any spare time and would be interested in becoming a handyperson for your community!

☎️ 01642 288009
🔥 www.ClevelandFireSupportNetwork.org
📍 1 Bickley Way, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, TS8 9NW


This week is communities week and it’s a great opportunity to thank all of those wonderful people who give up their time to volunteer and make a difference.

Volunteering brings people together and gives individuals that feel good factor, it enriches our society and our emotional well-being.

We would like to give a shout out to all of our volunteers who give up their time freely to #driveforwardteesvalley

Senior Road Users Event – October 2019

We are looking forward to attending Middlesbrough Council’s Senior Road Users Event, on  Tuesday 1st October 2019, at 10-3pm at Middlesbrough Sports Village.

Displays from road safety professionals, plus a market place of information and advice from local services, including Age UK, Middlesbrough Environment City, Mobility Scooters and many many more on the day.  A free practical driving assessments, free refreshments, free prize draw will be among activities on the day.

Tees Valley Rural Action we will be talking about our community transport offer and how to become members and jump on board our community use mini bus or volunteer car service.


Important Government Consultation on Sexual Harassment In the Work Place

Important new laws proposed for volunteering and charities The Government consultation on new laws which could mean significant changes for charities and volunteering.

The government consultation (closes 2 Oct) on sexual harassment in the workplace could mean lots of changes for charities, both as employers and as volunteer-involving organisations. @shaundelaney outlines the issues, proposed changes and how to respond.  For more information pop over to NCVO