Going Green Together Launch

Going Green Together Launch!
The VCAA (VONNE Climate Action Alliance) have launched the Going Green Together campaign!

After 10 intensive weeks working with SIDE Labs and di:ga Communications on Catalyst’s Development programme, the VCAA have developed a web-tool to help organisations take their first climate action steps and share their action with others.

The website also provides more information about the VCAA, learning resources and the opportunity to read their news, subscribe to their newsletter and join their MeetUp group for future events and meetings.

It would be great if you could visit the Going Green Together website and share any feedback by emailing hello@goinggreentogether.org.

Could your community group/building access funding and take some simple steps towards climate change? Redcar & Cleveland

If the answer is yes, or even if you want to think big please read on. Sirius Minerals Foundation has easily accessible funding for your community group or building to make this happen.

Sirius Minerals Foundation Open Grant Round – Climate Change

We are currently accepting applications for climate change action projects.

Sirius Minerals Foundation was established to provide a lasting legacy for the community, and this grant round is designed to address our objective to advance environmental protection and improvement including the enhancing of the local landscape.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist

This grant round is specifically designed to enable local communities, schools and voluntary organisations in our area of benefit to undertake action on climate change. We are particularly interested in grassroots projects that galvanise community action and projects that increase the number of people taking action on climate change. This could be something that has been proven to work elsewhere, or it could be an innovative idea that you would like to test in your community. It could be a research or feasibility study to understand how your community buildings or activities could be more environmentally friendly. All we ask is that you tell us why you believe that your project will make a positive contribution to the achievement of our objectives, and what demonstrable outputs you expect.

We can fund projects for climate change awareness raising and education, mitigation of the effects of climate change, adaptation to the consequences of climate change, and feasibility studies. This grant round gives people who have an idea the resources to put it into action. We know not everything will work, but we are keen to support you to give something a go because we all need to take action on climate change. We can all play a part in looking after the world we love.

This grant round will see the Foundation spend up to £80,000 across Scarborough Borough, the North York Moors National Park and Redcar and Cleveland. Organisations can apply for grants of between £500 and £5,000. The grants can be used to buy something or to do something locally that will ultimately have positive climate benefits.

This grant round will close at 12pm on Monday 6th December 2021. Groups will be notified of the outcome by the end of February 2021. Funds must be spent by end of March 2023.

Please read the detailed eligibility criteria and application guidance if you are inspired to take local climate action at this time, available here

Application forms for this round can be found here

If you would like to have a look at the monitoring form that you will be asked to complete at the end of your project please click here. This is for information only at the application stage and should not be sent back with your application form.

Groups are encouraged to contact the Foundation to have an informal chat to discuss their application if they are not sure it fits the criteria for this funding round.

Call Leah Swain on 07724 832982 or email grants@siriusmineralsfoundation.co.uk

If you need support to develop your project idea or write an application then please get in touch with your local support organisations below.

For organisations in Scarborough Borough and the North York Moors National ParkCommunity Support North Yorkshire – Community First Yorkshire

01904 704177 or communitysupport@communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk

For organisations in Redcar and ClevelandSupport – RCVDA01642 440571 or enquiries@rcvda.org.uk

Sirius Minerals Foundation Open Grant Round – Children and Young People Time Together

Redcar & Cleveland  – Sirius Minerals Foundation

Open Grant Round – Children and Young People Time Together

Sirius Minerals Foundation are currently accepting applications for activities that build relationships between children and young people and give them time together. We would love communities and organisations to talk to their children and young people and find out how they would chose to spend time together having fun or doing something uplifting with their friends or peers – and then apply for funding from the Foundation to make it happen.

This grant round will see the Foundation spend up to £200,000 across Scarborough Borough, the North York Moors National Park and Redcar and Cleveland. Organisations can apply for grants of between £500 and £4,000. If you are a charity that is an umbrella organisation for multiple groups you can apply for a potentially larger grant to allow for each group at a separate location to benefit. Please contact us for a discussion before you start your application.

This grant round will close at 12pm on Sunday 31st October 2021. Groups will be notified of the outcome by 10th December 2021. Funds must be spent by end of December 2022.

Example of activity that could be funded:

  • Activities that give children and young people the opportunity to learn a new skills or have a new experience.
  • Informal learning opportunities provided through socialising with their friends or peers which might include one off events or a series of activities.
  • Events or activities that you cannot normally offer your children and young people because you do not have funding available.
  • Opportunities for children and young people who cannot travel to have something fun come to them.
  • Support costs for a child or young person to be able to access the opportunity you wish us to fund.

We would prefer to see programmes of activities rather than one off events, especially when they are structured to build longer term connections between children and young people. However, we are not ruling out one off events or activities – the priority is to build relationships between children and young people and give them time together.

Before applying please read the application criteria, available here 

Application forms for this round can be found here 

Groups are encouraged to contact the Foundation to have an informal chat to discuss their application if they are not sure it fits the criteria for this funding round.

Call Leah Swain on 07724 832982 or email grants@siriusmineralsfoundation.co.uk

If you need support to develop your project idea or write an application then please get in touch with your local support organisations below.

For organisations in Scarborough Borough and the North York Moors National Park


Community Support North Yorkshire – Community First Yorkshire

01904 704177 or communitysupport@communityfirstyorkshire.org.uk

For organisations in Redcar and ClevelandSupport – RCVDA

01642 440571 or enquiries@rcvda.org.uk

Invitation to participate in DCMS survey about rural network coverage (mobile)

Invitation to participate in DCMS survey about rural network coverage (mobile)

“ Would you like to contribute to government policy? We, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), are currently researching the impact of mobile coverage in rural areas. This is part of our Shared Rural Network programme which aims to increase mobile network coverage across the UK to 95%. Now, we want to find out how this programme can help you in your daily life.

We particularly want to hear from you if you live or work in rural UK!

You can participate via this link: https://dcms.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7QWTy9OUU4PNnmK 

The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete.

Or email Laura.Hensel@dcms.gov.uk to request to complete the survey over the telephone.

Information about the Shared Rural Network can be found here

Tees Valley Rural Action supporting village halls bouncing back.

TVRA wraps a supportive arm around our village hall communities, with support and expert advice.

What a sad and surreal day it was in spring 2020, when hundreds of village halls across the country had to close their doors, literally turning off a life-line for many who relied on the facilities as their safe haven and for social interaction.  Buildings that were a hive of activity providing coffee mornings, library and health and wellbeing activities etc – suddenly became silent.  Volunteer management committees now had to consider their new role, that of managing an empty building, they could not just lock the door, walk away, and wait for the government to tell them what to do.

At the start of lockdown, Tees Valley Rural Action’s (TVRA) staff and Village Hall Advisor were inundated with enquiries as to what was happening and what they should do.  Tees Valley has over 70 village halls who grabbed opportunities to come together virtually with expert partners/agencies such as Martyn Ingram from Norris and Fisher Insurance Brokers Ltd who was able to give guidance on behalf of insurers for village halls.

Throughout the pandemic, TVRA has provided advice, guidance and support to village halls and community buildings across the Tees Valley.  This has included funding advice and encouraging the management committees to apply for the government business support grant, regular interpretation of the guidelines coming out of central government and helping them to understand what they could and couldn’t do.

Fast forward some 15 months and there is an excited buzz in the air!  Why?  Because village halls are planning their re-opening and diligently working to ensure their users and visitors feel confident that they are entering a safe environment.  Returning once again to providing a facility for communities to meet and services that are paramount in small villages and go a long way to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

Rita Lawson CEO, “Throughout the pandemic, TVRA has never been so busy.  The team has been at the end of a phone providing advice and guidance on following the government guidelines.  Also, as TVRA is your regional network member of Action with Communities in Rural England, (ACRE) we have had access to simplified updates which again we have been able to share with our village hall and community building management committees.  One of our village hall members did say that without TVRA’s help and support they were fearful of doing things wrong and putting people and themselves at risk.  We’re coming to, what will hopefully be the end of this current lockdown and applaud everyone involved in our communities for diligently following the 4 step road map.   We do need to be continually mindful not to become complacent and undo all the good that has been done in keeping our communities and each other safe.  As we emerge back into the new normal of life, TVRA will be there every step of the way as ‘together we are stronger’.”

Village halls in England are being encouraged to sign the online record to mark 100 years of rural community action. Has your hall signed the national record yet? There is still time to get involved.

Many of England’s Village Halls date back to the 1920s. There are over 10,000 village and community halls to be found across England. Many were established in the 1920s when there was a national drive to improve social and educational provision in rural areas. In a survey undertaken by ACRE last year, it was found that 60% of village halls provide the only meeting space in the local community. An estimated 50,000 individuals too are reliant on the use of village halls to make a living.

The online record has been set up by national charity, Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). The Domesday Book is a colourful, and arguably historical record, so far featuring 700+ village halls whose volunteer custodians have taken time to explain their charity’s history, their response to the pandemic, and hopes for reopening and supporting their community in the future.


Notes to editor 

TVRA work to ensure all village halls and community centres are well run by professional management committees working for the betterment of their communities.  TVRA encourage and support hall redevelopment projects, provide grant funding advice, give regular information and advice on running a hall in your local community and provide advice and guidance on all aspects of village hall and community building management.

  • There are 10,000+ village halls in England
  • 1,000 village halls host a community enterprise such as shop, café, post office.

Please feel free to contact Janice McColm at Tees Valley Rural Action on 01642 213852 info@teesvalleyruralaction.co.uk

Help us support you online and make sure you don’t miss any of our conversations by following us on social media. You can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.

Tees Valley Village Halls

Moneywise Begin Year of Celebrations

Moneywise Begin Year of Celebrations

Moneywise, the largest credit union in the Northeast of England, is celebrating its 30th year in 2021 with new outreach initiatives and events in its network of branches.

Helping the Community Since 1991

Credit unions like Moneywise are financial institutions similar to banks – the difference being that a credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit organisation aimed at helping the local community rather than seeking to earn a profit for shareholders.

From humble beginnings in 1991, the Moneywise we know now grew from the Newcastle City Council Credit Union. Originally only permanent employees of the City Council were eligible to join, but today Moneywise offer savings accounts, affordable ethical loans and payroll savings schemes to over 11,000 members from as far afield as Northumberland to the Redcar & Cleveland area, and partner with nearly 50 local and regional employers including Newcastle, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Councils, Thirteen Housing Group and Beyond Housing.

Also operating under trading names of Tees Credit Union in Stockton and South Tees Community Bank in Middlesbrough and Redcar, from the very beginning Moneywise have been keen to be seen as part of the community it works with and has always had a commitment to outreach and improving the financial wellbeing of its community. As an extension of this and as part of its 30th-year celebrations, it is launching a new “financial health” initiative; driven by its community partnership team, each branch will be working with community, faith and voluntary organisations to promote financial education and improve the financial health of the North East. As well as the financial health project, Moneywise are promoting savings through offering incentives and opportunities to win shopping vouchers, including a draw for all new members who join between July and September! For your chance to win, all you need to do to become a member is visit one of our websites at www.moneywise.org.uk, www.teescreditunion.co.uk or www.southteescommunitybank.org.uk

Phil Goad, Chairperson of Moneywise, said: “We’re extremely proud of our beginnings from an employee credit union to being able to expand out to offer valuable credit union services to the Newcastle and Teesside communities and beyond. We can see in the last ten years alone; the growth has been tremendous and there are many more members of our communities to reach yet. We are excited for what the next 30 years will bring”


Covid 19 –—– Safer Community Centres

Helping Community Centres and Village Halls Re-open Safely

Community centres and village halls are places that help to support and sustain public life across the country.  They are hugely valued by their communities for playing a multi-purpose role, serving as a social centre, arts centre, sports centre and in some cases providing education, health, or retail services.

The Covid-19 Safer Spaces guide has been published to assist staff and volunteers to ensure their centres are safe to re-open as the different phases of lockdown come to an end.

Developed by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) in partnership with architects IF_DO, and Clarion Futures, this free-to-use guide sets out clear stages of how to safely re-open community centres and village halls across the UK.  Visual diagrams illustrate the spatial adaptations required for hiring and other essential services to recommence as safely as possible.


ACRE also produce timely updated information sheets on their website along with example risk assessments and other useful information.  Please keep checking these as theses are updated as and when required

New information to help village halls reopen – ACRE | Action with Communities in Rural England

Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust – Mental Health Resilience Funding Opportunity

TEWV- Mental Health Resilience Funding Opportunity

The impact of the COVID pandemic on our mental health and emotional well-being is becoming increasingly evident.  Across the lifespan, we are seeing heightened rates of anxiety and low mood amongst the population.  Many people have been living in fear of contracting the virus; and feelings of anxiety surrounding re-engaging with community life are understandable and very normal.  For those who have been significantly unwell as a result of contracting COVID themselves or have lost a loved one to the virus, we may see specific trauma responses.  Loneliness, social isolation and the lack of freedom and meaningful activity that the lockdowns have caused has posed challenges to our emotional well-being.  Those amongst us who experienced pre-existing mental or physical health difficulties may have found that these have been exacerbated due to the pandemic; with those who have significant vulnerability, multiple disadvantage or living in abusive environments perhaps most at risk.

The pandemic has caused many of us to reflect on our own emotional well-being and what helps us to maintain this.  Services have, as a result of the restrictions, had to become more creative and flexible in how they operate and meet the needs of the local population.  There is a recognition that it is now crucial we learn from these experiences and put into place robust support for people as they navigate their own journey to a place of greater well-being.  ‘Resilience’ funding has become available through Tees Esk and Wear Valley, (TEWV) in order to enhance existing VCSE service provision in the Tees Valley to meet this need.  We would therefore like to invite bids for grants which will have a specific focus on recovery from the pandemic and which are designed to meet the particular needs of the local population; considering any gaps in existing services.

This fund is now open for applications, see below.  It is a simple application process and our Darlington groups can apply for a minimum of £2,000 up to a maximum of £10,000.  (Please note if you are an organisation operating in one of the other local authority areas of the Tees Valley this minimum and maximum level may be different or not exist at all.  Contact details for the other areas are at the end of this brief.)

Applicants must consider the criteria outlined in the attached pdf document, ‘Resilience Funding Tees Valley Overview’. Resilience Funding Tees Valley overview FINAL 10062021

The deadline for receiving applications is by using the application form attached and returning via email to info@teesvalleyruralaction.co.uk or by post to TVRA’s office address by Wednesday 21st July 2021 at 5pm

Darlington TEWV Application Form

It is anticipated that the decision panel will meet on 26th July 2021 to consider applications received.

Please circulate to your networks If you have any queries please contact our office on (01642) 213852 where you will go straight to voicemail but please leave a message and either myself or Janice McColm will get back to you.

For further information on other areas the contacts are the following:
Stockton Catalyst: Karen.grundy@catalyststockton.org
Redcar RCVDA: mike@rcvda.org.uk
Middlesbrough VDA: mark.davis@mvdauk.org.uk
Hartlepool: Leigh.Keeble@hartlepool.gov.uk
Darlington: info@teesvalleyruralaction.co.uk

East Cleveland Villages Big Local Partnership



East Cleveland Villages Big Local is a Lottery funded, resident led programme to invest over £1m in the communities of East Cleveland. Phase 1 of our programme ran from 2014 to 2020; we are now beginning phase 2 – which is due to run until 2026.

The attached action plan tells you about the history and the future ideas of this exciting community project. In January 2021, we relaunched ECVBL with a resident led plan to invest £211,000 in the local community over the next three years.

Under the rules of the Big Local programme, we require a group of at least 8 people, the majority of whom must be residents of the target area, to oversee and coordinate the delivery of the programme. We have 6 members, and we are looking for at least 2 more.

This is an opportunity to be part of a project that can do really good things for East Cleveland. It is also a great opportunity to meet people, learn more about community action and develop your own skills. There is professional support provided by Tees Valley Rural Action, our support organisation (Follow this link –  Tees Valley Rural Action – Supporting local communities ) and there are many opportunities to learn – both locally and via the national Big Local programme. (Local Trust – Trusting Local People) We are all learning, so you will not be alone in this.

The way in which we are organised is with a steering group of up to 12 people and a wider community forum open to all. There are five themes to our plan and our intention is that each of these will be supported by a task or theme group.

The role of the Partnership steering group members is to:

  • Listen to, connect with and be accountable to, local communities
  • Oversee our Big Local action plan and steer how it is delivered
  • Read communications and attend meetings
  • Make shared decisions when necessary
  • Be champions of the project
  • And if you want – get more involved in particular themes and projects.

Attributes – or ‘person spec’

We are looking for people who:

  1. Support the resident led, inclusive approach of the Big Local programme
  2. Are passionate about the whole East Cleveland area
  3. Are willing to work together for the good of the whole local community
  4. Will be impartial and fair – will not favour particular ideas or projects
  5. Will be available and reliable – able to devote at least a few hours a month to the Big Local
  6. Are willing to learn.

Application Process

To apply to join our partnership, please get in touch, and tell us 1) a bit about yourself and 2) why you would like to be involved.  We do not need much – maximum approximately one side of A4.

If your application is appropriate, we will first invite you to sit in on a few Big Local meetings so you can get a feel for what we do and who we are. Then in due course we will agree with you whether it is for you and if you want to become a member.

For an informal conversation about the Big Local or to send your application, please contact:

Julie Thornton

Business Support Manager


Downloadable Information for applicants ECVBL Application information

Current ECVBL Plan 2021 to 2026

Steering Group Recruitment photo