Get involved in Village Halls Week 2024

This year’s Village Halls Week (18-24 March) is going green with a focus on promoting sustainability, energy efficiency and the environment. Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) is encouraging community venues to sign up for resources (including recyclable/reusable posters, bunting and badges) for the week. Campaign packs are limited so register your interest now.

We’d love to hear what village halls across Tees Valley, are doing to make your space more energy efficient or encourage your community to go greener. If you want to get involved with the campaign by sharing your story or submitting a blog, do get in touch

We’ll be sharing resources, tips and inspiring stories throughout the week. #VillageHallsWeek

Register Now


Applications now open for Tees Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Trust Resilience Funding – Round 2 – Staying Well

Following the success of the first round of funding from Tees Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Trust, which focussed on the mental health challenges faced as a consequence of the Covid pandemic, we are delighted to announce a new round of one year funding for Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise, (VCSE) organisations in Stockton and Darlington to deliver projects which look to redesign and realign community mental health.

NHS England Community Mental Health Framework sets out its ambition and challenge to local providers to redesign and realign community mental health teams alongside primary care and voluntary sector services.

Funding for round 2 is centred around the core community mental health framework principles of which we would welcome bids in line with the following ethos to support our local communities to stay well.  Funding applications will need to address one or more of the following:

  • Support local communities to stay well. This may include supporting individuals with conditions impacting their mental wellbeing or those who are currently in recovery.
  • Enable individuals to contribute to their local communities and be active participants.
  • Support transitions between services to reduce waiting times and allow for “warm transfers”. By this we mean actively supporting individuals to make initial links with, and access, other services where this would best meet their needs.  Collaborative working across partners and organisations would be strongly welcomed.
  • Promote individuals supporting their physical and mental wellbeing
  • Improve quality of life especially in underrepresented groups or those with health inequalities.
  • Recognise the health inequalities of local populations and underrepresented groups to either access services or stay well within their local communities.
  • Projects and or services that are people led and demonstrate they have spoken to and involved local communities within the design of the activities the applicant is proposing.
  • Applicants can demonstrate they have drawn upon the infrastructure and strengths of the area it is working within and how it can add value.
  • Reduction in social isolation.
  • Provide a proactive outreach offer as well as in reach.

Deadline for applications is 5pm Thursday 29th September 2022 and applicants will be notified within 10 days of the closing date.

Download the application and guidance notes for Darlington here TEWV Application Form Darlington

For VCSE organisations in Stockton on Tees please visit HERE or email using the title Resilience Funding – Round 2 – Staying Well.



Big Local Big Changes

We are super excited to announce that East Cleveland Villages Big Local has reviewed their development plan and are about to launch under a new name and new title.  This means a rebrand to something everyone will come to know and recognise.

East Cleveland Villages Big Local is being renamed and will become East Cleveland Good Neighbours – Connecting Communities.  Together with a new development plan for the area and new direction of travel for East Cleveland Good Neighbours – this is an exciting time for East Cleveland.

We believe that the change will be much easier for the community to connect with and relate to.  The partnership team has worked with a consultant and engaged with the community to develop an easy-to-understand development plan with clear themes that will benefit the communities of East Cleveland.  Following a period where COVID halted the progress of implementing the plan – now is the time to move forward.

To launch their new name, they would like to invite you to an event with a difference.

They are inviting community groups to come along and find out more and take part in a Chicken Soup event! At the event community groups will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the room audience who will then vote on their chosen cause.  The winners of the vote will be awarded a grant of £500.

All we are asking is that community groups are working on the themes of our development plan and the delivery is in our allocated area of East Cleveland.  On the launch evening we will be taking pitches from those working on our themes 2, 3, 4 and 5, see below for information.

The date of the event is 1st October at Loftus Community Hub CIC – Home of the East Cleveland Good Neighbours Food bank (The old Loftus Social Club, West Road, Loftus, TS13 4RG)

Groups will discover more about the themes over the next few weeks via their social media pages but for now the themes are:

Theme 1.  Developing the skills and confidence of local people and organisations

Theme 2. Young People

Theme 3. Health and Well Being

Theme 4. Being neighbourly – Connecting Our Communities

Theme 5. Campaigning and Strong Local Voices

Also, on the evening there will be a market stall event to find out more about the themes and how community groups can get involved either as a delivery partner or to access funding.

What’s not to get involved with? …. This is your chance too network with other organisations in the local area, a chance to find out more about the plans for East Cleveland Good Neighbours – Connecting Communities moving forward and an opportunity for funding.  We may even treat you all to some cake!!

Please follow social media groups and pages or contact for more information.


Going Green Together Launch Events

Going Green Together is very excited to announce the launch of our new project, supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and County Durham Community Foundation. As well as expanding the resources we’re currently offering through the Going Green Together website, we’re inviting VCSE organisations in the North East and Cumbria to join a special cohort to access training and courses in order to reduce their carbon footprint and learn how to make their working practises more environmentally conscious.

To celebrate the launch of this programme, and to let you know how to get involved, we’re hosting a range of online and in-person events in mid-July. These events will include a presentation of what we’ve done so far, the aims of Going Green Together, what’s coming up and what we’re looking for in applicants for our training cohort. The events will also involve break-out sessions to provide a taster of future activities, and to let us know more about your environmental needs. They will also include an opportunity to meet other organisations in your region, to begin building a climate support network of your peers.

This is a fantastic opportunity for those who are looking to make their first steps towards environmental reform within their organisation, those who want to discover more, and for those who are already embedding environmental practise in their organisation but who are looking to collaborate with and help other organisations do the same.

The first event will be an in-person launch and networking event on Tuesday 12th July, 2-4.30pm, at VODA’s new Spirit of North Tyneside venue in Wallsend Customer First Centre. You can sign up to this free event here:

This will be followed by three online launch events. While each of these will have a regional focus, anyone from the North East or Cumbria is invited to attend whichever event they prefer based on their availability. These are as follows:


There will be a limit on spaces for each event, so be sure to reserve your ticket soon!

Nuts and Bolts of Funding Applications

The development of a grant application can be a tricky and overwhelming task. We have teamed up with Woodsmith Foundation to provide the background work that is required to start writing quality grant applications.

Our fun and interactive sessions will include a speaker from the Woodsmith Foundation (formerly Sirius Minerals Foundation) to ensure Redcar & Cleveland groups can produce quality applications to meet their funding guidelines.

This is your opportunity to meet the funder and develop your funding application skills. We will be detailing, tips and trips and do’s and don’ts. Giving you an opportunity to use case studies and develop your own applications on the day.

Over three separate dates and East Cleveland Venues.  Each day is the same time. Registration from 9:30am, session is 10am-2pm. Lunch is provided.

26th July 2022  – Charltons Community Centre, TS12 3DA

18th August 2022 – Loftus Town Hall, Ts13 4HG – DATE CHANGED FROM 17th AUGUST

13th September 2022 – Liverton Village Hall, Ts13 4TB

Sometimes 1 day just isn’t enough we will be offering 1 to 1 tailored sessions to support your future funding applications.  Once the face to face training sessions are completed an online highlight video will be available on our website.

To register your place please click here to secure your spot numbers depend on venue so please don’t miss out.

Poster with dates for training course


Welcome to the Tees Valley Volunteering Charter

A new volunteering charter, designed to help organisations give volunteers assurances on the quality of their experience launches today.

Tens of thousands of people take on voluntary roles across Tees Valley every year, making a huge contribution to the welfare of their communities, whilst having an enjoyable and rewarding time.

Developed by the Tees Valley Infrastructure Partnership (TVIP), the Charter features a list of statements which organisations pledge to work towards. These include, making sure volunteering is welcoming and accessible and providing volunteers with the support they need.

By signing up to the Charter, organisations show they value the contribution volunteers make and commit to providing a high quality and positive experience. The Charter is non-prescriptive, meaning organisations are free to put policies and procedures in place to meet the Charter’s statements in a way that suits them.

Catalyst’s CEO, Jon Carling, a member of TVIP said, ‘the Partnership is delighted to have worked together with colleagues across the Tees Valley to develop the Charter. When volunteers see the Charter featured on organisation’s website and in their premises, they know they are committed to providing the best volunteering experience possible’.

Mark Davis, Chief Executive of Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency, added “Volunteers tell us all the time how much they enjoy volunteering. They make such a difference to the lives of local people, and add a lot of value to the economy too. Organisations which sign up to the Charter will be showing a real commitment to supporting our volunteers.”

Organisations can sign up to the Charter from 1st July and will receive a copy of the Charter statements, along with a certificate to show their commitment to working to meet these. They will also be provided with suggestions of how they can tailor their practice to achieve the Charter statements.

If you are an organisation based in Darlington and would like to sign up to the Charter or for any further information please complete the form by clicking here.

For further information contact  TVRA’s, Julie Thornton, at or 01642 213852.

If you are from one of the other areas in the Tees Valley please see below for your relevant contact:

Darlington: Julie Thornton –

Stockton: Lucy Owens – or click here

Hartlepool: Tracy Harvey –

Middlesbrough: Lesley Spaven – or click here

Redcar and Cleveland: Carole Marshall – or click here

Tees Valley Volunteering Charter launched as Volunteers’ Week 2022 comes to a close

Tees Valley Volunteering Charter launched

Volunteers across Tees Valley can be assured that they will have a great experience, as a new Volunteering Charter is launched.

Tens of thousands of people take on voluntary roles across Tees Valley every year, making a huge contribution to the welfare of their communities, whilst having an enjoyable and rewarding time. The Tees Valley Volunteering Charter can be adopted by organisations which deploy volunteers, and demonstrates their commitment to ensuring that volunteers are safe, valued, and that they undertake meaningful tasks which make a real difference to their communities.

The Charter has been developed  by the Tees Valley Infrastructure Partnership (TVIP), a group of voluntary sector bodies which provide advice, support and a voice for the thousands of voluntary community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in the region.

Jon Carling, Chief Executive of Catalyst, which supports the VCSE sector in Stockton-on-Tees, said ‘The aim of the Charter is to enable our partner organisations to demonstrate to volunteers that they will have a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience’.

Mark Davis, Chief Executive of Middlesbrough Voluntary Development Agency, added ‘volunteers tell us all the time how much they enjoy volunteering. They make such a difference to the lives of local people, and add a lot of value to the economy too. Organisations which sign up to the Charter will be showing a real commitment to supporting our volunteers’.

Developed by the Tees Valley Infrastructure Partnership (TVIP) the Charter gives volunteers across the Tees Valley assurance that their volunteering experience will be as positive and worthwhile as possible.

The Charter does not provide set criteria for how organisations ensure the quality of their volunteering offer, but provides a list of statements, which they pledge to work towards in their volunteering practice.

This gives volunteers the confidence that they are valued and supported but allows organisations the flexibility to apply the Charter statements in a way that suits them.

Organisations will be invited to sign up to the Charter from 1st July 2022, and will receive a Charter pack, including a suite of suggested examples to help develop, embed, and uphold good practice.

For the Darlington area to sign up to the Charter or for any further information please contact TVRA’s Business Development Manager, Julie Thornton at or 01642213852.

For other areas please contact:-

Hartlepool – Hartlepower

Middlesbrough – MVDA –

Redcar & Cleveland – RCVDA –

Stockton – Catalyst –

Announcing East Cleveland’s Big Jubilee Festival

East Cleveland Big Jubilee Festival 2nd-5th June 2022 brings together rural communities and heritage, linking people in celebrating the Jubilee with a series of multi-generational living history-themed events and activities. The festival has been created by a community partnership led by Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum and involves:

Thanks to Arts Council England Let’s Create Jubilee Fund, County Durham Community Foundation, East Cleveland Big Local and the Big Lottery Fund for supporting the East Cleveland Big Jubilee Festival. In-kind support is provided by a range of local business and supporters. The festival builds on residents’ interest in local history, heritage, passion and community pride. Activities around East Cleveland’s villages will include making oral history recordings of local residents’ memories, exhibitions, schools’ activities, face-to-face and online dance workshops, a ‘ration book style’ record of the festival and costume making. Artists will lead sessions working with volunteers, a film including drone footage will be created and shared online, and audio and visual records will be stored for posterity and made available to the public through the internet. “Our partnership is overjoyed to have been awarded this funding which will allow our village communities to work together in a wide range of creative ways to engage residents in honour the Jubilee. On our journey out of the Covid pandemic, the festival brings opportunities for people to work together to achieve a goal by: being involved in their communities; making positive connections; building feelings of togetherness and belonging; and increasing intergenerational understanding. We can’t wait for the culmination of the festival in the form of our final spectacular dance performance on Skinningrove Jetty on the afternoon of Saturday 4th June. We’re very much looking forward to sharing our final video to celebrate the richness of our communities, their history, culture and natural landscape.” Jo Booth and Graham Banwell – East Cleveland Big Jubilee Festival Steering Group

For further information, images, branding or to confirm an interview please contact or call Jo Booth on 07941 631486 #CreativeJubilee #LottoGoodCauses

We will provide this space for useful resources to access and download.

EC BIG Jubilee Festival Header

EC BIG Jubilee Crown

EC Big Jubilee Flag

EC Big Jubilee Bunting

Platinum Jubilee Tool Kit includes lots of colouring in sheets, download recipes and even bunting well worth checking out.



Beat the Street across the Rural Areas of Redcar and Cleveland & Stockton

Tees Valley Rural Action are super pleased to see the Beat the Street challenge hit the rural areas of Tees Valley

What is Beat the Street?

Beat the Street is a free, FUN, interactive challenge that encourages people of all ages to incorporate more activity into their daily lives by turning the town into a six-week game.

The game is completely contactless, players take part in their family groups and are encouraged to walk, cycle, run, wheel or scoot as far as possible within the local area, with prizes for the teams that clock up the highest number of miles.

Beat the Street physical activity game is live in Redcar and Cleveland & Stockton-On Tees

A free, interactive game that encourages whole communities to walk, cycle and roll in return for prizes is set to launch in Redcar and Cleveland!

The Beat the Street game was created by GP Dr William Bird to encourage people to connect with their local communities by getting together to walk, cycle and roll as far as possible within a six-week game.

Beat the Street has been designed to help people make small lifestyle changes and to increase low levels of physical activity. It also helps reduce congestion, improves air quality, and helps friends and families spend time in green spaces together. It is an outdoor game and is completely contactless.

Since it was created, the game has been played by more than 1.5m people in more than 120 locations in the UK and beyond, including in Middlesbrough at the end of 2021 – here, 14,528 people took part and clocked up a total of 110,724 active travel miles.

The game is set to take place across Redcar and Cleveland from Wednesday, 2nd March to Wednesday, 13th April, and a separate game will also run at the same time across Stockton-on- Tees.

It is open to anyone of any age who would like to take part. Players can join a school, workplace, community or charity team and there are prizes for the teams that travel the furthest. There is also an average points leaderboard to ensure that teams of all sizes are in with a chance of winning prizes, plus ‘lucky tap’ prizes and other competitions throughout the game.

The teams that travel the furthest can win hundreds of pounds worth of prizes including vouchers for books or sports equipment.

Participating primary schools will provide each child with a card and map, plus a card for an accompanying adult. The wider community can pick up a free card from one of the distribution points listed on the Beat the Street Redcar and Cleveland and Beat the Street Stockton websites.

Players then find their nearest “Beat Box” which will appear on lampposts around the towns shortly before the game. The Game starts on the 2nd March, hover your card over the Beat Box and it will beep and flash to record your points. Then, walk, cycle or roll to the next nearest Beat Box to score points – then keep going!

Beat the Street is run by Redcar and Cleveland Council, Stockton Borough Council funded by Sport England, and managed by Intelligent Health.

Set Up

Children aged 11 and under play with a Beat the Street card, which they will receive directly from their school. Anyone aged 12 and above plays with a Beat the Street card that can be collected from a local distribution point.

All players over the age of 13 can create an account online, but anyone under 13 will need a parent or carer to do this for them. Parents/carers can then add additional family members to their account via our family management feature.

Once an account has been set up, players can connect their card to their player profile. When you’re ready to start, use the Beat Box map to plan your route and get going!

Playing the game

  1. Explore your local area, finding Beat Boxes nearest to you on the map.
  2. Hover your card at the contactless Beat Box until it beeps and flashes.
  3. Visit two Beat Boxes within an hour and collect 10 points for each Beat Box – this is 20 points for the journey.
  4. Carry on your journey and score 10 points for each extra Beat Box you visit.

Go Week

Each of the six weeks of the Game has a different theme. Each week focuses on different aspects, including Go Travel, Go Wild, Go Active and go Explore. Each week brings new opportunity to get involved with your local community, earn points and have fun!

Go Play 2nd – 8th March – Players are introduced to Beat the Street and the key concepts behind the game. Players are encouraged to find Beat Boxes in their neighbourhood and get friends and family to play.

Go Travel 9th – 15th March – This week aims to promote active travel with bonus points and prizes centred around commuting times of the day.

Go Wild 16th – 22nd March – Go Wild celebrates all of the town’s parks, green spaces and waterways.

Go Active 23rd – 29th March – Having got active through Beat the Street, players will be encouraged to try out sports and fitness activities (COVID-19 restrictions permitting)

Go Explore 30th March – 5th April – Players are encouraged to find Beat Boxes across the area on foot or by bike and access cultural and historical hubs. We will run a number of events encouraging people to discover new places.

Go Celebrate 6th – 13th April – In the final week we will be celebrating the game with double points on all Beat Boxes in the final week.

For Maps and Distribution points for your areas please go to
Redcar and Cleveland
Twitter: @BTSRCBC
Facebook: @BTSRedcarCleveland
Instagram: @btsredcarcleveland

BTS Redcar Cleveland Leaflet

Twitter: @BTSStockton
Facebook: @BTSStockton
Instagram: @btsstockton


Tees Valley Rural Action – Mapping Employment Related Provision across the Voluntary and Community Sector in Darlington

Tees Valley Rural Action – For Darlington, alongside the 4 other Tees Valley Voluntary Development Agencies, have been commissioned by the Learning & Work Institute & Tees Valley Combined Authority to collate “an accurate picture of how the voluntary & community sector provides employment-related support, including IAG and mentoring/coaching services”.

The New Futures initiative is part of a national pilot – funding having been obtained by the Learning & Work Institute from the Covid-19 Support Fund for work in 5 areas across the UK, including Tees Valley,. The idea is to develop & deliver pilot programmes to support workers to re-skill following the pandemic. The pilot will run from Spring 2022 to September 2023.

To be eligible for the programme people will have had their employment impacted by the pandemic. The target cohort for the pilot will be Tees Valley residents over the age of 35 who have been unemployed for 0-24 months – including those who have been on furlough – and/or those who have changed sector/occupation due to the impact of Covid-19 but are wanting to change career to a more sustainable occupation in areas of growth within Tees Valley.

The information is being collected with a view to VCS organisations potentially being commissioned by the Learning & Work Institute to deliver components of the New Futures programme. According to the Institute:

“Each pilot will include:

  • Tailored and targeted outreach activity
  • High quality careers advice and coaching based on local labour market information, future skills needs and local skills profiles.
  • Local sector-based partnerships to identify and/or develop training for specific career pathways and jobs.
  • Flexible models of training delivery including intensive short courses delivered face-to-face and/or online – to fit with adults’ wider work and family commitments.
  • Financial support for career changers to ensure affordability and reduce cost barriers to re-skilling.”

NB One of the key differences between this and other employment-related programmes is recognition that some people whose employment was impacted by the pandemic may have now obtained alternative employment but may still wish to re-skill and move into a different role.  All provision therefore will need to be flexible to suit both employed and unemployed participants.”

If you are interested in being included on the spreadsheet we’re compiling for the Learning & Work Institute then please advise

We estimate that the time necessary to gather the required information will be around 15 minutes.