In the context of the rapidly changing health and care environment, a second phase of the Joint VCSE Review on health and wellbeing will be launched on 16 May, with a renewed focus on a revised set of recommendations to prompt local and national action.  The final report of the review originally launched in 2016 with 28 recommendations jointly agreed by the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England. 

The second phase will be launched at a webinar at 15.30 on 16 May, presented by Alex Fox OBE (chair of the VCSE Review), Glen Garrod (executive director of ADASS) and Neil Churchill (director, NHS England).  It’s aimed at statutory organisations, the VCSE sector, commissioners and other health and care organisations – if you’d like to join, simply save this link and click through on the day.

Twelve months into the inquiry into the future of civil society in England, over 1,500 people have contributed so far — so what have they said?

“Civil society really matters – it is a valuable and essential part of our daily lives, bringing people together, building their confidence and capability, offering a helping hand to those in crisis, delivering services, challenging injustice.  But our generation is facing new challenges. More impersonal and more divided, we face the possibility of an ‘us and them’ future. Inequality… racial tensions… robots replacing humans…. ignored by government… many feel powerless, they have little control over the future – and are losing trust in big institutions, including charities.

“And yet there is enormous possibility – civil society can and must respond.

“Its big role in the coming years is to generate a radical and creative shift which puts power in the hands of people and communities, connecting us better and humanising the future.

Read the 1 year work in progress reports and find out how to contribute.

Entries have opened for the LOVE Northumberland Awards 2018 - the annual celebration of all that is great about community environmental work in the county.

The LOVE Northumberland awards mark a range of projects and initiatives which improve local areas or neighbourhoods for the benefit of members of the local community, and entries are now being accepted for 2018.  Entries are invited for the categories of best children’s project, best young people’s project, best urban project, best coast or countryside project, best new project, best school recycling project, and an award for an outstanding individual.

The closing date for entries for the 2018 awards is Friday 8 June. Winners will be presented by Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland at an event at The Alnwick Garden on Thursday 12 July.

If you want to enter, or know someone who should, go to to find out more and download an application form.  You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone for an entry form and/or to find out more on 01670 622992.

Less than half of local charities are confident they will survive beyond five years due to a huge imbalance between time and resources, a new report has revealed.

The Local Charity and Community Group Sustainability Report, published by Localgiving and Sage Foundation, found many local charities and community groups are stretched to “breaking point” following a number of cuts and austerity measures that have increased burden on small charities.

Commenting on the findings of the report, the author of the report, Lewis Garland, said: “Our report has revealed a sector stretched well beyond its capacity. Local charities have been expected to fill the gaps left by public sector cuts, while simultaneously competing for dwindling funding opportunities. 

“Meanwhile, the climate of uncertainty around issues such as Brexit and GDPR has left many questioning their future. If the sector is to survive, let alone flourish, it is essential that local charities are actively included in key decision making processes - both at the local and national level. Furthermore, we must find way to increase, and diversify the funding and support available to these groups”.  Read more at:

Great Northumberland 2018 is an eight-week extravaganza of events, exhibitions and activities starting from Saturday 7 July and offering something for everyone, regardless of age, whether they’re families, art lovers, history buffs or they're simply looking to explore and find adventure.

Spurred on by the Great Exhibition of the North 2018, Northumberland County Council is bringing together, for the first time, a diverse range of summer activities under ‘Great Northumberland’, with a variety of the county’s best-loved visitor attractions playing host to events, including Lindisfarne Castle, Cragside, Vindolanda, Cherryburn and many more.

The aim of Great Northumberland 2018 is to showcase the county’s rich heritage, unique traditions and fabulous landscape, while also demonstrating its forward-thinking approach to environmental innovation and digital technology.

Venues and organisations across Northumberland are encouraged to submit their events and plans for the summer to be featured on the Great Northumberland website.  Find out more at