New bursaries help community buildings and voluntary organisations go green

Author: Nathaniel Spain

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has partnered with VONNE's Going Green Together project to help the VCSE sector gain vital support in their strategic response to the climate crisis.

Become Green Together is a programme delivered through the project, helping over 60 organisations across the North East and Cumbria create and implement environmental strategies to respond to the climate crisis. Participants are supported to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint, reduce their energy and resource usage, set practical targets and create policies which work for them, and underscore their progress through accreditation with Investors in the Environment.

The training and guidance we have received so far has been invaluable. We are well on our way to a much more detailed breakdown of our carbon footprint than was previously available to us, and are in the process of revamping and improving our environmental policy and action plans. The knowledge we have gained will vastly change the way we look at our impact, and I can’t recommend the programme enough. - balletLORENT

The programme is both a fantastic first step for organisations wanting to become a more environmentally sustainable workplace, but is equally suited for those wanting to take climate action to the next level. It’s a crucial tool to help VCSE sector organisations get ahead of the changing landscape of legislation and procurement surrounding the climate crisis.

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland has provided bursaries to remove financial barriers for organisations who want to take part. Sixteen bursaries of £303.43 are available for organisations in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, which covers the full cost of taking part for small organisations, or will provide a subsidy for larger organisations.

Ross Wilson, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at the Community Foundation said:

VONNE is doing some excellent work across the region to support the sector to develop environmental strategies, which will help organisations to become more self-sufficient, as well as responsible and conscientious members of their communities. The Community Foundation is keen to explore how we can better help local charities and community groups to operate their buildings more sustainably, and this work will help to inform the direction that we might look to take in the future.

We are particularly interested in expressions of interest from organisations responsible for community buildings and spaces, and a certain number of these bursaries will be set aside for this purpose, although other voluntary and community organisations are invited to apply. To register interest for a bursary, please email the project coordinator, Nathaniel Spain, at

The final round of applications to Become Green Together closes on the 30th September 2023. You can read more about the opportunity and how to apply through the Going Green Together website.