Small Charity Week 2020 took place from June 15th to celebrate and raise awareness of the essential work of the UK’s smallest charities, organisations that make an invaluable contribution to the lives of millions of individuals, communities and causes across the globe. For the first time, organisations from across the North East’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector put their own stamp on the week in the region, by coming together to create Small Charity Week North East.

Kicking off with I Love Small Charities Day on June 15th, the week featured a host of free-to-attend virtual learning and networking events that small charities were able to take advantage of, and specialist, one-on-one advice was available on a range of issues, from governance to fundraising.

Highlights included an introduction to Microsoft Teams, a Q&A on first-time trusteeship, and a discussion on collaborative working with The Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, a funding fair from Connected Voice featuring advice sessions from other Local Infrastructure Organisations (LIOs) such as Durham Community Action and North Tyneside VODA, a networking event focused on governance from HartlePower CIC, and workshops on securing grant funding, developing a fundraising strategy and peer learning from KEDA Consulting.

VONNE CEO Carol Botten said: “Small charities make up around 90 per cent of the charitable sector in our region, and as revealed in our recently published report, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed many to the brink of survival, yet their work has never been more needed.

“By coming together in one shared regional voice under the banner of Small Charity Week North East, we can support small charities and celebrate their amazing work on an individual level, wherever they may be in the region, but also help them to build relationships and gain skills, knowledge and tools to help them collaborate on sustainable initiatives and innovations that can transform the lives of people in our communities.”

The week included a Big Advice Day, and days focused on policy, fundraising and the big impact of small charities, before activity was rounded off with Small Charity Appreciation Day.

Alex Blake, Director of KEDA Consulting added: “Small Charity Week is a fantastic initiative that provided information, training and support to our 6,000+ small charities and raised awareness of their work and their incredible impact.

“But, particularly in light of the devastating impact of Covid-19 across the VCSE sector in our region, not least on small charities, we wanted to unite together across the North East to really make the week our own.”

Individuals can get see some of the highlights of the week using the social media hashtag #SmallCharityNE, as well as that of the national campaign, #NeverMoreNeeded.

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