The VONNE Climate Action Alliance - background and launch of website and engagement events

Author: Carol Botten

VONNE Climate Action Alliance logo

The VONNE Climate Action Alliance exists to help the VCSE sector of the North East of England respond collectively to address the climate crisis, ecological collapse and the need for a just transition.

In 2020 VONNE established the VCAA as a means of delivering a specifically voluntary and community and social enterprise sector programme of actions.  We are working as the sector’s initiative within the cross-sector and regional North East England Climate Coalition and the collective vision of ‘Becoming England’s Greenest region’.

VONNE convened a number of VCSE organisations from across the region with long experience of working with – and listening to – locally place-based community organisations. These agreed to become the founding Alliance members with VONNE in delivering a VCSE sector climate action programme.

Since then, with seed funding from the Lankelly Chase Foundation, the Alliance members have been working to agree the principles and values of our Alliance, along with ideas on our aims and areas of work.  We’ve made good progress albeit slower than we would have liked due to impact of the pandemic. 

More recently the VCAA have secure two chunks of funding and support from the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response Fund

Firstly we undertook an intensive four-week Discovery programme which enabled us to articulate our particular challenge:

‘how can we create connections between existing environmental organisations and the wider VCSE sector to create a movement of climate action activity within the North East VCSE sector?’.

We then researched and took learning from similar initiatives elsewhere, and carried out user research to define the needs of North East VCSE organisations, climate action/ environmental organisations and VCCA members.  This enabled us to generate initial ideas, review existing tools and platforms and make a plan for the next stage of our engagement/ development.  View a Powerpoint presentation of the process we went through and our findings

Next we secured the opportunity through the Catalyst Definition programme to build upon this work and to develop and test prototypes and tools with a broader range of people and organisations.  This next stage will enable us to learn what works and doesn’t, what people are interested in and need support with, and to start to build a community of organisations wishing to work as part of the Alliance.  If you are interested to find out more about what we've been up to and some of the things we've done and created, visit Georgia's weeknotes on the Medium site.


We are mid-way through the Definition programme and now we need your help and engagement.


What’s the ask?

1) Please visit the test/ prototype website for the VONNE Climate Action Alliance – 5-15 minutes

VONNE Climate Action Alliance – Supporting the North East England VCSE sector to take climate action (

Just go to the site and use it as naturally as possible.  Some of the pages are not yet fully developed so please forgive any dead-ends and just pretend the site is fully functional.  We know it is not perfect as we have built it ourselves but we hope it works well enough as a prototype/ test site upon which we can build.  Most pages have comments sections at the bottom, where you can add your thoughts or feedback about that particular page including the tone, images, layout etc.  Mainly though we’ll just be using site analytics via WordPress to be able to track what pages are of most interest to visitors and how people move through the site. 

Feel free to complete the surveys to sign up to hear more about the VCAA and our activities as our plans develop.

The test website will be open for a couple of weeks and then we will carry out our analysis so please do jump on and have a play: VONNE Climate Action Alliance – Supporting the North East England VCSE sector to take climate action (


2) Join our roundtables on engaging particular communities in climate action – 2 mins to sign up, roundtables are 1 hour long

We are holding three virtual roundtable events in April to explore the challenges and opportunities for engaging particular groups (BAME communities, younger people and people from disadvantaged communities) in climate action activities. 

This is an opportunity for organisations to share insights on their previous experiences, highlight any challenges that they would like help to overcome, share any opportunities and any examples of previous, current or planned projects.  We'd particularly welcome attendance from organisations who work directly with these groups, even if they have no experience of engaging their beneficiaries in climate action activities. 

Please click on the links below to register for the events:

Engaging specific communities and people with the climate emergency & climate action - focus on BAME communities 13th April 13:30-14:30

Engaging specific communities and people with the climate emergency & climate action - focus on children & young people 19th April 13:30-14:30

Engaging specific communities and people with the climate emergency & climate action - focus on disadvantaged communities 23rd April 10:00-11:00


Thanks to our funders:

Lankelly Chase logo


Cast, Catalyst and National Lottery Community Fund logos