We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough


Leaning into discomfort - the challenge of partnership working

15 May 2018 - 11:04pm

‘Lean into the discomfort’ is a little mantra I’ve been speaking over myself a lot lately. I picked it up as a concept in personal development training and it’s something I always come back to after reflecting upon my frustrations about partnership working, frustrations I guess we all have when working outside of our own organisional boundaries. It’s one of those concepts, which basically means ‘this is going to feel really scary but it will be worth it’ -sounds great in theory but the reality will cost you! 

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Guest blog: Keeping all the plates spinning at A Way Out

26 April 2018 - 10:42am

Guest blog by Sarah McManus, CEO of A Way Out

I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother… and, for the last 18 months, CEO of an organisation called A Way Out – a charity now celebrating 16 years of supporting vulnerable women, families and young people in Stockton.

Like so many women, life can sometimes feel like a circus - a whirling carousel incorporating the ups and downs of operating under each of these multiple identities. There are plates to spin and hoops to jump through in order to keep everything going!

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We need to value unpaid work

26 March 2018 - 3:28pm

Hazel Bloor is Volunteering Development Officer for Step Forward Tees Valley in Middlesbrough, based at MVDA. She supports participants on the SFTV programme to access volunteer roles within the VCO sector in Middlesbrough, as well as running a new supported group volunteering programme called ‘Community Heroes’ in partnership with Changing Lives.

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Is Community Intelligence the way forward for better commissioning?

28 February 2018 - 4:25pm

You’ve heard it said numerous times before and so have I, that one of the key strengths of the VCS is it supports people within communities and in doing so understands their requirements and is able to describe gaps in provision or priority activities which need to be undertaken.

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It’s Nice to be Nice

27 February 2018 - 12:29pm

I was browsing through my Facebook page recently and came across a heart-warming story about a local bus driver. A school girl had missed her bus, but the bus driver noticed her in his mirror as he was pulling out. Unable to stop, he drove around the block and picked her up on the second time around. The passengers gave him a round of applause and organised a whip round.

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