Scotswood Natural Community Garden Early Explorers

Scotswood Natural Community Garden have started their Early Explorers project, supported by the Well Newcastle Gateshead Arts Fund.

In this video, they showcase some of the children’s creative activities using the garden as inspiration. Fantastic work!

Thank you to the Scotswood Garden team for sharing this.

Digital Voice Chopwell Past and Present Event

We were delighted to attend Digital Voice’s Chopwell Past and Present Event at Chopwell Community Centre yesterday, where they exhibited part of the thousands of photographs collected and curated by Chopwell residents as part of the Digital Art for Chopwell project, supported by the Well Newcastle Gateshead Arts Fund.

The event also featured a film of the work undertaken, with great stories about the photographs and history of the town. Well done to all who took part!

The collection of photographs and the film will very shortly be available on the Digital Voice YouTube channel, and the Chopwell Regeneration Group website,

Quick Crafters Chopwell Wall Hanging Event

We were delighted to attend the unveiling of the Quick Crafters’ Chopwell Wall Hanging, supported by the Well Newcastle Gateshead Arts Fund. The piece will be on permanent display at Chopwell Community Centre, for residents and visitors to enjoy.

It looks fantastic and depicts the landmarks and spirit of the town. Well done to the group and artist Donna Cheshire, worked with the group to produce the piece!

The group hope to do similar work in the future with the equipment they were able to purchase with the Arts Fund grant and to increase their membership with new creative activities.

Tyneside Women’s Health Activities

Earlier today we visited a belly dancing session, one of various taster arts activities offered by Tyneside Women’s Health and supported by the Well Newcastle Gateshead Arts Fund. The group of women who attended really enjoyed the class and said they will be coming back!

The belly dancing sessions will run every Monday from 10:30am to 11:30am until 30 September. For more information, email

Newcastle CVS Canaries in the Coal Mine Report

Newcastle CVS has produced Canaries in the Coal Mine : The Views of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Gateshead and Newcastle.

They asked organisations about their status, funding, achievements and challenges, and what pressures and aspirations they had identified for the future. More importantly, they asked about what issues were impacting on the people they supported and within their local communities. 

118 voluntary and community organisations completed the survey and they represent a reasonable reflection of the local sector. This year, Newcastle CVS asked an additional question around food poverty, following up from their study in December 2018.

You can view the full report and its findings here:

Please join in the discussion online, using #CanariesITCM

Adding Value: Working with the Third Sector to Transform Health, Care and Wellbeing

There is a growing and welcome recognition by the leadership within the NHS and Local authorities of the vital role community-based approaches can play in improving services and health outcomes for everyone. The VCS/Third sector of course has key role to play in this.

Local health and care system approaches are emerging whereby the existing sectoral, organisational and financial ‘status quo’ is being critically examined with a view to integrating services around individuals and their communities. The goal being, to transform how we all engage in our own wellbeing and receive health and care services, all within an extremely challenging financial environment.

Blue Stone Consortium has been invited to play an active role in how both the Newcastle and Gateshead systems develop, providing third sector input into the emerging conversations. We want to reach as many organisations as possible so we can share information but more importantly get as many organisations engaged in the process as possible, particularly those whose activities and services are already supported in some way with statutory NHS or Local authority funding.

We will be holding an event on 30 September 20291, where you will be able to hear from key health and care leaders, find out more about the transformation agenda, and hopefully become part of the conversation.

We’d love to see you there! Tickets are available via Eventbrite: