If you haven’t heard already, something pretty exciting is kicking off in Newcastle from the 18th July. It’s about that time to Spark Something Good and Newcastle is the eighth city ready to take part in the nationwide event that has already unfolded in other parts of the UK such as London, Edinburgh, Dublin & Bristol. We’ve been working with M&S employees to get 'stuck in' to a whole host of amazing volunteer events from city to city. Here is just a handful of the 24 incredible projects involved:
1. Create a sensory room at Motagu Daybreak
When: 24th July
Motagu is just one of three hubs run by Daybreak, a brilliant charity who promote, encourage and support adults with additional needs to lead happy, independent, socially inclusive and healthy lives. Now is their chance - with your help - to get some creative hands to help decorate their sensory room! Handy with a paintbrush? Get involved! The centre is such a busy and vibrant place, that a sensory room with a nice calm atmosphere would be a huge benefit for those who use it.
2. Help make hanging baskets with the Time Exchange
When: 18th July
Another great excuse to hang out with some of the locals and do something fun whilst calling it volunteering! This time, you'll be part of a community based project 'Time-Exchange' and you'll be helping to add a splash of colour to the streets. Put your creative hat on and make some snazzy hanging baskets, throw in some colourful plants and tidy up the streets around Arthur's Hill Terraces. At the end of the day, you'll really be able to stand back and admire the difference you and your new buddies have made and something the local residents will appreciate forever!
3. Host a tea party with the Royal Voluntary Service
When: 22nd July
Do you like to party? This one's for you then! Royal Voluntary Service is one of the biggest volunteer organisations in the country with over 35,000 volunteers helping older people keep active, independent and contributing to society. And it's this lovely community that are throwing a tea party to entertain the elderly folk they work with in Newcastle, but also celebrate wonderful volunteers! What's not to love about this project? Help put on a spread, make new friends and pop those party poppers!
4. Help make over Allendale Road Community Centre
When: 19th July
Dig out your dirty clothes and don your gloves and wellies. This is a project to really get your hands dirty! The spectacular Allendale Road Community Centre (a real Aladdin's Cave so we've heard) is an absolute hive of activity for people in the local community, from hosting karaoke nights at their licensed bar, to dance lessons for little ones with North East Dance Company, to a session called Crafts for Dogs?! There's literally something for everyone here and it's an important part of the community, so why not help jazz up the surrounding environment? There'll be some landscaping, gardening, planting, and you'll be making the surrounding area a safe area for children to play in too.
5. Create a welcoming walkway at Bill Quay Farm
When: 20th July
Bill Quay Farm is a pretty awesome place to spend a day helping out. Not only do they do your regular farm stuff - but they're a working farm offering community activities and preserve rare breeds like Tamworth pigs. I'd be volunteering for this project just for the pigs themselves. But this isn't about me. The farm needs a few extra hands to help transform the walkway that leads into the main entrance and small animal area (another chance to make new animal friends). As this is the first part of the visitors' farm experience, the aim is to turn it into a warm welcome. You'll be decorating furniture and even doing a bit of gardening to give it that extra friendly feel.
Now remember, this is just a handful of projects taking place. There are 24 projects happening across 7 days in Newcastle, so what are you waiting for? Head over to neighbourly.com/mandsvolunteer and sign you and your friends up! Let's Spark Something Good :)
- Sophie Cook | Community Manager