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Breez & Community Foundation

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April and May saw Sunderland Voluntary Sector Alliance come together with partners to engage the sector and raise the profile of funding and investment opportunities.


In April we invited Graeme Stephenson and Andrew Atkinson to our office to talk to VCSE sector organisations about the BREEZ scheme, this gave the sector chance to talk 1:1 about their buildings and how to make them more energy efficient, bringing the Low Carbon conversation to the sector. Support was given to 13 individual organisations.

'As with all things you're organising - an absolutely brilliant use of time and very grateful for your efforts in organising high-value opportunities to sit down and chat with specialists/ people with capacity to genuinely help'. We're meeting with Andrew and his colleague in the near future to look over our community building - keeping fingers crossed'.


Graeme Stephenson, Principal Energy Efficiency and Retrofit Officer at Sunderland City Council stated 'It was great to promote BREEZ and VCSE EE fund via your organisation and the interest and uptake has been bye and large very positive. We are following up 6 or 7 of the leads generated and hope these will convert into funded installations'.


In May SVSA partnered up with Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to ensure their 'Time to Talk' Session was available to the Sunderland VCSE sector, enabling them to learn about their funding application process. Facilitated by Colette Harrison (Development Officer, Sector Support for Community, Community Foundation), this informal session saw 14 attendees and received some great feedback.


'Exceptionally helpful to meet Pete and Collette from Community Foundation - great atmosphere and forum to learn and talk through thoughts. High-value use of time.'


'I liked the back to basics information. It's easy to focus on the calls for applications but forget about the general applications which could be really useful. It's also great to hear about the additional support offered for pro-bono work.'


Time to Talk sessions are open to anyone connected with a charitable organisation or support agency, welcoming volunteers, staff members, consultants, fundraisers and trustees. The event will begin with a presentation about accessing support from Community Foundation, followed by the opportunity to share thoughts, ideas and good practice.


This first session was held in the Coalfields locality with the next one scheduled for July at Washington Mind. Please visit our website for more information.

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