Get involved in your community

Many people want to be more involved in their local community, volunteer for something they are passionate about or get involved in a group to speak up about issues. This article gives some ideas on how to get involved in research, share your experiences to improve services or speak up for your your community This may be called activism, involvement, engagement, co-production or collaboration.


Academic research opportunities

VOICE (Valuing Our Intellectual Capital and Experience) at Newcastle University, involves members of the public in research. Members work with academics to improve the focus, quality, relevance and impact of research, to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria welcome people to get involved in health research. You can visit the NIHR local network site for opportunities to take part in health research You could also donate a blood sample to the NIHR BioResource and get matched into research studies based on variations in your DNA, health and lifestyle information, your age, gender or ethnicity.

The Fuse Public Involvement and Engagement Group (PIEG) welcome members of the public, service users, carers, patients, families and local communities to get involved in research activities. You don’t need any specific knowledge or previous experience, just an interest in public health research and some time to commit to sharing your thoughts and ideas. To get involved you can register your interest using their online form here


Communities

Haref work with ethnically marginalised communities to identify their key issues around health and improve the health information available to them

The North East LGBT Federation works to unite LGBT people, groups, organisations and communities across the North East to act together as one voice for the North East LGBTQ+ communities.

BeTrans offer opportunities where you can share experiences and views  to raise awareness and educate organisations about supporting trans people.

Elders Council of Newcastle is a membership organisation for people aged 50 and over in Newcastle upon Tyne. They meet to address the issues that are important to older people across the city.

Tyne and wear Citizens assembly are a community organising organisation made up of a wide range of people from education, faith groups, voluntary and charity sector and more in Tyne and wear. They focus action and campaigns in three key areas: Poverty, Mental Health & Safer Cities.

Lifting Neighbourhoods Together support people living in Walker and Byker in developing community led groups and activities.


Community consultations and engagements

Lets Talk Newcastle is Newcastle Councils official consultation and public engagement platform for Newcastle. You can register for an account on the website and have your say on consultations in Newcastle ranging from transport and roads to services and green spaces.


Disabilities

Skills for People have groups for people with learning disabilities and their families to get involved in research and campaigns to improve services for people with learning disabilities. Their Geordie Voices group is a campaign and support group of self-advocates, made up of people with learning disabilities and autistic people, from the North East of England. They also have a Geordie Mums group that is a support and involvement group that shares experiences of what its like to be a mum with learning disabilities. to midwives and social workers.

SCOPE Community Engagement Programme is for disabled people aged 18 and over and families, parents and unpaid carers of disabled children. You can join the community engagement group to share your views and experience on campaigns, services and support training designed and developed by local people. The group meets once a month. You can register your interest to join using their online form here, or contact the North East co-ordinator: Ree Young on [email protected]


Environment and nature

Climate Action Newcastle . They have monthly member meet ups in person and online.

GreenPeace Newcastle have monthly member meet ups at Newcastle Recovery College

Threads in the Ground welcome volunteers and people with lived experience to support their climate change and nature based projects. Their Hereditary footprint project is aimed at people from or living in ex-mining communities. You can get supported to host a ‘warm grain gathering’ which is a community meal with a climate change or sustainable food topic to discuss.

There are many Friends of parks and green spaces groups for Newcastle, where you can get involved supporting your local green space:

Friends of Heaton and Armstrong Parks

Exhibition and Brandling Parks Trust

Friends of Gosforth Central Park 

Friends of Paddy Freeman’s Park

Friends of Havannah 

Friends of Iris Brickfield

Friends of Jesmond Dene

The Friends of Leazes Park

Friends of Denton Dene

Newburn Volunteer Rangers

Friends of Nuns Moor Park

Friends of Sugley Dene

Friends of Summerhill

Friends of Throckley and Walbottle Dene

Friends of Walker Park

Urban Green Park Action is an involvement group for people interested in Newcastles parks, green spaces and local issues related to them. You may be interested in a particular park or a key issue like biodiversity, safety or conservation.


Health Services Patient feedback

Your views are important and can help to improve health services. Read more about how to have your say about health services.

Subscribe to InfoNOW News which features opportunities to get involved in local research studies, consultation


Health & Long term conditions

Community Champions are a network of people who live, work or study in Newcastle and share public health and social messages in their communities. .Champions get free training and regular updates from the public health team. They are also invited to regular meetings with council officers to share concerns their communities may have and come up with creative ways to share key community and health messages.

Research+Me is a digital registry of people who might be interested in taking part in research. They look for people living with conditions such as type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, heart disease, asthma, Obesity, depression and bipolar disorder; and welcome those who have other or no health conditions too. You can register your interest for research opportunities by using their online form 

Cancer

 Northern Cancer Voices are a group of volunteers and health professionals from the North of England that give their views on cancer services.

Dementia

DEEP – Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project  is a network that connects groups of people with dementia together to share their voice and experiences, get involved in research, consultations and projects.

Dementia Voice is ran by Alzheimers Society and offers opportunities to people affected by dementia to use their personal experiences to help shape services, research, publications and other work. As well as working with local and national staff from Alzheimers Society, you could also be sharing your views and experiences with local councils, museums, art galleries, NHS, banks and shops. They run local or regional  and national Dementia Voice groups as well as a three nations (England, Northern Ireland and Wales) working group

Parkinsons

North East and Cumbria Research interest group (NEC-RIG)  brings together people from across the North East and Cumbria td help them take part in Parkinson’s research

You can also read more about Donating your body to science to help research.


Helping refugees and asylum seekers to get involved

There are lots of ways that you can help refugees and asylum seekers settle into communities in Newcastle. This could be giving your time and skills as a volunteer or hosting a refugee in your home.

You can read more about Helping refugee and asylum seekers to get involved in communities.


Neighbourhoods

Newcastle Neighbourhoods run quarterly network events for organisations working towards the wellbeing of the communities in the city to get to know one another, share good practice, explore links, reduce duplication, and collaborate with those communities to help them to flourish. Events are held across the 4 Newcastle neighbourhoods: North, Inner West, Outer West, East. All people who work or volunteer in the health, social care, voluntary, community, housing, sport, leisure, uniformed services and social enterprise sectors are welcome to attend. Please email to ask for the form book your place.

 

Byker Village Tenants and Residents Association (TARA) work closely with Byker Community Trust and the Police to make their area of the estate a clean and safe place to live.

The Jesmond Residents Association (JRA) are a local resident association with members from schools, churches, choirs and music groups, sports organisations, voluntary and charity organisations. They hold twice monthly open forum meetings for residents to discuss local issues, events, community notices and other business. They support and help organise the Jesmond Community festival


Parents and carers

Newcastle Parent Carer Forum is a group of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities who work alongside Local Authorities, Education, Health and other service providers to ensure that the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families

The Newcastle Maternity Voices Partnership is for women who have recently, or are about to give birth at Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary. They work with midwives and senior health staff to develop and improve maternity services in Newcastle.


Ward areas and voting

Newcastle upon Tyne has 26 Electoral wards. A ward is a local government area, mostly used for elections.

Arthur’s Hill, Benwell and Scotswood, Blakelaw, Byker, Callerton and Throckley, Chapel, Castle, Dene and South, Gosforth, Denton and Westerhope, Elswick, Fawdon and West Gosforth, Gosforth, Heaton, Kenton, Kingston Park South and Newbiggin Hall, Lemington, Manor Park, Monument, Jesmond (North and South), Ouseburn, Parklands, Walker, Walkergate, West Fenham, Wingrove

If you want to find your local ward for the area you live in you can use the My Neighbourhood Tool and search using your postcode to find out:

  • Who represents you and councillor details
  • Ward Committee Meetings
  • Electoral information and polling stations

You can also use the Find a Councillor tool and search by name, political party or ward. Here you can find the details for when your local councillor holds a Ward Surgery. A ward surgery  is your opportunity to meet with your local ward councillor to discuss any issues you may wish to raise.

Read more about Voting


Young people

Locality Youth Voice is for 11 to 18 year olds who live, work or study in Newcastle. young people represent their local areas, the issues for young people and then help develop an action plan to tackle these issues. It is part of the Voice and Influence Team within the Children, Education and Skills Directorate at Newcastle City Council. The groups are based upon which part of the city you live in: the East, Inner West, Outer West or the North. For any further questions and how to get involved, please email [email protected]

Last updated: December 5, 2023