Welcome to the Annual Report for Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire for the year 2014-15


The Road We’ve Travelled
in 2014-15

Yet again we have had a year of highs and lows; we invite you to join us to share the journey that we have taken during the past financial year.

How can we help you? Since we asked it in the last annual report we have not stopped asking it of ourselves and our members and friends. We have also been asking questions about the best way to deliver the volunteer service in the changing climate and in a way that reflects the needs of you, our members, friends and potential members.

We all spend a large portion of our time rushing to arrive at our destinations and we forget that it is more important to travel than it is to arrive; after all, it is the changes that we make on the journey that show how we have grown by the time we arrive. It is worth remembering that as much as we prepare for our journey we cannot prepare for every eventuality that we will encounter on the way and how we deal with those unexpected hiccups that reveal our strengths and weaknesses.

This year we have ended one journey and started another, letting you, our members and friends, help us to decide on the direction that we should be travelling in.

jump to the index

VANEL promotes, encourages and supports individuals, groups and organisations within the voluntary, community and wider third sector to enable them to meet the needs and aspirations of communities within North East Lincolnshire


Perspective from the top

Mandy Johnson is Chair of the VANEL board of Trustees.
As with each Annual Report, our Chair casts an eye over the work of the past year (2014-15) and reflects on what VANEL has achieved during the year.

Read the full Chair’s report

This year Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire’s priorities continued to be about coping with changes both within our own organisation and those of our members and friends who support us.  The team is constantly reviewing its services provision to ensure we meet our members’ current needs. We are also developing new approaches to meet the changing needs of our members to ensure that both our organisation and those we support remain operational.

Once again we are all very proud of all we achieved during 2014-15 and we hope you find our annual report an interesting and helpful way of understanding what we’ve been up to

paula-headPaula Grant, Chief Officer at VANEL introduces our Annual Report for 2014-15.

Read the full report from Paula

And as we look forward into 2015-16, we share our thoughts on the Moving Forward.

read about moving forward

Financial Report

Nothing says it clearer than the numbers…

read the Financial Report for VANEL for 2014-15

The year month by month

So what was going on throughout the year?
Here’s a summary of news lifted from our monthly newsletters.
You can read the entire Timeline here.

click month to open up…

    • IT Support moved into a new phase as it received Awards for All funding
    • Enfuse were delivering the Smash a Record and Youth Bike activities
    • Grimsby Food Kitchen were Member of the Month
    • Credit Union had begun offering a service from the Municipal Offices
    • Enfuse were celebrating their first year and achieving their targets
    • We were busy planning for Freshney Place and Volunteers Week
    • North East Lincolnshire Healthwatch were celebrating their first birthday.
    • Member of the Month were Meniscus Film Society.
  • We were busy celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Volunteers Week.

    This included taking a look at some of the myths around volunteering and benefits as well as celebrating the four Volunteer Ambassadors that had been selected to recognise volunteers around the country.

    • We were celebrating achieving the Gold Healthy Workplace Award
    • We wanted to share with you our plans for spending time in a shop in Freshney Place in the coming weeks
    • The Humber Hop was planned to take place at the end of the month
    • Communities Together were holding their MELA
    • We shared the story of Chris – a volunteer with Enfuse
    • Cycle Hub were Member of the Month 
  • We were almost at the end of our time in the shop in Freshney Place. Take a look at the activities and feedback from those weeks and join us for our last week. 

    • Our AGM  was nearly upon us.
    • Citizens Advice had moved to their new home
    • We shared some tips with you on looking after volunteers
    • Member of the Month was Healthwatch
    • We held a Trashion show at Grimsby Institute, giving young people to swop and add decoration to old clothes
    • The Enfuse team visited cafe indie, a youth project in Scunthorpe
    • Family Group Conference delivered activities over the summer holiday period – here is the write up.
    • Credit Union were Member of the Month
    • We went mobile in Immingham
    • Say hello to our new chair of trustees
    • Changes were being made to, the website where volunteering opportunities are listed.
    • See what we were getting up to during National Trustee Week
    • Member of the Month was Harbour Place Day Centre
    • We took a look back over what happened during trustees week
    • We promoted your Christmas events
    • We said goodbye to Town Hall Street as we went mobile in Grimsby and Cleethorpes
    • We were holding our Technology “Unconference”
    • One Voice were member of the Month
    • We took part in Student Volunteers Week
    • “Tea and Trustee” sessions started running monthly at Grimsby Minster
    • Member of the Month was Franklin College
    • North East Lincolnshire Volunteer Service (NELVS) was introduced
    • Enfuse were runners up in the Money for Life Challenge

Valuing Volunteering

Volunteers and Volunteering are the core of what we do; despite this, it is the area of work in which we receive the least funding. To learn more about the challenges that we have overcome in our journey read the Volunteer Centre report here and why not take a look at the Mobile Working report to find out more about the evolution of the service that we are offering.  Just about everything in life needs a holistic approach and that includes volunteering; we cannot simply look after volunteers alone, but also the organisations that host them. We do that by offering the Supporting Volunteers Award.


people supported through their volunteering journey


our volunteering service went mobile this year

Student Volunteering Week

VANEL was actively involved with Student Volunteering Week early in 2015 at Franklin which was the only college in the UK to be funded to run such activities.  The week was a great success and valuable for VANEL to be involved.

about Student Volunteering Week

picture2 re student volunteering

Volunteers’ Week 2014

This year was the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week and our staff were active getting out into our member groups and becoming volunteers themselves for the week.  A valuable experience for us all.

read more about Volunteers’ Week

Picture11 Picture10 Picture9

National Trustees’ Week 2014

We got heavily involved with Trustees’ Week in 2014, organising a range of events throughout the week.  Trustees are extremely valuable yet under recognised volunteers so we’re giving them the support they need.

read about Trustees’ Week


Volunteering is something that is open to everyone, regardless of physical or mental health, or employment status, although sometimes those with physical or mental health issues need a little extra help, and that help was provided by our Mindworks programme.

learn about Mindworks

Winter Planning

The Winter Planning project continued to provide a standby service in case of extreme weather with a bank of volunteers ready to go.

read about Winter Planning


Family Group Conference and Enfuse worked together to deliver a mentoring project for young people. The idea being to give disadvantaged young people a positive role model, to learn more about the project read the report here.


March 2014 saw the start of the second year of the ENFUSE Big Lottery and the Reaching Communities programme – “Helping young people help communities to help themselves”. Our team continues to make excellent progress with their programme of activities to develop themselves and other young people as community development workers. The team encourages and supports wider involvement by young people in their respective communities by motivating other young people to volunteer with the team and local voluntary and community groups. The team works with current groups of young people and enables these groups to be even more active and helps them to access funding to support their work. When team members meet individual young people who are not engaged with community work they offer access to training to give these young people skills to assist them so they can volunteer as mentors to help other young people. Young people are encouraged to join in various training events to improve their own skills and knowledge until they decide how to move on with their lives via volunteering, community work or other options.



young people involved in volunteering


young people gained skills


people supported to make funding applications


young people in leadership roles

Freshney Place

During the summer of 2014, the Enfuse team took over an empty shop unit in Fresheny Place, Grimsby for a month long ‘pop up shop’.  Each week had a different focus and used different ways to use the shop to engage with younger people and our community.  The four weeks were a great success.  Take a look at our stories or…

Read the whole story here…

The first themed week began and we opened our doors to the public with Recycling Week. The week featured upcycling and recycling workshops with visits from Port Restyle, which specialises in upcycling and restyling, and Green Futures, which aims to get people to live a greener lifestyle. Lead by team member Phil Simpson, we worked alongside various green/environmental organisations as well as local vintage clothing groups to provide clothing racks with hundreds of vintage clothing pieces. The idea being that the public could come in and swap their own unwanted clothes for something on the rack for free and as it grows, the quality of the clothing would improve. Organiser of the Recycling Week, Phil Simpson, said: “We encourage people to recycle on our Facebook page so the recycling week is something that is close to our hearts and we hope to encourage more people to recycle and live a sustainable lifestyle.”

Recycling week was the best attended week in terms of attendance. Although our target audience is 18 – 25 year olds and the main demographic age from the week were elderly females, we were still very pleased with the community involvement and many members of the public said the clothes swapping idea is something Grimsby should see more of on a permanent basis as there is definitely a large audience for it.

Our second week was Lifestyle week, led by Enfuse team members Joe Mager, Shelby Fountain and Bayard Tarpley. We wanted to host our projects with a lifestyle theme, being a relaxed social environment embracing the positive aspects of younger people’s lifestyles. Activities included hourly music jams – in which anybody could take part and we provided a lot of music equipment, a Mario Kart tournament projected onto the wall, rapping workshop, playlist chooser, a balloon pit and even a prop photo booth disguised as a camper van.

Team member Joe Mager said to the Grimsby Telegraph “We can’t wait to start lifestyle week, it will be our chance to engage with people our own age and listen to their views on various issues. The main goal of Enfuse is to help young people, we want to take their views on board and actually do something about them, assisting them in setting up projects to fulfil their aspirations and giving them skills and experience in whatever it may be that they are passionate about. Lifestyle Week is about showing young people that there is a large variety of ways to engage with their community. By creating a fun environment where people can come in and not feel intimidated or pushed into anything, we think that they will naturally connect with one of the activities we’re offering and ask how they can get more involved with volunteering projects on offer in the area.”

Lifestyle week was the best attended week in terms of our target audience. The team spoke to a lot of younger people about various issues and signposted them to the things they were passionate about. We signed up over 20 volunteers in the week who wanted to come back to us and get involved with future events, and the general feedback from the public was similar to Recycling week, being that Grimsby needs a permanent venue for the activities we were promoting.

Team members Sophie Wilson and Thomas Plaskitt led employment week, in which the whole shop was transformed again into a more professional and formal looking area for the public to come in and get advice/help on careers. We hosted job searches, CV writing workshops and actual employers coming into the unit to talk to potential candidates then and there on the spot. We felt like his approach was different, exciting and it proved to be a success as one young person who came in spoke to an employer and was offered an actual job. Employers who attended in the week ranged from the Armed Forces, Alcrest, Job Centre Plus, Hull Business Training, McArthur Dean, HomeStart, Volunteer Centre North East Lincolnshire and CERT among others.

Week lead Thomas Plaskitt said to the Grimsby Telegraph “I think that giving people one-to-one conversations about jobs is the best approach. Hopefully from the knowledge I’ve learnt in this job role I can help others get into work. It’s going to be great and we’re even going to have laptops for people to apply for current job roles whilst receiving support from us in the shop.”

Employment week was very well received by the public. As it was primarily younger people offering help to other younger people, there were a lot of great results. The quality of peoples CVs went up and the number of enthusiastic and hopeful job applications rose among the general vibe that job searching and applying is not as terrifying and hopeless as a lot of younger people were telling us at the start. Enfuse operate very well in social situations and reading the atmosphere of young people, and we knew that we helped a lot of young people on their employment ladder during that week.

Our final week in the Freshney Place unit was led by team members Sophie Johnson, Anneliese Hannar and Lauren Bacon. For the final time the shop was transformed from the professional look of employment week into a family-friendly area targeted primarily at young families. Coinciding with National Play Day, the team wanted to bring some of the national activities to Grimsby and so we brought in costumed characters, arts and crafts, messy play areas, story time and family games.

Leader Anneliese Hannar said to the Grimsby Telegraph “We want to encourage children to play with no costs and fun, with appearances from popular children’s characters. I would like more children to play on a regular basis as it is a great way to develop skills and build on their knowledge. Some parents do not have much time to play with their children, so we are trying to promote different ways that parents can spend a small part of their day playing with their children, even if it is an hour a day”

Family Week, although praised by families for its free fun element had the shortest amount of footfall compared to the other three weeks. In my opinion I think this was because of its location inside a shopping centre and the fact that parents had to be present with their children inside the unit. Despite this, we learned valuable lessons from Family Week and how to work with younger children.

Community Games

Community Games – led locally by YMCA and supported by Enfuse – continues the legacy from the Olympic Games & involved a number of activities in 2014 including the Humber Hop.

Read the whole story here…

Smash a record

Another sports related event organised and managed by Enfuse…

read the story

Get Trashed

Enfuse ran Get Trashed at Grimsby Institute to introduce young people to recycling through fashion.

read the story

Your Next Step

This Enfuse led programme centred around peer mentoring working with Young Advisors to help other young people into employment and training.

read the story

Money for Life

Enfuse got involved with this national challenge to support young peeople to gain money management skills, in the end working with nearly a 100 young people locally.

read the story

Youth Bikes

This was a educational scheme to help young people learn new skills which the Enfuse team were heavily involved with in West Marsh.

read the story

Anglian Water

VANEL worked closely with Anglian Water this year via our Enfuse team in order to help get the message across to young people about use of water and waste disposal.  Anglian Water valued our connections to reach a ‘harder to reach’ audience and continue to work with VANEL.

Read the whole story here…


” Helping Young People Help Communities Help Themselves “

We Work For You

At our core, VANEL is a Membership organisation serving the needs and interests of our Members and Friends.  Throughout 2014-15 we continued to deliver a range of ‘core’ membership services to support our members.

Payroll Services

Our Payroll Services reached more organisations this year and continue to lessen the administrative workload for our members.

read more…


Our monthly e-newsletter and weekly e-bulletin continued to share news between us and our members.

read more…

Room Hire

We provided a limited amount of room hire from our offices at the Elms.

read more…

Disclosure and Barring Services

We continued to act as a Disclosure and Barring Service centre to assist organisations with checks on staff and volunteers

read more…

VANEL online

We continue to maintain our main website and a range of other websites and services to communicate across our membership

read more…

Safeguarding Training

Safeguarding Training continues to be a popular need which we fulfill whenever needed

read more…

AGM 2014

Each year VANEL aims to network with our Members and Friends at our Annual General Meeting.  2014 was no different and our AGM was a great opportunity for us and our member organisations to meet.

read about the 2014 AGM here


The digital revolution has already happened and we’re now in a ‘digital by default’ world. 
VANEL has long supported groups with IT and digital issues and this year we continued to do so.  We champion the effective use of digital technologies and run initiatives which support groups to help themselves with IT issues.  This year we secured a little funding to run our IT Network and other approaches we take are done on a paid consultancy basis.

IT Network

Throughout 2014-15 we ran an “IT Supporters Network” funded via Big Lottery.  A range of training courses and workshops were provided as well as plenty of 1:1 consultations, advice and support around IT, websites, social media, cloud technology and more.

We experimented with a publication called experiment.  We started exploring ways to better support digital volunteering.


And overall we worked with over 80 people from over 40 local groups and organisations to better improve the ways they work with technology.

read more about the IT Network here

Website and technology consultancy

During the year we worked with a few groups to specifically build websites for them and to train them in managing and running these sites themselves.  

This was done on a paid consultancy basis and we also provided a number of bespoke training and IT support approaches as technology consultants too.

read more about web development and consultancy


typing-croppedOur fortnightly WebClub support sessions have been running for a few years now and continued during 2014-15 alongside our funded IT Network programme.

This continued to be well received and useful to all involved, but challenges arose as we entered 2015.  We also later in the year introduced our WebClub Gold support scheme.  

read more about WebClub here

Internal IT at VANEL

VANEL continues to maintain, support, develop and evolve our own technology needs internally.  Our staff team develop and maintain all our websites, online tools and back office systems.  This keeps us in control and manages our needs and costs well.

read more about how we managed our own IT

Partnership working in our Communities

Throughout the year we continued to work together in partnerships on forums, programmes, projects and initiatives to help local communities connect, grow, sustain and become healthier and stronger.

read about how we’ve been working in partnership

Big Local

Big Local continues in North Cleethorpes and VANEL have been actively supporting the community there to take advantage of the funding available.

read more…

Family Group Conferencing

Our FGC team worked closely with troubled families within our communities

read more…

Stronger Communities Task Group

VANEL is an active partner within the Stronger Communities Task Group to support our communities through a number of related activities – such as Victims Champion and Restorative Justice…

read more…

Organised Dialogue

our local Restorative Practices Champion again led on a programme of Organised Dialogue sessions designed to help bringer members of the community together

read more…

Healthier Communities Working Group

VANEL have been involved in this group supporting our local communities.

read more…


VANEL was involved in the community over school holidays helping with the SEAL learning and support project

read more…

Victims Champion

We continued this year to host the Victims Champion role to support local victims of crime

read more…

Neighbourhood Watch

we continued to help support the Neighbourhood Watch initiative across North East Lincolnshire

read more…

CCG Consultation

VANEL was asked to help with a consultation exercise to support the local CCG.

read more…


The long-running Transform leadership programme supports cross-sector leadership skills development in North East Lincolnshire

read more…

Restorative Practices

our Restorative Practices Champion leads on this agenda for the borough

read more…

Big Local

Big Local continues in North Cleethorpes and VANEL have been actively supporting the community there to take advantage of the funding available.

read more…

Making it all Happen

As always we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we’ve done without a great team of people.

Our staff, trustees and volunteers have done another sterling job for another year.

Meet the VANEL Staff team

Our staff team has grown and shrunk over the course of the year as team members join and leave.  Find out more about the VANEL team over 2014-15 here.

meet the staff

VANEL Trustees

We are supported by a team of enthusiastic Trustees or Executive Committee Members who support, encourage and help steer VANEL.  They are all volunteers themselves, giving their time freely and we thank them for their support.

meet our Trustees

We’re a Healthy Workplace

VANEL has been involved with the Healthy Workplace programme for a number of years.  We’ve gained BRONZE then SILVER awards and this past year we’ve finally reached our goal of being a GOLD level Healthy Workplace.

read all about it


Mobile Working

In our last Annual Report we spoke about our two buildings at that time – Town Hall Street and the Elms.  This year VANEL has made some new changes and has gone mobile.  That means we’ve moved from Town Hall Street and the Elms and into the Willows on Bargate.

Mobile Working

We’re now out and about meeting volunteers and our member organisations across North East Lincolnshire.

read about Mobile Working

Town Hall Street

We’ve moved from Town Hall Street.  Read our farewell story.

read about Town Hall Street

the Willows

VANEL’s main official office is now the Willows, 23 Bargate, Grimsby.  Find out more.

about the Willows

Moving Forward

Whilst our mission and aims at VANEL remain the same, the way we deliver our services is constantly evolving. Our way forward statement sets out how we are currently delivering most of our core services.

Read how we are moving forward

The End

Thank you for taking the time to review our Annual Report 2014-15.

Thank you too as always to VANEL Staff, Volunteers and Trustees.

Thank you to our Members and Friends, Clients, Customers and Partners.

Thank you to anyone who helped 2014-15 to be an exciting, interesting, productive and effective year.

We look forward to seeing some of you at our AGM, at upcoming events, whilst we are out and about in the community and generally to working with you during 2015 and 2016.

the VANEL team