Community Works

/Community Works
7 06, 2019

Decorate your Boardroom and help Meadow Well Connected

By |2019-06-07T14:43:39+00:00June 7th, 2019|Community Works, News|

A European survey of 2,000 employees in the UK, France and Germany found the typical staff member spends a total of 187 hours – or the equivalent of 23 days a year in meetings.

So having a board room or meeting room which is not only comfortable for staff, but that also looks good is really important. The board room style also reflects who the company values and their ethos, and is often visited by new customers and suppliers.

How many times have you had a meeting in a room where in the corner there’s cardboard boxes and ‘junk’ which was stored there a few months ago and it’s still not been moved? Or pictures resting against the wall that have remained ‘unhung’ for months?

We here at North East Art Collective have 150 artists in our gallery in Eldon Garden, Newcastle upon Tyne, and aim to be the essence of Art, Culture and Luxury. But unlike most we don’t pick our artists for their names and monetary values, we select them based on their talent. Their standards are high and quality is even higher.

North East Art Collective chose Meadow Well Connected as our charity of the year to support in 2019. As part of our ongoing support we are going to donate 10% of all workplace and boardroom art sales to Meadow Well Connected

The picture above shows art from artist Ivan Lindsay in a meeting room in Newcastle.

Ivan is a self -taught artist who lives and works in Tynemouth, and draws inspiration from the stunning local landscapes & scenery. He began working life as an engineer, however, during this period he spent his spare time indulging his passion for painting. Private commissions began to steadily increase and consequently Ivan established a reputation as a fine artist. As one of the founding artists of Armstrong Bridge Sunday Market his profile grew substantially, after several years and due to increasing demand he made the decision to become a full time artist. For years now Ivan’s work has been sold in Fenwicks, Newcastle, and the Mall Galleries, London. Best known for his outstanding local scenes of the North East, he has recently commenced a series of more abstract works, in keeping with demand for contemporary style


If you would like more information on Meadow Well Connected and why we choose to support them this year why not take a look at their website or contact Vicki Stone Meadow Well Connected, Charity No. 1070839
T. 0191 3410033 M. 07763 672820 The Meadows, Waterville Road, North Shields, NE29 6BA

27 03, 2019

Message in a Bottle, Meadow Well Connected

By |2019-03-27T15:49:45+00:00March 27th, 2019|Community Works|

Yesterday  saw our first workshop with the Positive Pathways group at Meadow Well Connected


To celebrate their 25th anniversary we are working with Meadow Well Connected to help tell the story of the community. Yesterday their Positive Pathways group met as usual at 10am but this week they were joined by Artist Fiona Gray to teach them how to make garden decorations from 2 liter plastic bottles.


Fiona did a brilliant job keeping this chatty bunch on track to make the plastic flowers. It was great to see the group getting involved at each stage and helping each other out when things weren’t going to plan. The group showed great team skills and enthusiasm for the project throughout and made a wonderful set of decorations between them.


Each recycled flower had a personal message added inside by the members of the Positive Pathways group, based on how they ended up at Meadow Well Connected and how the centre has helped them, the bottles were then tied together with garden twine to seal the message inside. Some of the flowers where then sprayed with gold and silver paint so that once they are hung in the orchid they will glisten in the sunlight.

1 02, 2019

Charity of the Year 2019

By |2019-02-01T16:11:57+00:00February 1st, 2019|Community Works|

Storytelling arts project for Meadow Well Connected

At Meadow Well Connected we are celebrating our 25th year at the centre of our community in North Shields.

Our focus for the year is on telling stories and, like centre users, volunteers and staff past and present; we all have a different story. These stories will be collected and represented in pieces of community art, developed by groups from our community and facilitated by local artists like you.

We will use the idea of storytelling as a route to engaging local people to share their experiences of living in the area alongside recollections of Meadow Well Connected, with the support of the North East Art Collective.

How are we going to collect stories?

The project will involve asking people to tell and share their stories, which will be coordinated by the Meadow Well Connected community team. We will be capturing stories from people of all ages, working in partnership with schools and other voluntary sector groups. For the first round of stories we will be focusing on young people at our kids club and the older generation.

The idea we have had is for people to write their stories down and insert them into plastic bottles and for those bottles to be made into art installations to display in our community gardens.

We will start work on the arts project (which needs a name) in February/March and we will reveal the first two installations at our large community event at Meadow Well Connected on 4th July, marking our 25th Anniversary. The secondary stage will start at the large community event, where we will work with the community to collect more stories to build further installations.

People of all ages living in and around our centre will benefit. We plan to welcome around 500 local people to the summer launch event.

The project will take place in our centre on Waterville Road, North Shields and in outreach sessions at local schools, shopping centres and other significant local sites, e.g. churches, care homes, other voluntary centre organisations.

The project will provide a legacy of positive stories, challenging the negative stereotypes which are often applied to our local community; it will also provide a range of engaging activities during school holidays around the theme of story-telling.


We’re hoping the project will receive PR coverage which will help us raise awareness and change perceptions of Meadow Well across the North East.


How do you get involved as an artist?

Come along and visit us at Meadow Well Connected on Monday 11th February between 1pm and 3pm. It gives you a chance to meet the team, ask questions and we’re giving some guided tours so you can see what we do.


If you have any questions you would like answering before the 11th please email Gabby

24 09, 2018

£10k for Newcastle foodbank

By |2018-09-24T11:56:59+00:00September 24th, 2018|Community Works, News|

Art auction inspired by a North East artist struggling to make ends meet has raised £10k for Newcastle foodbank

An art auction inspired by a struggling single-mum has captured the hearts of big-name artists and even NUFC manager, Rafa Benitez, – and raised an impressive £10k to help thousands of people living in food poverty.
When the owner of a Newcastle art gallery, John Thompson, learned that local artist, Serann, was auctioning off an original piece of her work to support a foodbank because she describes herself as being ‘always one step away from having to use one herself’, he knew he had to get behind her cause.
Serann’s painting, which was inspired by the film I, Daniel Blake and a 200-year-old poem by Percy Shelley called Masque of Anarchy, sold for £1000 and following this, Mr Thompson launched an appeal to every artist and celebrity he knew to provide paintings for an art auction.
The charity auction included over 100 six-inch by six-inch original pieces of artwork created by various artists including Alexander Miller and several Newcastle United players and the manager also submitted autographed creations.
Silent bids flooded in for the paintings which were displayed in the North East Art Collective gallery in Eldon Garden and two artists in particular drew in crowds when they donated mini masterpieces – Kerry Darlington’s artwork raised £1,200 and Alexander Miller’s piece went for £790.
John Thompson said: “When I heard what Serann had done and I went up to the foodbank to see for myself what’s happening, I was incredibly moved. That people are having to rely on foodbanks in this day and age is horrendous.
“We were overwhelmed by the support we got from artists and famous people and we didn’t expect to raise the amount of money that we did.”

The money raised is helping the UK’s largest foodbank – Newcastle West End Foodbank – provide around 10,000 local people with food parcels per year and, in addition, around 6,000 hot meals a year are prepared for those in need.
The Lilia Centre in Benwell operates two days a week and each year collects and hands out around 106 tonnes of food – worth £209,000 – from individuals, supermarkets, manufacturers and other foodbanks. The service also provides free hot drinks and puts people in touch with a range of support services to explore the exact nature of their crisis situation and look at options for their long term resolution.
Chief Executive of Newcastle West End Foodbank, John McCorry, comments:
“We are very grateful to everyone involved in the art auction. One in five people in the UK live below the poverty line and around half of those families have children. The money raised allows us to help those who are usually having to choose between eating or heating their home.
“I would like to stress though that it’s never ‘job done’ here – the foodbank is just like your cupboard at home it’s rarely full and empties quickly after it’s filled.”
The woman who inspired the auction, Serann, works fulltime in art and giftshop Artful in Hexham, is an artist in her spare time and is bringing up two children on her own. She explains why she got involved:
“I work hard but I’m always one step away from having to use a food bank. It incenses me that the disparity between the rich and the poor is ever growing and that in one of the richest countries in the world, people are having to use foodbanks.”

21 02, 2018

Rise Like Lions

By |2018-02-21T12:49:11+00:00February 21st, 2018|Community Works|

This painting, using acrylic and spray paint over level stencils on wood, depicts local actor Dave Johns playing I Daniel Blake as he affirms his dignity against an unsympathetic system.
The artist ‘Serann’ wonders why foodbanks are now part of normal life in our rich country and why the 19th century views of Shelley are still relevant now, in the 21st century.
All Proceeds from the painting were donated to feed local people using Newcastle Food Bank at St Cuthbert’s Church on The West Road. This is the largest foodbank in the UK and collects via NUFC Fans Foodbank outside home matches at Gallowgate End with full approval of all at Newcastle United, including Rafa Benitez himself.

The painting was auctioned off in November 2017, the winning bid was for £800. However when the gentleman came to collect the painting he handed over a Cheque for £1000 to support the foodbank.

The painting has full approval and permissions in writing from Ken Loach, Director of ‘I Daniel Blake’.
Giclee prints have been produced from this painting and are being sold for £50 each with all profit being donated to the Foodbank.

E-mail to order your print.

21 02, 2018

West End Foodbank, We Are United!

By |2018-02-21T12:27:51+00:00February 21st, 2018|Community Works|

The Nufc Fans Foodbank started operations on 26/1/2017 with a showing of “I Daniel Blake” at the Tyneside Irish Centre. That night, a shocked audience of around 100 saw the film that showed how people in our city were being starved due to failings in government social policy. We were dumbstruck. That night, Sharon Percy, who acted in the film, came to see it with us and has remained a constant friend, giving food, even when she was on the dole herself. Ian Mearns MP spoke to say that the film, if anything, understated the size of the problem.
That night we raised £806 and Mick Martin of True Faith brought a couple of bags of shopping.
The next Saturday 5th February, thanks to the cooperation of Newcastle United, we started matchday collections at the NUFC match vs Derby County. We got half a tonne of food and over£600 including contributions from some Schalke 04 fans who donated German food and British cash.
From that day we’ve continued to grow, we’ve collected over £30,000 in cash and 14.5 tonnes of food at home matches. In May 2017 we asked the Grainger Market and Newcastle City Council to let us use a unit there (Unit 109, aisle 3) and have collected over £4,000 and 8.635 tonnes of food opening 4 days a week. Highlights have been the 10p donations from poor people, because we now know that 10p will buy a tin of beans; the £20 notes from passing Range Rovers, which will feed four families for a week; the Easter Egg donations, the 1000 Advent Calendars before the Watford match and the good hearted, decent generosity of all of our people who’ve helped and chatted and contributed.
In addition we have had gigs at the Tynebank Brewery, The Grainger Market, (Benny Graham singing “Wor Nanny’s a Mazor”), The Tyneside Irish Centre and collections at the Toffee Factory. The North East Art Collective in Eldon Garden have raised over £2,500 from the work of “Serann” an artist inspired by the “I Daniel Blake” film (prints are still available). Also 2 True Faith Transfer nights have raised over £5,000 between them.
We even received a special donation of 20,000 packets of cereal – including Sugar Puffs, which gave us all a smile, remembering the Honey Monster, managed by Kevin Keegan, lifting a trophy at Wembley..Let’s hope life imitates art.
The media at all levels have been fair and sympathetic and have helped us get the truth out. Newcastle United have been wonderful from the MD, Lee Charnley to Wendy Taylor and Lee Marshall to Rafa Benitez (who gave £300 personally) to players like Isaac Hayden who has visited the Foodbank twice. As importantly, the NUFC staff, who don’t get paid much, (Living Wage now!) but who are as close to their community as anyone collect food at home matches. Shona Alexander CE of Newcastle Citizens Advice introduced us to Mike Nixon in the first place without which we’d be a group of fans with a half-full cardboard box. Our MP’s, Chi Onwurah, Cath McKinnell and Ian Means (who invented the Shola chant) have been constant supporters with raffle prizes and raising awareness – including Chi’s question to the PM last week – and councillors like Joyce McCarty, Dipu Ahad, Shumel Rahman, Daniel Greenhough and others have helped in many ways. All supporters groups and the people who organise events have helped, like True Faith, Steve Wraith and Newcastle Legends, all at NUST, Nufc Fans Utd, Graeme Forster and Wor Flags who sometimes stop at our collection point to sing a song or two. The wonderful people who volunteer as collectors and get cold and wet pre-match have allowed us to collect more (sometimes £2000 per game) and feed more than we thought was possible and some of them don’t even go to the match afterwards. Finally we thank the many Junior Football Clubs who collect at SJP; we know that a collection at the match is very important to them and they’ve welcomed us and shared the same pavements in Strawberry Place.
Totalling the above donations and using a Trussell Trust formula for “cheap food” costing £1844 per tonne (ours is normal food, so we’ve applied £2000 per tonne), and calling it £1 per packet of cereal, we’ve raised the equivalent of £110,000 in a year. We think this is enough to mean that the Foodbank doesn’t have to travel to London to get half of its food as it did in 2016. However, demand is going up and we need to keep going. Mike Nixon, the outgoing CE of the West End Foodbank says we’ve raised between 15-20% of their income and that, unfortunately, has been needed as the impact of austerity has hit our city.
These figures don’t include the mighty work of Toonaid. Dipu Ahad and Monju Meah have produced the best black and white tops that we’ve seen for years with all proceeds going to the Foodbank. Monju has also set up a means of online donations. They’ve raised thousands but they deserve the credit for their operation and they’ll be able to tell you about that. Monju even gave the Foodbank £750 of a prize he’d been awarded for fundraising activity elsewhere.
We’ve been privileged to work with and know Mike Nixon the outgoing CE of the West End Foodbank. He is a gentle man with strong faith who believes in deeds matching his words. We need to carry on his example until Foodbanks are a distant memory and we can say that when the hungry people of this city needed us, Newcastle United fans, their club, their people and their community fed them food, hope and dignity.
One day people will ask if there was ever such a thing as a Foodbank; we’ll tell them we had the biggest one in Britain right here and we slaughtered it….one day. Until then, we’ll be at the next home match and we will need your help, support, food and money.
Stay with us and stay with the people. We are United.