Lunchtime Listen: Jayne Graham talks about careers in the community & voluntary sector

Lunchtime Listen: Jayne Graham talks about careers in the community & voluntary sector

Tackling unemployment: careers in the Community and Voluntary sector


Michael Lemin (ncfe Head of Policy) is joined by Jayne Graham MBE (Executive Director at Society Matters cic), Rebecca Cooney (Senior Analysis and Features Writer at Third Sector), Glen Manners (Associate Director – Membership and Education at Charity People) and Stuart Campbell (Employability Manager at Home Group) to discuss the misconceptions about the sector, and the range of opportunities, including voluntary roles, and identifying and developing transferable skills to help jobseekers thrive.

This is the latest podcast from ncfe’s Go the Distance series – tackling the big issues when it comes to taking action on unemployment in the current economic climate.

Listen to the podcast here


Society Matters cic and North East Chamber of Commerce: Perfect Partners

Society Matters cic and North East Chamber of Commerce: Perfect Partners

Society Matters cic is a proud member of the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and we are thrilled to be highlighted in their ‘Meet the Member’ feature. 

Membership of NECC is vitally important to us as it allows us to reach out to our many fellow members and talk about the ways we can help them make their mark.

Lee Booth, Trading Manager for Society Matters cic says:

We joined the North East Chamber of Commerce because of the huge benefit it provides us as a community interest company. We’re primarily based in Gateshead, covering the North East, but also work nationally as well. Being a member of NECC means we can get out there and meet people and talk about why society matters. Each unique event is great for meeting people and helping is spread and share the knowledge of what Society Matters does.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can help you Mark Your Mark on society, contact us and let’s talk.

Gateshead businesses support local army veterans’ charity to deepen their impact

Gateshead businesses support local army veterans’ charity to deepen their impact

Gateshead businesses support local army veterans’ charity to deepen their impact

Gateshead company Geek Talent has become the first to donate to a new ‘Pay it Forward’ Charity Discount Fund Scheme recently launched by Gateshead social enterprise Society Matters cic.

The Charity Discount Fund was introduced in response to Covid19 and the increased demand on local charities to help people to navigate the complexities of the benefits system. Donations into the scheme are matched by Society Matters, so specialist training in welfare benefits such as Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments can be accessed by community organisations that simply couldn’t afford it otherwise.

Geek Talent, a Gateshead company that has developed unique software that supports people to improve their chances of employment, commented that they are “delighted to support Society Matters with funding to enable this valuable training at such a critical time. It’s entirely aligned with our own ambitions to make a huge difference to society through helping people out of poverty so they and their families can have a better life”.

The team at Society Matters recognises that businesses often want to support their local community and voluntary sector but often struggle to know how best to help. By donating to the Charity Discount Fund they can add tangible value, helping charity staff and volunteers to be better equipped to deal with the pressure on their services.

Jayne Graham MBE, Executive Director of Society Matters cic, explained “much of the knowledge about welfare benefits in the support system is out of date, leaving staff and volunteers finding it difficult to give the depth of help people need. Training is so critical for the sector, but due to lack of funding it’s simply out of most organisations’ reach. The Charity Discount Fund puts that right, providing a direct route to helping many vulnerable people get the support they need swiftly and more efficiently”.

Through a £500 donation, matched by Society Matters cic, Geek Talent have directly supported staff and volunteers from the military veteran’s charity Walking with the Wounded to build their social welfare knowledge and undergo Society Matter’s vital ‘Get to Grips with Personal Independence Payment’ training.

Members of the Walking with the Wounded team commented that the training means they can now help veterans ‘with more confidence’ and highly recommended the social welfare training, alongside hundreds of others who have now benefited from what Society Matters cic has to offer. Feedback from Walking with the Wounded staff can be found here.

Trading Manager of Society Matters Lee Booth, whose idea it was to launch the fund, praised Geek Talent for their donation saying “We are extremely grateful to Geek Talent for their donation to our Pay it Forward fund and we can already see the positive impact this has had on the staff at Walking with the Wounded. We would encourage any business or member of the public who want aren’t sure how to help charities in the wake of the pandemic to make a donation, no matter how small, and we’ll match it pound for pound.”

If your business would like to make a huge difference in the local community and make a contribution to the ‘Pay it Forward’ Charity Discount Fund please get in touch today.

WHERE NEXT? TRAINING – Gateshead | October 2019

WHERE NEXT? TRAINING – Gateshead | October 2019

Where Next? Training

Where Next? is a free short course for people in Gateshead who are considering their options for getting back into work.

– Learn about how to make the most of your money living on a tight budget
– Discover how you can volunteer locally to build skills and self-confidence
– Be supported by a local mentor to think through your goals and options
– Get involved in short work experience sessions and learn new skills 


The Elgin Centre, Elgin Road, NE9 5PA
Tuesday 29th October 1.00pm – 3.00pm


Citizens Advice Gateshead, The Davidson Building, Swan Street
Wednesday 16th October 11.30am – 2.00pm


Springwell Community Centre, Lanchester Avenue
Started 30th September 2019

“I now have more confidence and I’m able to do jobs I thought I couldn’t do … it was fantastic!”

Interested? Book a place now!

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