Volunteering challenge findings presentation

Join our online session where the findings of the Tees Valley Volunteering Challenge will be presented. Hear from the voluntary sector organisations and large businesses who have been engaged in the process, the outcomes to date, and the next steps for the programme to create new ways of working for the future.

Over the past months we've been working on how best to connect large commercial organisations with voluntary, community and social enterprises (VCSE). The aim is to develop innovative opportunities for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to improve volunteering, engagement and VCSE development.

30 September 2022
10:00 am11:00 am
Online via Zoom


  • Introduction to the Edge Volunteering Challenge
  • TVCA presentation
  • Insights presentation
  • VCSE testimonial
  • Challenge holder #1 - Testimonial
  • Challenge holder #2 - Testimonial
  • Discussion

The project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund. The UK Community Renewal Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and innovative approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

Tees Valley Business Challenge is being delivered in partnership with Tees Valley Combined Authority by Edge Innovation, working with RTC North, AHSN-NENC, Dynamo, NEPIC, VONNE and Teesside University.

About the speakers

Siobhan McArdle  Helen Kemp, Group Director of Business & Skills, TVCA

Helen is the Group Director of Business and Skills at the Tees Valley Combined Authority, having joined the authority in February this year from a similar role in South Yorkshire. Her current remit covers business support for SMEs to start up, scaleup and grow alongside the development of Education, Employment and Skills and Creative Place across the Tees Valley.

Helen has previously worked around the country in a range of roles covering IT, Facilities Management, Planning, Housing, Economic Development, Customer Services and Criminal Justice Reform in both local and central government. Her earlier experience was gained in engineering and marketing in the private sector including British Steel on Teesside.


Susan Ross  Susan Ross, Social Enterprise Lead, Edge Innovation

With over 20 years’ experience in voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in the Midlands and the North East and experience of leading complex multi-stakeholder partnerships for the public sector she a passion for community led regeneration and development, particularly in rural communities. She has an extensive knowledge of the VCSE sector and experience in the private, public sectors bringing a unique perspective to the team having supported small programmes to multi-million pound developments. With expertise in engagement and developing bespoke consultation techniques. Specialist knowledge in marketing, promotion, leveraging funding programmes and project management.

Susan holds a number of voluntary positions including as a director of a health and wellbeing Community Interest Company, co-founder of an electric vehicle car club and chair of a community association. She prides herself on placing people at the heart of open and challenge-lead innovation through the Tees Valley Business Challenge Programme.


Peter Neal  Peter Neal, Director of Operations & Governance, Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency

Peter Neal is Director of Operations at Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency, which runs a NAVCA accredited Volunteer Centre supporting volunteers across the local borough. They also provide supported volunteering placements as part of the Step Forward Tees Valley programme. Having worked as a business consultant supporting SMEs for the first decade of his career, Peter moved to the voluntary sector a decade ago after himself volunteering as a trustee of a small arts charity. He is passionate about working with and supporting charities and non-profit organisations to create enriching and rewarding volunteering experiences.


Eszter Brooks Eszter Brooks, Functional Data Integ Specialist, Accenture

Eszter is a Senior Business Analyst at Accenture Newcastle and also leads the Tech4Good area of the Accenture Charities Team in the region.


Donna Stubbs Donna Stubbs, Community Manager, Newcastle Building Society

Donna Stubbs is the Community Manager at Newcastle Building Society, the largest building society in the North East.

Donna’s role includes,

  • Encouraging colleagues to contribute to communities through volunteering.
  • Managing Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund.
  • Developing and maintaining strategic partnerships linked to community.
  • Fundraising

Before working at Newcastle Building Society, Donna fulfilled a number of roles within the Charity sector.  She developed her passion for volunteering in her role as Volunteering Business Partner at the Alzheimer’s Society.  She is experienced in developing project plans and funding applications and was successful in securing high volumes of funding in her role as Sustainability Lead (NE) for Streetgames (national anti-poverty charity).  She has also fulfilled roles within social housing, education and local Government.