Libby Mahoney

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Government Seeks to Find Out More About UK’s Digital Skills Needs

The government wants to better understand the UK’s specialist digital skills needs – including those of charities – and has launched a survey to gather information.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is leading a review of the UK’s advanced and specialist digital skills to ensure a strong advanced and specialist digital workforce in the future. DCMS has commissioned Pye Tait Consulting to conduct research in support of this review.

This survey is for any business with a UK office that employs at least one person in a digital specialist role. You don’t have to be a “digital specialist” business. This is your chance to tell the UK Government what needs to be done so the UK can grow and develop a highly skilled advanced and specialist digital workforce.

“Advanced and specialist digital skills” are higher-level skills used for creating, exploiting, operating and maintaining digital technology systems, as well as skills and knowledge needed to build new, or maintain/enhance existing digital technology.
Antony Walker, deputy CEO of industry body TechUK, said the next few years will see businesses using digital tech to boost productivity and “having a world-leading digital workforce will be critical for this”.

“We are encouraged to see the DCMS undertaking this important research to develop the UK’s advanced and specialist digital skills pipeline,” he said. “This is key in meeting not only the tech industry’s growing demand for skills, but also for sectors across the economy, which are increasingly digitising.”

The survey can be accessed by clicking here.

Source: Charity Digital News Article.

What Is GDPR and How Will It Affect My Charity?

In the first of a series looking at GDPR and what it means for charities, Andrew Cross, Data and Insights Lead at Lightful, one of the only GDPR Certified Practitioners in the beyond profit sector, explores the basics of the new regulations.

If you’ve not heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May 2018, then where have you been hiding? OK, so maybe you’ve heard of it but not actually done anything about it yet. Don’t worry, it isn’t too late to read up and start on the road to compliance.

GDPR is a replacement to the Data Protection Act (DPA, 1998). It aims to standardise the way Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is dealt with in terms of Data Controllers (i.e. organisations that collect personal data) and Data Processors (i.e. a third party you share data with) and that exist within the EU or countries operating outside of the EU that process data on EU nationals. If you are processing personal data within the UK, we advise that you register with the ICO as soon as possible.

Ultimately it gives back control and ownership of data to the individual. In terms of compliance, this should be what you adhere to now; however, it does not come into enforcement until the 25 May 2018.

Data controllers vs processors
Let’s take Charity A as an example. This charity will generally be considered a Data Controller, collecting the data of supporters in order to engage and communicate with them in a variety of ways. One of these ways may be to send out direct mail via a fulfilment house (which would take on the role of a Data Processor). The vast majority of charities will fit into the Data Controller category and will be ‘processing’ some data even if it that means just ‘storing’ the information.  And it isn’t just supporter data; it also applies to staff data, service user data, trustee data etc.

I hate to break it to you but…
GDPR doesn’t just affect the charity sector. It’s sector-wide. It affects every organisation- no matter your size or whether or not you have a ‘data person’, so decide now who is going to lead on GDPR compliance in your organisation. And… if you fall foul of the law, you will face consequences, which could include a fine from the ICO, enforcement notices, audits and even possible prosecution. Read more about the action the ICO could take.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Big Lottery Fund renews support for School for Social Entrepreneurs

A further 1,300 social entrepreneurs can look forward to receiving funding after the Big Lottery Fund committed £2.55m to renew its support for the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE).

The renewal extends Big Lottery Fund’s commitment to the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme and SSE, which launched in 2012. The award-winning programme, jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund, will support 2,600 social entrepreneurs in total by 2022.

The first five years of the programme has supported 1,300 social entrepreneurs, who are forecasted to reach as many as 1.1 million beneficiaries over five years, according to a social impact review of the programme conducted by CAN Invest and Investing for Good.

Big Lottery Fund’s £2.55m grant to School for Social Entrepreneurs will support a further 1,300 social entrepreneurs over the next five years with grants of up to £10,000. Students also attend a year-long SSE learning programme to help them start up, grow or scale their organisation, and receive mentoring from a Lloyds Banking Group employee.

This funding announcement follows SSE’s 20th anniversary in July, when it celebrated supporting more than 1,000 leaders of social change each year through its learning programmes and courses across its global network of 11 schools.

Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “The renewal of our partnership with Big Lottery Fund means School for Social Entrepreneurs can deliver on our mission to support the learning and growth of social entrepreneurs – people who solve problems first-hand within their communities. This grant-funding will directly benefit 1,300 people who are creating tangible social and environmental impact across the UK. We are thrilled to announce this news as we celebrate 20 years of supporting the leaders of social change with learning and connections.”

James Harcourt, Grant Making Director for England, Big Lottery Fund said: “Thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to continue our support for the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Programme, in partnership with School for Social Entrepreneurs and jointly funded by Big Lottery Fund. Collaborations like this allow us to maximise the impact of our funding, and the entrepreneurial aspect of the programme aligns with our commitment to putting people in the lead and having a positive impact in communities across England.”

The sixth cohort of the programme will begin in October 2017. People interested in applying for the 2018 cohort can register their interest at

Source: Charity Digital News

Reasons Why Cyberattacks Succeed Are Revealed

Security professionals have named the main reasons why cyberattacks are successful, providing an insight into the areas charities need to protect.

Malware protection specialist Lastline surveyed attendees at the Black Hat 2017 security conference and found that nearly 55% of respondents have suffered a cyberattack within their respective organisations, with 20% being hit with ransomware. While human error is a contributing factor behind these attacks, the survey also found scarce resources to help security teams respond, and a lack of best practices being implemented to prevent future attacks.

Results of the survey include:

  • Human error continues to be a key cause of cyberattacks: 84% of respondents whose company has suffered a cyberattack attribute it, at least in part, to human error, likely exacerbated by understaffed security teams and a flood of alerts and false positives. 43% say technology detected the attack but the security team took no action, while another 41% attribute the attack to a combination of technology and human error.
  • Ransomware is on the rise, but not necessarily effective: One in five organisations has been victimised by ransomware. Of those hit, just eight percent actually paid the ransom while nearly two-thirds refused.
  • Information resources to understand and mitigate attacks are scarce: Overall, 42% of respondents have no helpful source about the specific attack and are left to figure it out themselves, while 52% seek online information from security experts and vendors, and another 19% rely on peers.
  • Organisations are playing roulette with infected computers: Only 28% of respondents follow best practices and erase and rebuild a computer’s software after a potential malware attack. Seventy percent either manually erase (46%) or rely on AV tools to identify and clean the malware (24%), often resulting in the malware staying in place on the infected machine to continue its attack.
  • Cybercrime: risk versus reward: Despite the recent rise in ransomware, just one percent believes it is the most profitable crime with the lowest risk of getting caught. That distinction goes to cyber espionage (43%) followed by enterprise financial fraud/embezzlement (31%), and identity theft and online banking fraud (25%).
  • The case for preemptive hacking: When questioned whether hackers should be hired to test security systems, six out of ten respondents were open to the idea, suggesting a willingness to try every possible resource to ensure effective security. Only 43% responded with a definite “no.”

“The threat of a cyberattack is something that organisations have to deal with on a daily basis,” said Christopher Kruegel, CEO, Lastline. “This survey highlights the need to adopt best practices and equip security teams with better tools to eliminate false positives and provide crucial information to help them prioritise and address those events that present the highest potential risk.”

Source: Charity Digital News Article.


From Me to We: The Benefits of Collaboration (Infographic)

Trends are always coming and going, but one that’s seemingly here to stay is the focus on workplace collaboration and engagement. It’s a popular trend for the charity sector too, with many charities building IT strategies around collaboration. A good example can be found in our interview with The Big Issue.

This trend has shifted the focus away from individuals and onto teamwork, as highlighted in this infographic by PGi, the provider of collaboration software and services. Highlighting the benefits of collaborative working, it’s well worth a look.

To view the Charity Digital News Infographic image click here.


Tipton Town FC – All Inclusive Disability Football

Tipton Town Football Club invites you to join their all inclusive disability football which will be commencing on:

Thursday 28 September 2017,  5.30pm till 6.30pm at the RSA Academy, Tipton, DY4 0BZ.

This new opportunity is aimed at ages 7 to 16 years of age. Providing them with the opportunity to make new friends, increase confidence, learn new skills and much more.

The sessions are being delivered by experienced coaches. Please note that these sessions are not turn up and play sessions you will need to register your interest with either Matt on 07896661257 or Jon on 07874976416.

Dorothy Parkes Community Centre Surgery Sessions

Do you have an idea for a project, but you just need that extra little bit of support to get your application at its best or to get your project idea off the ground?

Do you need advice or support with your project planning or business plans?

SCVO in partnership with The Dorothy Parkes Community Centre will be commencing fortnightly surgery sessions at the centre, located on Church Road, Smethwick, B67 6EH.

Libby Mahoney, SCVO’s Small Groups Development Officer, will be available fortnightly on Tuesday’s from 1.30pm till 4.00pm at the Dorothy Parkes Centre for booked appointments.

This is your opportunity to discuss your project ideas, business plans or funding application(s) and receive practical support, advice and tips on how to improve the success of your project/application and much more.

The first session will take place on Tuesday 7 November 2017 from 1.30pm for booked appointments and will be fortnightly there after.

Future dates for the surgery sessions include:

  • Tuesday 21 November 2017
  • Tuesday 5 December 2017
  • Tuesday 9 January 2018
  • Tuesday 23 January 2018

Watch this space for more dates of when our surgery sessions will be taking place.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity and want to book your time slot with Libby please email at or call on 0121 5251127 to avoid disappointment.

To see what other services SCVO provides please visit our website at

Less Than A Third Of Charities Aware Of New Cheque Clearing System

Just under a third of charities (30%) know about the introduction of cheque imaging, which will go live with some banks and building societies from 30 October 2017.

This is an increase from 23% last year. Awareness of the new system amongst consumers (15%) is at a similar level to last year, as is business awareness at 20%.

The roll-out of cheque imaging will be complete in the second half of 2018, when all of the UK’s banks and building societies will clear all cheques via the image-based system to the faster timescale. The precise date as to when this will happen will be announced by the industry in due course. Until then, two clearing systems will operate in parallel, which means that some cheques that customers write or pay-in will be cleared more quickly via the image system, and some will clear to the existing, six weekday timescale through the current, paper-based system. Banks and building societies will be advising their customers of their individual roll-out plans as appropriate.

James Radford, Chief Executive Officer of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, said: “Although the findings from our research indicate that awareness levels of cheque imaging are highest amongst businesses and charities, it is important that all organisations such as these – that write or receive cheques – speak to their bank or building society if they want to find out more. They can then adapt their processing systems accordingly, prior to the phased roll-out of the new system, which begins on 30 October 2017.”

The new system will mean that if a customer pays in a cheque on a weekday they will be able to withdraw the funds by 23.59 on the next weekday (excluding bank holidays) at the latest, with many banks and building societies likely to allow access to the funds earlier than this.

Introduction of the new process will also mean that when a cheque is paid in, not only will the recipient receive the money in their account more quickly; the money will leave the account of the person or business that wrote the cheque to the faster timescale too.
Customers will still write cheques as they do today and give or post them to recipients in exactly the same way as they always have. Cheque recipients will still be able to pay in cheques in the normal variety of ways, such as at a bank or building society, by post or at an ATM. This continuation of regular customer practice is particularly important for charities, 29% of whom say they receive half or more of their donation income by cheque.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Bored and Distracted Employees Are Biggest Security Risk, Poll Reveals

Employees who become distracted at work are more likely to be the cause of human error and a potential security risk, according to a poll conducted by Centrify – prompting charities to consider how automating processes or varying job roles could avoid potentially damaging data breaches.

While more than a third (35%) of survey respondents cite distraction and boredom as the main cause of human error, other causes include heavy workloads (19%), excessive policies and compliance regulations (5%), social media (5%) and password sharing (4%). Poor management is also highlighted by 11% of security professionals, while 8% believe human error is caused by not recognising data security responsibilities at work.

According to the survey, which examines how human error might lead to data security risks, over half (57%) believe organisations will eventually trust technology enough to replace employees as a way of avoiding human error in the workplace.

Despite the potential risks of human error at work, however, nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents feel that it is the responsibility of the employee, rather than technology, to ensure that their organisation avoids a potential data breach.

“It’s interesting that the majority of security professionals we surveyed are confident that organisations will trust technology enough to replace people so that fewer mistakes are made at work, yet on the other hand firmly put the responsibility for data security in the hands of employees rather than technology,” commented Andy Heather, VP and Managing Director, Centrify EMEA.

“It seems that we as employees are both responsible and responsible – so responsible for making mistakes and responsible for avoiding a potential data breach. It shows just how aware we need to be at work about what we do and how we behave when it comes to our work practices in general and our security practices in particular.”

Source: Charity Digital News

Trustee Says She Was ‘Morally Right’ to Pay Herself £31,000

The founding trustee of a breast cancer charity warned by the Charity Commission after she was paid £31,000 says she was ‘morally right’ to accept payment for her work on the charity’s helpline.

Wendy Watson, who founded the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline, received the payment for the work she did, despite being a trustee. The charity found itself at the receiving end of the Charity Commission’s first official warning – the first time it had used that power – for the payment of a trustee.

Watson has responded to criticism, claiming she put herself on the payroll in error after asking a solicitor in 2012 to formalise the helpline’s charitable status, and was unaware that they were breaking any laws.

In an interview with Sky News she said: “In 2014, I had worked voluntarily for two years. I asked my accountant if I may be on the payroll. I was told ‘yes’, so I went on the payroll for about a year, until I was seriously ill. I was paid that £31,000 — that was over about 14 months. We didn’t know we were doing anything wrong.”

Watson said that she was often working 24 hours for the charity’s support helpline. She resigned from her trustee role in 2016.
The charity’s main source of income was its shops, and the charity has been heavily criticised for spending less 4 per cent on the cause in some years.

She said of the charity’s activities: “I put some money in when we started setting up charity shops. The idea was to have a presence on the high street so that people could pop in and ask about breast cancer that was hereditary and get a leaflet or whatever.

“The idea was that in future they would be self-supporting information centres. The year the money went down was the year I was seriously ill, so I had to pay more money for people to do what I had been doing for free.

“I haven’t done anything wrong whatsoever. Morally I’ve done everything right. I’ve worked for free for 24 hours a day. My idea was to set up charity shops on the high street so people could know about hereditary cancer.”

“I didn’t realise”

Speaking to BBC 5 Live Watson said: “”If you work it out what I was paid over five years, I was paid £31,000 for 24-hours-a-day work – that equates to less than 60p an hour, I don’t think anybody would think that was excessive.”

She said: “I certainly apologise if people think that I did not do the right thing.”

She added: “I was stupid. I didn’t realise. I just went along with what I was told.”

The publicity around the charity has led to the debate over whether there should be fixed rules on how much of a charity’s income should go to good causes.

SCVO comment: Your governing document (trust deed, memorandum and articles of association etc.) will tell you what you can, and can’t, do as a Trustee of a charity – do you know what your particular document says? When was the last time you reviewed your practices against it? As they say, “Ignorance of the law is no defence”.

SCVO can help you review your governance procedures – telephone us on 0121 525 1127 or email: for more information.


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