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‘Positive Change for a Positive Future’ – Invitation to SCVO Annual General Meeting

SCVO is pleased to invite you to its 2017 Annual General Meeting which is taking place on Thursday 19th October 2017 from 9.30 am – 12.30 pm at Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, Smethwick B66 1BB.

Focusing on how we can all play our part in a positive future for Sandwell, our keynote speaker will be Gary Topp, an experienced leader with a background in regeneration and in the cultural and not-for-profit sectors, and current CEO of Culture Central.

The event will also provide you with a chance to hear about SCVO’s current activities and priorities, to learn about new developments and support opportunities to grow capacity in the Voluntary and Community Sector, and to network with local strategic partners and others from Sandwell’s VCS.

We do hope you can join us for this event. Please reserve your place by visiting the Eventbrite page for this event.

Please view for Nomination Statements for SCVO’s Board of Trustees

Please view for Agenda for the AGM

BUDS’ Fundraising Evening of Music, Comedy and Magic

Buds (Better Understanding of Dementia in Buds) is pleased to announce a fundraising evening of Music, Comedy and Magic at the Village Hotel, Dudley on Thursday 5th October 2017, 7 pm to 10 pm.

The charity will be raising funds whilst giving people an opportunity to get together and have a good evening.

The ticket price of £35.00 includes a complimentary glass of wine, a hot/cold buffet and a raffle with quality prizes.

Do not miss what promises to be a great social event.  Dress to impress.  Wear something blue for Buds.

To book your ticket please call 0121 565 3721 or email



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.

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.


Healthwatch Sandwell’s Health and Social Care Group and AGM

Healthwatch Sandwell invites you to their Health and Social Care Group and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 27 September 2017, 10 30 am until 1.00 pm. The venue is Greets Green Access Centre, Tidasley Street, West Bromwich B70 9SJ.

There will be speakers from Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and Sandwell Council.

At the AGM you will hear about Healthwatch’s progress and projects last year and plans for the year ahead.

Booking is essential.

To reserve your place please email call 0121 569 7210 or

Keeping Your Charity’s Finances in Check

Trustees have a legal duty to look after their charity’s money and other assets. They need to understand and keep track of their charity’s income and spending to spot any issues as early as possible to prevent them from affecting the charity’s success.

Here are some key tips from the Charity Commission’s wide ranging guidance on financial issues.

Charities should:
• be able to recognise at an early stage when the charity is no longer viable and plan for what will happen to beneficiaries, staff and assets
• develop a policy on reserves which establishes a level of reserves that is right for the charity and clearly explains to its stakeholders why holding these reserves is necessary
• recruit trustees with time and the right skills and experience to understand their finances and plan strategically for the future
• hold regular trustee meetings to keep track of income and spending
• put internal financial controls in place to make sure all spending is properly authorised
• review sources of income – are there any new opportunities?
• regularly review planned and proposed expenditure – can they do anything better or stop doing something altogether?
• regularly review their risk and risk management policy

SAFL Subcontracting 2017/2018 Round Two now open

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service (SAFL) is a direct contract holder with the Skills Funding Agency for the provision of Community Learning.

SAFL wishes to commission provision to support local voluntary and community sector organisations to deliver learning opportunities to targeted priority groups of residents

Round two opened on Tuesday 29th August 2017 and will close 15th September 2017.

New and/or current local learning providers including voluntary and community sector groups, other private and third sector non-profit organisations interested in becoming an Approved Sub-Contractor for 2017-2018 should visit the Partnership page on the website for information on how to apply.  Alternatively, contact Kerry Davison on 0121 557 0837 or email

Any organisation that receives funding from SAFL will be classed as a subcontractor.

If you have any questions, please ring Kerry Davison at Tipton college on the above telephone number.

New to the world of writing funding applications?

Are you just starting on your fundraising journey/career and would like some guidance on how to go about raising money for your organisation?

If so, why not come along to SCVO’s ‘Introduction to Fundraising’ workshop on Thursday, 5th October 2017.

This two-hour workshop is aimed at those community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations new to the art of fundraising and will present a basic understanding and knowledge of what you need to know to get started with raising money for your project, activities or organisation.

The workshop aims to provide:

• basic principles of fundraising.
• a better understanding of basic funding do’s and don’ts within the application process.
• practical experience of answering a typical funding application question, together with hints and tips on how to respond to this question.
• information on the funding resources available

This workshop is FREE to groups that deliver all, or part, of their services to Sandwell residents.
For all other groups/attendees there is a £10.00 fee.

Tickets are limited, so to reserve your place, please visit our Eventbrite page

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