News

Interfaith Youth Trust

The Interfaith Youth Trust has announced that it is making grants of up to £500 available for events organised by and for young people focussed around Inter Faith Week 2017.

Grants are awarded for proposals for inter-faith activities by children and young people from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and other faiths and those of no formal faith in understanding and co-operation. The age range for young people is 11-25 years.

Priority will be given to projects which:
• Actively involve young people in planning, running, and evaluation of the project and projects.
• Promotes positive action i.e. young people from different backgrounds coming together to address shared problems like improving green spaces.
• Are run by non-statutory organisations, such as youth clubs, scout/guide groups, local voluntary and community organisations.

The closing date for applications is the 15th September 2017.

More information


Landaid: The Property Industry Charity

From the 14 August 2017 organisations can apply for grants for building work for the refurbishment or the creation of bed spaces for young people who are homeless, or at severe risk of homelessness.

Funding of up to £75,000 will be available for full or part funding for the following types of building work:

• Refurbishment, conversion and extension of existing buildings – of empty properties and not-previously-empty properties
• New building – using traditional methods built on site or using precision construction built off site in factories.

Applicants must either own or be able to secure a minimum 8-year lease on the property or site and have a strong track record in supporting vulnerable young people.

For refurbishment projects grants of up to £15,000 per bed space will be considered.

The closing date for applications will be 5 pm on the 15th September 2017.

More information


Wessex Youth Trust

The next deadline for applications to the Wessex Youth Trust is the 1st November 2017. The Trust awards grants to registered charities (including schools and PTAs) that help, support and advance the wellbeing of disadvantaged children and young people up to the age of 21 years.

Applications from self-help organisations and charities requiring seed corn funding or pump priming for the development of more extensive fund-raising initiatives are preferred, as are specific project funding requests rather than contributions to broader appeals.

Click here to see examples of the types of projects funded by the Wessex Trust.

Further information


#UKCharityWeek – What will you be doing?

December 2017 will see Charity Today News and our Official Partner Charities host the annual national charity awareness and fundraising campaign #UKCharityWeek.

What is #UKCharityWeek?
#UKCharityWeek is designed to give the people of the United Kingdom an opportunity to raise awareness and fundraising for charities high on the national agenda at a time of the year when people are statistically at their most giving.

#UKCharityWeek is always held within the first full week of December, which in the case of 2017 is 4th-10th December.

What is taking place during #UKCharityWeek 2017?
Charity Today’s partner charities will be running various events, anything from Santa Runs to Cathedral Carol Concerts and many will be devising their own Social Media activities to celebrate the week.

What is an Official Partner Charity of #UKCharityWeek?
An Official Partner Charity is a UK registered charity that has joined the campaign in an official capacity to boost their exposure and involvement with the campaign, they also obtain the following benefits:

  • Publicity on all the official #UKCharityWeek and partner channels
  • Publicity on #charitytuesday official Twitter – this trends in the UK every single Tuesday!
  • Appearance as a partner on the hugely popular charitytoday.co.uk website campaign pages, an audience consisting of thousands of visitors every day and;
  • Publication of your #UKCharityWeek articles/videos on charitytoday.co.uk
  • Formal permission to use the campaign’s brand assets
  • Publication as a partner in the official #UKCharityWeek materials
  • Discounts on the official #UKCharityWeek merchandise and promotional materials

If you would like to become an official partner charity please click here and complete the form.

Source: Charity Today


Government Commits to Strengthening UK Data Protection Law

In a statement of intent the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill – a move that will have an impact on the charity sector and how it manages data.

The new bill, the government says, will provide everyone with the confidence that their data will be managed securely and safely. Research shows that more than 80% of people feel that they do not have complete control over their data online.

Right to be forgotten
Under the plans individuals will have more control over their data by having the right to be forgotten and ask for their personal data to be erased. This will also mean that people can ask social media channels to delete information they posted in their childhood.

The reliance on default opt-out or pre-selected ‘tick boxes’, which are largely ignored, to give consent for organisations to collect personal data will also become a thing of the past.

Businesses will be supported to ensure they are able to manage and secure data properly. The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), will also be given more power to defend consumer interests and issue higher fines, of up to £17m or 4% of global turnover, in cases of the most serious data breaches.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said: “Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.

“The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.”

The Data Protection Bill will:
• Make it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data
• Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased
• Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child’s data to be used
• Require ‘explicit’ consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data
• Expand the definition of ‘personal data’ to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA
• Update and strengthen data protection law to reflect the changing nature and scope of the digital economy
• Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them
• Make it easier for customers to move data between service providers

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.


How Charities Must Transform For The Digital Age

From self-driving cars to Hyperloop and using AI to prevent suicide, technology is transforming the world around us. Isn’t it time we asked what the future could look like for charities?

In a recent digital skills report, 68% of charities said that digital will change the voluntary sector by 2027 – more than believed the same thing in both the public and private sectors. But we’ve got a long way to go yet.

The biggest skills gaps are in fundraising, where 61% of charities rate their digital fundraising skills as fair to low and digital strategy (63%). Yet charity leadership and governance also need to change in the digital age. More than 70% of charities rate their board’s digital skills as low or with room for improvement, and 80% of respondents want their leadership team to provide a clear vision of what digital could help them achieve. Everyone, from volunteers to trustees, needs to embrace digital; it must become part of everyone’s modus operandi from day one.

There are signs of progress. Lloyds Bank research indicates that 51% of charities have basic digital skills (a 9% increase on 2015) and some large charities are now hiring chief digital officers, indicating their willingness to invest. But we don’t yet have the comprehensive momentum that will be required to move things forward, and without that we risk becoming a sector of digital haves and have-nots.

We must think big with our solutions. In Scotland, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has galvanised charity leaders with a digital call to action. Do we need a similar call to arms for the rest of the UK? Perhaps even a digital code of practice or skills framework?

While an obvious quick win is investing in digital fundraising skills to open up new income streams, there are further opportunities. Dan Sutch, director at the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology, urges charities to consider more digital service delivery. “Habits and expectations for how we find resources and support have changed; digital is often the first channel people use. If important charity services aren’t accessible via digital, they’ll be hidden by the services that are – making our depth of expertise invisible and inaccessible.”

Take the Royal Society for Blind Children’s Wayfindr app, which has evolved from a product to help young people navigate indoors into the Wayfindr Open Standard, a benchmark to guide tech companies in how to build accessible indoor audio navigation. It’s a perfect example of how a digital service must begin with understanding your audience’s needs, and how partnering with the right people (Wayfindr was funded by Google) could get your charity’s expertise in front of a whole new audience.

To read the full Guardian Voluntary Sector Network article click here.


Thousands More People To Get Online Thanks To National Lottery Funding

A pioneering initiative that supports people to improve their digital skills is being extended for a further three years thanks to £4m of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

The programme, One Digital, aims to support people to get online or to develop their basic digital skills through the help of Digital Champions, who have been trained to provide one-to-one support. This second phase of funding will be used to expand the programme and transform digital skills. It aims to reach another 40,000 people through 4,000 Digital Champions, improving the digital skills of those who can benefit most.

Results from the programme’s first phase found that of those surveyed, more than 80% said they have more confidence in their basic digital skills, a better understanding of the benefits of digital technologies, and increased motivation to use them.
One person said: “It has changed my life. I had no confidence in myself. But once I learned to use the iPad, to get in touch with people, I actually started to do things that I have always wanted to do but have never had the confidence to do. I am learning to swim! And I have joined an art class. All because I got a bit more confidence in myself through going to the computer sessions.”
Together, One Digital will benefit young adults seeking work, over 65s, charities and the people they support. Having better digital skills and more confidence will enable people to access essential online services, search and apply for jobs and stay in touch with friends and family.

Steve Hampson, Head of Innovation & Programmes at Age UK, said: “Being confident in your own digital skills isn’t just a nice to have; improved digital skills enable people to apply for jobs, pay bills and get the most cost-effective goods and services.
“The success of the first phase of One Digital shows just how much can be achieved when diverse organisations work together. We’re particularly pleased to have established a strong cohort of Digital Champions with a common and active interest in supporting digital inclusion. We look forward to the second phase of One Digital which will enable us to support many more people to get online, learn new skills and get more out of the digital world.”

Joe Ferns, Big Lottery Fund UK and Knowledge Director, said: “It’s important people of all ages have the opportunity to develop the right digital skills. This National Lottery funding will enable communities across the country to learn from one other and confidently navigate the digital world, whether it’s accessing online services or connecting with friends.”

The consortium partners include Age UK, Citizens Online, Clarion Housing Group, Digital Unite and the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, and the service will be delivered through hundreds of local organisations, enabling even more people to get involved.

Source: Charity Digital News


Want Your Charity to Raise More Money? Start Treating Donors as Individuals

What do donors want from charities?
Buried deep in the Charity Commission’s 2016 report (pdf) is a clue. People are almost twice as likely to trust smaller charities as they are big charities. What are small charities doing that big charities could learn from?
At Chuffed, where thousands of small charities and nonprofits crowdfund online, we’ve interviewed donors who’ve given to more than 20 campaigns, to understand what keeps them coming back time and again. This is what they said they want.

1. A Direct Connection With Projects
Donors want to follow what happens with the projects they support. They aren’t after stylised impact stories; they want direct updates from the people they’ve given money to. As one stated, “If you donate to a big charity, you donate and it’s done. With crowdfunding, I get interaction, feedback, updates…”
When Darren Hougham went to Dunkirk to build a school in the refugee camp, for example, he filmed short videos on his phone. Back in the UK, he would use the videos in a short update for his donors, and each time he posted a new burst of donations would come through that ultimately raised £15,000.

2. Personalised Messages
When big charity fundraisers are recruiting wealthy donors, their approach is all about personalisation. They only contact donors they know are interested in their issue and the message is entirely customised to them.

When it comes to ordinary donors though, big charities use a “spray-and-pray” approach, broadcasting the same message in the same way to as many people as they can. If I’m passionate about animals, I still get targeted by dementia, international affairs and medical research charities.

Small charities have a way of personalising things for even their smallest donors – by getting their fans to spread the message for them.

When Rob Caslick created an urban rooftop garden on top of his local church, he recruited a dozen “foot soldiers” – people with a particular passion for his project – who could help him spread the word. They helped design the campaign, got an early release of the campaign video and were given email templates to send out. When the campaign launched, these people were the first to donate and they also sent out hundreds of messages to friends encouraging them to donate. The result: Rob raised his $15,000 target in 50 hours.

To read the full Guardian Voluntary Sector Network article click here.


Spotlight on Health for Living

1. Tell us what you do
The Confidence & Wellbeing Team runs a range of free psycho-educational programmes across the 6 towns of Sandwell. These programmes are designed to teach easy self help techniques to manage common life issues such as; stress, anxiety, low mood, sleep issues and how to cope with change. The team consists of 4 workers who deliver the group programmes in a friendly and approachable manner.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
The Confidence & Wellbeing Team has been active in Sandwell for almost 10 years and during that time we have helped hundreds of local residents to better manage their mental health, build emotional resilience and lead more positive and fulfilling lives.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO?
We are looking forward to working with SCVO to promote our services and reach out to even more people in Sandwell.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Everyone has challenges in life and through coming together at our groups, sharing stories and learning new strategies to cope, we all have the ability to fulfil our potential. People are innately resourceful and sometimes all it takes is a helping hand during a challenging time to get back on track.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
Our plans for the future are to continue running our group courses throughout Sandwell and attract even more people to take part! We also encourage people once they have completed one of our courses to become co-facilitators and run future groups with us. This is a fantastic way to keep building self confidence, maintain all the strategies they have learnt and share their experience to help others. Our challenge is to keep a visible profile within the borough so people know we are here!

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
By supporting us with continued promotion through the website and by word of mouth!

For further information please call our office on 0121 558 8815 or to refer yourself call the HUB on 03030339903


Yemeni Community Association Seeks Project Worker

The Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell (YCA) is a community based organisation that seeks to represent and meet the needs of vulnerable communities in Sandwell but in particular specialises in delivery to the Yemeni and other Arabic speaking communities. The YCA does this by providing services over and above those available in the mainstream sector, and also by acting as an interface between the community and various service providers.

YCA is looking for a skilled and enthusiastic Project Officer to support those furthest from the labour market through a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project called Building Reachable Individual Dreams Gaining Employment & Skills (BRIDGES) funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

Salary: up to £17,007.84 per annum

Working Hours: 27 hours per week – Part time

Contract: Temporary until 31st December 2019 (Subject to initial 3 months probationary period)

Closing Date:

The successful applicant will provide an employment and career service to individuals (aged 25 years and over) that are either unemployed or economically inactive. They will provide clients with tailored support; enabling individuals to address any barriers they may be experiencing in order to support them into further education/training, employment or closer to work through activities such as job searching, CV writing and confidence building.

YCA is looking for someone:
• Who is self-motivated and a good communicator with high quality inter-personal skills.
• Experience of effectively managing a portfolio of clients – arranging appointments, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating their needs, barriers and progress.
• Flexibility to accommodate clients and be prepared to meet with clients at their homes, the office and other community settings.
• Proven experience in working within an advisory role or employment work.
• An understanding of the issues affecting long term unemployment and knowledge of the services and facilities available to customers.
• Necessary administration skills and proficiency in MS Office.
• Experience of working with voluntary and community groups in particular BME communities.

For a job pack and details on how to apply please visit http://www.yca-sandwell.org.uk/news.htm#projectworker17

For additional help, please contact Ahmed Alkash on 0121 525 3909 or by email at ahmed@yca-sandwell.org.uk

Closing date for return of application: 9:00am – Tuesday 29th August 2017


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