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Invitation to the Launch of The Legacy of Industrial Textiles Enterprise (LITE)

Community Education Academy of Leadership (CEAL) is pleased launch The Legacy of Industrial Textiles Enterprise (LITE) project.  The LITE project is funded by Heritage Lottery Funds, its purpose is to document, collate and publicise the heritage of the textile sector from 1960s to the end of the last century. Our demographic areas are Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton. We are looking at almost 50 years of invaluable history in the social, economic and cultural contexts.

This ground breaking project involves, inter-generational Interviews from South Asian, African and Caribbean ethnic communities, former Textile employers and employees Interviews, publication production, digitisation of artefacts, Heritage textile skills training and development and touring exhibition in Birmingham, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.

The launch is open to all interested members of the public and is taking place on:
Date: 6 September 2017
Time: 11-1pm
Venue: Hawthorns House, Halfords Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands B66 1BB.

The Launch Programme:
11.00- Registration/Refreshments
11.20- Welcome/Introductions- Dr. Christopher A Johnson (Chair of CEAL)
11.30- Why the LITE Project? (Harminder Kaur Bhogal)
11.40- Former Employees Live Interviews
12.00- Former Employers perspectives
12.10- Live Musical Performance
12.20 Special Guest Speaker- Professor Monder Ram OBE (Birmingham University)
12.30: Sue Beardsmore Chair of HLF (West Midlands)
12.35 Closing remarks
Lunch and Networking

We look forward to hearing from you.

For further information contact:
Harminder Kaur Bhogal (Project Manager)
Tel: 07891479255

Rupinderjit Kaur (Field Officer)
Tel: 07378766776

Army Reserve To Host Job Fair In West Bromwich

237 Squadron based in West Bromwich will be hosting a Job Fair on 24 Aug 17 to better the relationships with the local Community and help decrease unemployment in the local area.

The event will start at 10:00 hours and run until approximately 15:00 hours. Employers outside of the Armed Frorces include, but are not limited to; National Express, Mercury Security, Avon and Tesco’s. The event will be held on MOD property namely Normandy House, B70 9LP.

The event will hope to bring in circa 150 people in the local areas seeking new opportunities. The Reserve Army job can be in addition to any full time careers and this will serve as a great opportunity to explain the new changes in entry standards to possible candidates.

As a reminder the training offered by the Regiment to its members is second to none and currently we have soldiers on car, HGV & forklift driving courses as well as offering logistics, chef and medical courses all of which complement Civilian employment.  All of the training is paid and initial training attracts a number of financial bonus.

Reservists are paid for attending any training they undertake and also gain an annual tax free bounty for meeting a minimum training commitment of 27 days. For further information on the Squadron or joining the Army Reserve, email or search

For more information please contact Captain Samantha Floyd on 02476 854953.

#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 website campaign pages, an audience consisting of thousands of visitors every day and;
  • Publication of your #UKCharityWeek articles/videos on
  • 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

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.

Organisations Failing to Measure Cybersecurity Effectiveness

Charities are being encouraged to measure the effectiveness of their cyber security investment after new research suggested organisations are failing to check if they’re spending money well.

Thycotic’s first annual 2017 State of Cybersecurity Metrics Report found that more than half respondents in the survey (58%), scored an “F” or “D” grade when evaluating their efforts to measure their cybersecurity investments and performance against best practices.

The survey, which analyses key findings from a Security Measurement Index (SMI) benchmark, is based on internationally accepted standards for security embodied in ISO 27001, as well as best practices from industry experts and professional associations.

With global companies and governments spending more than $100 billion a year on cybersecurity defences, a substantial number, 32% of companies are making business decisions and purchasing cyber security technology blindly. Even more disturbing, more than 80% of respondents fail to include business users in making cybersecurity purchase decisions, nor have they established a steering committee to evaluate the business impact and risks associated with cybersecurity investments.

Additional key findings from the report include:
• One in three companies invest in cybersecurity technologies without any way to measure their value or effectiveness.
• Four out five companies don’t know where their sensitive data is located, and how to secure it.
• Four out of five fail to communicate effectively with business stakeholders and include them in cybersecurity investment decisions.
• Two out of three companies don’t fully measure whether their disaster recovery will work as planned.
• Four out of five never measure the success of security training investments.
• While 80% of breaches involve stolen or weak credentials, 60% of companies still do not adequately protect privileged accounts—their keys to the kingdom.
• Small businesses are targeted in two out of three cyberattacks.
• Sixty percent of small businesses go out of business six months after a breach.

“It’s really astonishing to have the results come in and see just how many people are failing at measuring the effectiveness of their cybersecurity and performance against best practices,” said Joe Carson, Chief Security Scientist at Thycotic. “This report needed to be conducted to bring to light the reality of what is truly taking place so that companies can remedy their errors and protect their businesses.

“We put out this report not only to show the errors that are being made, but also to educate those who need it on how to improve in each of the areas that are lacking. “Our report provides recommendations associated with better ways to educate, protect, monitor and measure so that improvements can be implemented.”

To download the full 2017 State of Cybersecurity Metrics Report and view all the findings from the Security Measurement Index benchmark survey, click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Preparing for GDPR and Data Protection Reform

As of 25th May 2018, every organisation that holds personal client data must become compliant with the new GDPR regulations. We know that understanding how these new regulations will effect your organisation’s processes can be difficult, but NCVO have helpfully compiled a ’12 Point Plan’ (based on the ICO guidance) to assist you in adopting these new regulations into practice.

1 – Make sure the right people in your organisation know this is coming
Your trustee board and senior staff should be aware that the law is changing.  They need to know enough to make good decisions about what you need to do to implement GDPR. They need to be aware that implementation may take considerable time and effort and add data protection to your risk register if you have one.

2- Identify what data you hold and where that data came from
If you don’t know what personal data you hold and where it came from you will need to organise an audit of your different systems and departments to find out. This means all personal data including employees and volunteers, service users, members, donors and supporters and more. You should document your findings as GDPR means you must keep records of your processing activities.  You should also record if you share data with any third parties.

3 – Update your privacy notices
You must always tell people in a concise, easy to understand way how you intend to use their data. Privacy notices are the most common way to do this. You may well already have privacy notices on your website for example but they will all need to be updated. Under GDPR privacy notices must give additional information such as how long you will keep data for and what lawful basis you have to process data. The ICO has guidance on GDPR compliant privacy notices.

4 – Check your processes meet individuals’ new rights
GDPR will give people more rights over their data. For example GDPR gives someone the right to have their personal data deleted. Would you be able to find the relevant data and who would be responsible for making sure that happened? Get to know the eight rights and have the systems in place to be able to deliver on each of them.

5 – Know how you will deal with ‘subject access requests’
Individuals have the right to know what data you hold on them, why the data is being processed and whether it will be given to any third party. They have the right to be given this information in a permanent form (hard copy). This is known as a subject access request.  Your organisation needs to be able to identify a subject access request, find all the relevant data and comply within one month of receipt of the request. The ICO gives guidance on handling subject access requests.

To read the full article from NCVO please click here.

What Makes Some People More Likely to Volunteer Than Others?

While the benefits of volunteering are well known – making a difference, giving back to the community, and developing new skills, for example – there is less clarity about what psychological aspects make a volunteer and how charities can use this knowledge to attract more people to their cause.

These insights could prove invaluable. In the last 15 years, the overall number of volunteers has stayed largely the same, with the exception of spikes in 2012 (during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games), and in 2005, which experts suspect is linked to protests against the Iraq war.

Starting Young
Emily Dyson is the evidence and strategy manager for the #iwill campaign, which aims to drive youth participation in volunteering in the UK. The charity publishes an annual report, monitoring social action among 10-20 year olds and providing recommendations to improve engagement with this group.

“We have an ambitious goal to increase the number of young people taking part in social action by 1.5million by 2020,” Dyson says.

The latest findings showed that 70% of the 2021 young people surveyed were likely to participate in social action in the future, but 41% said that they weren’t sure how to get involved – a clear opportunity for organisations to improve communications with this group.

The analysts also classified the respondents into three groups based on their current, previous and intended participation in social action – committed, potential and reluctant – and identified a recommendation for each. The goal for the committed group is to encourage them to do more by celebrating the impact they have; the reluctant group could be engaged by promoting volunteering opportunities to their parents and teachers; and the reluctant group may participate if introduced to social action while they’re still young. The survey found that those in the committed group had their first volunteering experience before they turned 11.

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

From Volunteers to Workplace Culture: How Charities Can Fill the Tech Skills Gap

Technology is, in many ways, a charity’s ideal partner – allowing organisations to run services in previously unimaginable ways, or reach previously unreachable people. Think of the Vodafone Foundation’s TecSOS, a mobile handset enabling victims of domestic abuse to speed-dial emergency services. The phone provides emergency teams with the victim’s history, their location and records the call for evidence. And that’s just one of hundreds of extraordinary examples.

Yet, plugging into the benefits of today’s digital environment requires a broad and often tangled range of skills, from basic computer literacy right through to strategic-level insight about the latest digital developments (such as social media or cyber security). So, are tech skills strong enough in the voluntary sector? And if not, what’s holding charities back?

I spoke with Richard Cooper, director of programmes at the Technology Trust, an organisation that has helped more than 17,000 charities access technology and software, often donated by large companies such as Microsoft. Such tools can be transformative in the way a charity works, but Cooper says that when it comes to uptake and integration of technology, three barriers still exist: cost, strategy and skills.

Interestingly, a deficit of the latter at the top level can be most counterproductive. “One of the biggest issues we see is managers and trustees who don’t know what technology can do for them,” he says.

“Lots still view technology as a necessary evil, rather than something they can exploit. Their expertise probably lies in their mission. If you’ve got a strategic-level person who understands tech, it’s normally by accident, not by design.”

Issues around expertise and financial strategy are interlinked, he adds. “It’s a chicken and egg thing – if you don’t understand the benefits of technology then you’re not going to justify the cost. Who wants to be seen spending money at the back end that could be spent on the frontline?”

New Research
Going Digital, a new report from Nesta Impact Investments, backs up many of Cooper’s observations. It highlights the need for charities to keep up with an increasingly digital world, yet found that even forward-thinking organisations experience challenges that prevent them using technology to its full potential. Such challenges include funding, trustee and managerial buy-in, and the need to commit to bringing in or training up the necessary skills.

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

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