November 2017

Monthly Archives

SAFL’s Christmas Fun Event

Looking for free entertainment for the family in the run up to Christmas? Sandwell Adult and family learning are putting on a Christmas themed crafts workshop at the arts café, Central sixth in West Bromwich New Square on Saturday 2 December, 11.00 am – 1.00 pm.

All the activities and resources will be provided free of charge. This is a great opportunity for families to spend time together.  Even Santa Claus will be there!

Please take ID with you and be prepared to have fun with your children doing a range of art and craft activities.

For more information, please visit SAFL’s website at and click the course guide or call 0121 557 0837.   Follow SAFL on Twitter @learnsafl

Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust

The next deadline for applications to the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust is 15th January 2018. Charities registered in the UK and working to offer sanctuary, rehoming and rehabilitation to animals in the UK and/or internationally can apply.

The maximum funding available is £35,000 and to be eligible to apply the applicant organisations should be a UK registered charity; have independently examined up to date annual accounts; and have an active re-homing and rehabilitation policy for animals taken into care.

Organisations involved with conservation of wildlife, the rescue, rehabilitation and (where possible) release of animals are also eligible to apply. The funding can be used for general running costs or capital purchases.

More information

BBC Children in Need Main Grants programme

The next closing date for applications to the BBC Children in Need Main Grants programme is the 16th January 2018.

Grants of over £10,000 per project are available to not for profit organisations and schools that work with young people who are experiencing disadvantage through illness, distress, abuse or neglect; any kind of disability; behavioural or psychological difficulties; and / or living in poverty or situations of deprivation. Schools can also apply for funding but the project must be additional to their statutory duties.

Examples of projects that recently received funding include:

– St Joseph’s School and Community Steering Group, which received a grant of £61,480 to provide an after school and holiday club to engage disadvantaged young people living in Workington in physical and healthy living activity.

– Stepping Stones Pre-School Portslade, which received a grant of £ £9,397 to provide additional 1-1 support to children who display emotional/behavioural/communication difficulties to develop coping strategies, social communication skills and help them to overcome anxiety.

– Cumbria Law Centre which received a grant of £88,263 to provide a full-time worker for a young people’s drop-in centre, offering specialist social welfare advice to young people and vulnerable parents.

More information


Something Magical Happening This Christmas

The People’s Orchestra invites you to their annual fun-filled festival family concert, “Something Magical” at West Bromwich Town Hall on Saturday, 16 December, from 7.00 pm.

There will be sing-alongs, traditional carols, jingels and stories.  The orchestra will be playing pieces from a number of popular family movies including Frozen, Cinderella, The Muppets, Christmas Carol and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Adults £10
Concessions (65+ and students) £7
Children £5
Care home Residents £3
Under 5’s – Free

To book tickets please visit

If you have any questions call the Box Office Team on 0121 569 2616.


Sky Arts Launches New Art 50 Funding Round

Sky Arts has announced the launch of a new Art 50 funding round. Art 50 is seeking applications from artists from all walks of life and from all genres to create a piece of work which says something important and passionate about what it will mean to be British when we leave the EU.

Artists can be fearful, excited, angry or happy on the subject. Applications can be submitted by anyone including schools, colleges and arts institutions. Applicants can apply for up to £50,000 but the majority of awards will be made between £5,000 to £20,000.

Having commissioned a number of films and plays in Round 1, Sky Arts would really like to see more music and visual art ideas i.e. painting, sculpture, installations etc. Sky Arts also want to hear from around the country, but are particularly keen on receiving a greater number of ideas from areas that are underrepresented in the UK’s mainstream metropolitan arts community; and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Sky Arts would also like to commission a number of primary and secondary schools to contribute poems from pupils aged 7 to 17, along with artwork or additional pieces, about what it means to be British. These works will form the basis of a published book entitled ‘School Britannia” which will provide a historic legacy of what the schoolchildren think about being British.

The closing date for applications is midday on the 12th January 2018.

Find out more

Sainsbury’s Local Food Partner Programme

Sainsbury’s continues to expand its Local Food Partner Programme and is accepting applications from local charities to join the network. Local food partner charities can collect dry and tinned food donated by customers and/or fresh food donated by Sainsbury’s to distribute in the community.

Applicants must be a registered charity, have appropriate Food Hygiene certification and be able to collect donated food regularly from you partner store.

A Food Partner must be able to collect food from their local store regularly; put in place effective procedures for the receipt, storage and security of food provided by Sainsbury’s; ensure all staff involved in handling food are knowledgeable of food hygiene requirements; and comply with legally acceptable standards of hygiene in handling, storage, preparation and serving of meals and in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions where available.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis

St John Ambulance Commissions Pioneering Interactive Online Training

First aid charity St John Ambulance has created a pioneering interactive online training pilot.

The project, produced by Digital Training Solutions (DTS) using the company’s own Near-Life technology, incorporates the growing trend for gamification in learning. The scenario-based training allows the public to test their skills and confidence in spotting a life-threatening situation, learning vital skills and revealing gaps in their knowledge.

Using cutting-edge gaming technology, users’ can test their knowledge in real-time through ‘point of view’ interactive video scenarios.

Karen Wain, Training Products Manager at St John Ambulance, said: “Feedback on the pilot has been incredibly positive; 400,000 people every year learn to save a life through our training programmes, so it is exciting to have created this scenario-based learning with the potential to reach many more people in an effective online format.”

Geseth Garcia, co-founder of DTS, said: “Our Near-Life tech, with interactive scenarios and a game-based approach to learning, offers St John Ambulance the opportunity to significantly extend the availability of its training, saving more lives in the process.”
DTS provides a comprehensive online learning consultancy service using its own trademarked Near-Life technology. The company has pioneered the use of gamification in online learning, introducing a game based approach to interactive storytelling.

The company also recently launched Hostile World, increasing access to Hostile Environment Training by eliminating the requirement for lengthy residential courses and high costs. The online platform also creates opportunity to reach humanitarian aid workers out in the field, including those unable to leave their location, allowing them to access vital skills.

Source: Charity Digital News


GDPR: A Chance for Charities to Change With The Times

As the clock ticks down to 25th May 2018, millions of organisations across the UK are busy reviewing their data security in preparation for the biggest overhaul in data protection law for more than 25 years. Next year, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, replacing the current 1998 Data Protection Act.

GDPR is the result of four years of EU consultation to enforce new, stringent legal requirements for how organisations process personal data. It will ultimately democratise data privacy for consumers, making it vital for their consent to be given before their personal information is stored.

While most of the focus on GDPR has been on commercial businesses, it’s worth noting that charities are not exempt from controversies surrounding data privacy either. The Information Commissioner’s Office has recently handed out several fines to a number of reputable charity organisations for swapping or selling donor lists containing confidential information. As a result, the charity sector needs to understand and prepare for these changes.

Following the launch of GDPR, organisations will have an obligation to provide clear and transparent guidelines about how personal data will be used and, once stored, ensure that individuals can access and amend this data can quickly and easily. Anyone that fails to meet these new codes of practice face fines of up to €20m or 4% of their annual turnover, whichever is higher.

A Chance to Build Trust
The launch of these new rules follows several high-profile cases involving the violation of data privacy in previously unforeseen ways. For example, Facebook was fined €1.2 million earlier this year for privacy violations in Spain, as people’s personal data on ideologies, religious beliefs, sex and personal tastes were used illegally for advertising purposes.

Charities run the risk of falling foul of data protection rules too – and risk damaging their reputations as a result. The well-documented collapse of Kids Company caused serious harm to the public’s perception of charities. In fact, last year, the Charity Commission found that trust and confidence in charities was at its lowest level since the report began in 2005.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the UK’s third sector. In the same report, the Charity Commission revealed that 1 in 10 people identify effective management as the most important factor in their trust and confidence in charities. As such, charities now have an opportunity to view data protection as an act of corporate social responsibility that can boost their public image, as well as a legal requirement.

The purpose of GDPR is to keep personal data safe, so if charities can embrace this legislation and show a willingness to comply, it will send a clear message to their supporters that the organisation really cares about protecting their private information. As a result, those charities that can successfully navigate the transition to GDPR have a chance to engage with their supporters in a more open and positive way.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Forging A Digital Infrastructure in The Charitable Sector

Not-for-profit organisations and charities all over the UK have felt the squeeze in recent years due to funding cuts from central and local government with government grants (the lifeblood of local charities) declining by two thirds over the last decade from a high of £6bn in 2003 to just £2.9bn (18%) in 2014/15 as government switched from providing grants to awarding contracts for delivery of charitable services.

Small and medium-sized charities and community groups are the backbone of the UK’s regions; reaching, engaging and helping those who need it in their local areas. In fact, Locality’s report Diseconomies, argued that local charities often see substantially better outcomes, because they know their community and have a flexible approach, which is vastly more effective than national, standardised, one-size-fits-all services. In a country where local charitable funding and giving is consistently ignored, how can these smaller organisations place beneficiaries at the heart of funding decisions; getting the recognition and investment they deserve?

Despite valiant efforts to raise new income, many small and medium-sized charities and community groups have also been hit hard by the move to contract-based services. Designed to achieve economies of scale in the third sector, the legal obligations, management layers, audit and compliance requirements and subdivision of services by specialism all make the system more complex and increase the administrative burden. What’s more, the scale of the bidding process means that the small and mid-sized charities with local expertise and an in-depth understanding of regional requirements find they have limited access to the grants they so desperately need.

This means that smaller charities and community organisations must look for new ways to attract funding and manage their fundraising campaigns. With the right partnerships and technology, the processes associated with fundraising can be streamlined. Digital tools bring efficiency gains, more transparency and greater collaboration – all of which helps level the playing field for small and mid-sized charities. Many have been quick to recognise the impact of social media and online fundraising but we’re yet to see true digital transformation in the way that these organisations apply for grants and other funds.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

ICO Launches GDPR Helpline for Small Organisations

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has today launched a dedicated advice line to help small charities prepare for a new data protection law.

The phone service is aimed at people running small charities or businesses and recognises the particular problems they face getting ready for the new law, called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR replaces the current Data Protection Act and comes into force on 25 May 2018. Regulated by the ICO, the GDPR strengthens the rules around personal data and requires organisations to be more accountable and transparent. It also gives people greater control over their own personal data.

There are already resources on the ICO website to help small charities prepare for the GDPR but the new phone line will offer additional, personal advice to organisations that still have questions.

People from small organisations should dial the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113 and select option 4 to be diverted to staff who can offer support. As well as advice on preparing for the GDPR, callers can also ask questions about current data protection rules and other legislation regulated by the ICO including electronic marketing and Freedom of Information.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said:

“All organisations have to get ready for the new data protection rules, but we recognise that the 5.4 million small organisations in the UK face particular challenges.

“Small organisations want to be ready when the new law comes into force in May 2018, but they often struggle to know where to start. They may have less time and money to invest in getting it right and are less likely to have compliance teams, data protection officers or legal experts to advise them what to do.

“Our new phone service and all the other resources already on our website plus even more advice and guidance yet to come will help steer small businesses through the new law.”

In addition to the new phone service, the ICO has also announced plans to simplify its 12 steps to take now graphic and also revise its SME toolkit into a GDPR resource that will allow organisations  to identify gaps in their own preparation for the new law.
By the end of the year, the ICO will publish a Guide to the GDPR. It expands the content of the current overview to make it a comprehensive guide along the same lines as the current Guide to Data Protection.

Source: Charity Digital News

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