Debra Hill

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Debt Adviser required at Citizens Advice

This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of a charity that is a member of a national brand. Join a growing organisation that excels in delivering a great service to clients and cares about employees. Become a part of a team that puts excellence and clients at the forefront.

Job Vacancy:  Debt Adviser

Hours: 37 hours per week – full time
Salary: £24,961 pa.
Contract: Permanent
Closing date: 22nd April 2020
Interview date: 5th May 2020

Citizens Advice Sandwell is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and experienced Debt Adviser, to work in a busy office. The ideal person will have knowledge of undertaking in-depth casework for clients with multiple debts and providing comprehensive specialist debt advice.

The Debt Adviser must be flexible with their approach to work, target driven, able to work well under pressure while maintaining high quality and standards in all aspects of their work.

A positive manner in addition to good organisation and time management skills is important. The ideal person must have excellent communication skills to enable them to advocate for clients with the aim to achieve results. The candidate must be willing to work as part of a team, use their initiative to work independently and develop external partnerships.

It is vital they can carry out and monitor their own casework and related administrative tasks, with minimal supervision. Accuracy is essential, as well as meeting deadlines. Travel across Sandwell will be required.

If you enjoy a challenge and think you have the skills in addition to knowledge to do this role, then please contact us to obtain an application pack for this post. Please email:

The Breastfeeding Network Sandwell

It’s a strange and unsettling time for everyone right now, especially new parents.

We’ve had to make some changes to our service to fit with venue closures, infection control measures and sensible distancing precautions, but there’s still lots of support we can offer you.

Here’s what you can expect from us over the coming weeks:

At any time (before or after birth) … Call us on: 07505 775357 and leave your details — our answerphone will be updated with any changes in service, and we will get back to you as soon as we can (between 9am -1pm daily).

If you have any issues with feeding, such as pain, difficulty getting baby to take the breast, or worries about how much or how often baby is drinking, our first step will be to offer you a call back for telephone support.

While you wait for us to call you back you can look here for general breastfeeding information.

For further info click here –

Maximising Volunteering Potential

Whilst the number of people volunteering across the UK has stayed relatively stable over the last decade, there have been shifts in the way people volunteer and the way organisations think about volunteering.

So how do we start to maximise the volunteering potential of this generation?

A few ideas that can have an impact include:

•Tackling Ageism – People are healthier, active for longer and view themselves as younger for longer – only 6% of over 65’s view themselves as old. Organisations need to shift their perceptions of an ‘older’ volunteer force and remove age-based limits on the opportunities and services provided.

•Enabling and empowering talent – Enabling and empowering volunteers within an organisation to use their knowledge and life-long experience is a vital and highly underused resource by most organisations. Widening the roles available to volunteers at all levels and offering opportunities for them to use their valued skills is a good place to start.

•Engaging the middle ground – Studying the demographics of volunteers we know that most volunteers are at either end of the age spectrum, the shortfall is in the 45-64 age gap. How can we engage this group for the long-term to see them choosing to volunteer with us when they do reach retirement?

Click here for more info 



Understanding The Role Technology Plays In Driving Accountability

If charities are clear what data matters to them and how to measure it, then digital transformation can allow them to focus their technology’s energy on where it is most needed, says Nathan Baranowski from OJO Solutions.

We live in the age of information. An astonishing 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created on the web every day – that’s the equivalent of 10 million Blu-Ray films every 24 hours. Yet despite all this data, we still often struggle to gain access to the information we sorely need to facilitate decision-making and work productively.

But the rise of AI and big data is transforming the way we see information and how we use data – opening the doors to data delivering real-time insight and providing a single truth.

A world in which it’s commonplace to view real-time fundraising figures and access financial performance and management accounts automatically, without human intervention, is within reach. Emerging technology has the potential to liberate us all and focus us on purposeful decision-making. This is the information age.

For more information click here

Source:  Civil Society

Six Tips for Increasing Your Online Donations

With its spring 2018 website development grant up for grabs, the Transform Foundation shares its top lessons from the programme on how to create a charity website that maximise.

The Transform Foundation believes that a strategically designed website is one of the most powerful ways of helping a charity generate the sustainable income they need to fund their charitable activities and go further in their mission.

That is why they provide the funding to give charities a helping hand on the upfront investment for a website equipped with the right features.

To give you an idea of some of the benefits you can expect from a fully optimised website funded through the programme, here are six top tips for creating a website that maximises your online donations.

To find out how you can apply for funding to redevelop your charity’s website, visit the Website Grant section of the Transform Foundation website here for full details on what it offers and how you can apply.

1. Create a fully integrated donations form on your website
According to the Network For Good Online Giving Index, non-profits achieve on average six times higher conversion rates on their donations if they take them via a fully integrated journey that maintains their branding, is fully hosted and does not redirect to a third party payment processing site that is disconnected from their main website.
Having a fully integrated donations journey is therefore one of the simplest ways for charities to dramatically increase their income.

2. Minimise the number of clicks on your online donations journey
The Transform Foundation’s studies have shown that having more than one click on your donations form reduces conversion rates by an average of 35%. After a second click, every extra click a supporter has to make on average reduces conversion rates by an additional 20%.

To maximise the amount of potential supporters you convert, it is therefore vital to aim for a one-click donation journey, or at least reduce clicks to the minimum number possible.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

‘A Mix of Junk and Important Stuff’: How We Sorted Out Our Charity Data for GDPR

Preparing for the new EU data protection regulation is a huge headache for an organisation like ours. Here’s how we tackled it.

Dealing with the European Union’s tough new data protection law General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) feels like moving house and confronting the piles of boxes in the attic. They’re full of stuff you haven’t touched in years. You know you have to clear them out, but you also know they contain a mixture of junk and important stuff. You’re going to have to read every last scrap of paper and do a mega sort-out.

The European Union’s new stronger, unified data protection laws, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will come into force on 25 May 2018, after more than six years in the making.

GDPR will replace the current patchwork of national data protection laws, give data regulators greater powers to fine, make it easier for companies with a “one-stop-shop” for operating across the whole of the EU, and create a new pan-European data regulator called the European Data Protection Board.

The new laws govern the processing and storage of EU citizens’ data, both that given to and observed by companies about people, whether or not the company has operations in the EU. They state that data protection should be both by design and default in any operation.

GDPR will refine and enshrine the “right to be forgotten” laws as the “right to erasure”, and give EU citizens the right to data portability, meaning they can take data from one organisation and give it to another. It will also bolster the requirement for explicit and informed consent before data is processed, and ensure that it can be withdrawn at any time.

To ensure companies comply, GDPR also gives data regulators the power to fine up to €20m or 4% of annual global turnover, which is several orders of magnitude larger than previous possible fines. Data breaches must be reported within 72 hours to a data regulator, and affected individuals must be notified unless the data stolen is unreadable, ie strongly encrypted.

On top of the day job, dealing with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a massive piece of work. Ahead of the compliance deadline on 25 May our team at the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) has had to sort through 21 years of personal data about the social entrepreneurs and charity leaders we support across an international network of 11 schools. That includes email addresses, marketing preferences, phone numbers, financial information about other organisations, sensitive data – the works.

Source:  Information Commissioners Office

Arts Council The Next Ten Years Start Here…

As we launch a public conversation around our next ten year strategy for 2020-30, our Chief Executive Darren Henley blogs about what we’ve achieved so far, and why we want to hear from you about how we can best support arts, museums and libraries in England for the future.

Back in 2010, Arts Council England published its first ever ten year strategy, Great Art for Everyone, revised in 2013 as Great Art and Culture for Everyone to reflect our new remit for museums and libraries.  Many of you may remember what a ground-breaking move it was, bringing together the Arts Council with the arts and culture sector and other partners to shape and define a shared vision and priorities for the next ten years.

The strategy and its five goals have been a guide and inspiration over the past years, a rock throughout many adventures, and the foundation for the success we’ve all shared.  Of course, much remains to be done, but that sense of a collective strategy has got us travelling together, in the right direction, providing us with an aspirational vision and to help guide our investment and development activity.

We live in an evolving and changing world and the priorities that served audiences, artists, performers, creators, museums, libraries, arts organisations and the Arts Council itself over the previous decade need re-examining. We need to consider what a new strategy for 2020-2030 should address, and want to hear your views.

We’ve come a long way, but there’s still much to do

Working with our partners across the country, we have accomplished a great deal so far. There have been challenges and there will doubtless be more to come. Who would have thought we would have seen the changes that have rocked the world in the last few years? But throughout, we have continued to make progress together. I believe that England’s arts and culture ecology is now in a stronger position than it was in 2010, and that we can be more confident of public and political support.

Together we’ve reached new audiences, many of them from communities that have not previously had the opportunity to enjoy the work of our artists, museums and libraries. We’ve seen a new spirit of entrepreneurship rising among cultural organisations. Across the country, artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries have helped lead civic regeneration in partnership with local authorities and higher education. There’s a bold new generation of arts leaders and fundraisers, many of them coming through specially devised courses. We’ve championed the importance of a quality cultural education, for all children, and this summer, we launched our most diverse National Portfolio, which brought museums and libraries fully into the fold, completing the journey begun in 2010.

To read the full Arts Council article click here.

West Midlands PCC Outstanding Citizens Awards

Nominations are now open for this year’s West Midlands PCC Outstanding Citizen Awards.

The awards honour the unsung heroes of our region, giving them the moment in the spotlight they deserve.

Nominations can now be submitted for people who have performed outstanding acts of good citizenship.

Do you know a dedicated volunteer? 

Or someone who performed an incredible act of bravery? 

If so, make sure you let them know how appreciated they are by nominating them for an award from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

If you would like to nominate an Outstanding Citizen, Outstanding Young Citizen or Outstanding Community Project, fill in the Outstanding Citizen Awards 2018 – Nomination Form,  and return it by 9 April 2018.