News

Go Think Big

Go Think Big is offering young people aged 15 – 24 years the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £500 to help them to deliver a social action project. Funded projects can be, for example, skills workshops, podcasts, journalism pieces, live events, community initiatives or apps.

Grants will be awarded to imaginative, creative, entrepreneurial and innovative projects that aim to change the world around the applicant and that also consider the use of digital technology to ensure that the idea makes a positive impact.

All projects must:
• Have a project leader aged 15-24 who lives in the UK
• Take place within the UK
• Have an element which benefits the community or young people within it
• Be realistic, completed within 6 months, and achievable with up to £500
• Consider how digital can be used. This may include, but is not limited to, digital platforms, digital connectivity, digital research or data management. You can use anything from video, to social media, to music software. Options are endless!
• Consider the use of charities or professionals where appropriate, for example if the project addresses mental health.

The deadline to apply is the 6th May 2018.

More information


Transport Consultation Event – Potential (dis)benefits of drones

The Transport Innovation Team at Transport for West Midlands is working on a project to explore the potential future applications of drones in the region. They are hosting an event on Friday 20 April, (10:00 – 16:00) where they will gather stakeholders to explore the potential (dis)benefits of drones and the limits/ways in which they would like to see them operate in the future.

By way of background; the event aims to capture views on what people do or do not want drones to do in the future. Nesta, the charity running the project nationally, is really keen to capture a wide range of perspectives – from community representatives, to drone companies/end users.

Some further information:

  • Run by Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, in partnership with Innovate UK, the Flying High Challenge will empower the participating regions to develop drone strategies based on local community needs. From February to June 2018, Nesta will work closely with each area to build visions that will shape the future of drones use and identify the necessary requirements to sustainably realise these visions.
  • The West Midlands is one of the five areas involved, joining Bradford, Preston, London and Southampton.
  • The aim of the project is not to design a concrete policy for drones – but rather begin the conversation on their potential benefits and what we would or would not like to see them do in the future.

If you are interested in attending this event, or contributing to the consultation, then please contact:

Lucy Gosling at Transport Innovation: E: lucy.gosling@tfwm.org.uk / T: 0121 214 7929


Generation Q Programme

The Health Foundation, which is an independent health and health care charity, has announced that the Q Initiative has re-opened for applications.

Senior leaders from health and health care practice, policy and the charity sector can apply to join the Q programme. This is a fully funded programme designed to equip participants with the skills and techniques to lead and deliver improvements across services and organisations.

Fellows will be joining a network of skilled and effective leaders who are able to have an impact on improving quality of care beyond their immediate sphere of influence. Participants will have the opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate in Leadership (Quality Improvement) from Ashridge Executive Education, with the option of completing an MSc.

The closing date for applications is the 1st May 2018.

Further information


Can you help Sandwell Advocacy?

At the beginning of May, Sandwell Advocacy will start the ‘Big Build’, sprucing up their offices.

Do you have decorating equipment and/or paint that you would like to donate? Any other items surplus to requirements, which could be used in refurbished offices would also be appreciated.

Please contact Sandwell Advocacy on 0121 520 8070.


Help the Homeless

Help the Homeless makes grants of up to £5,000 to small and medium sized charitable organisations (with a turnover of less than £1million), whose aim is to help homeless people return to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life.

The grants are available for capital costs and examples of previously supported projects include:

The Booth Centre, an advice and activity centre for homeless people in Manchester, where people undertake education and training courses as well as receiving advice and food, received a grant of £1,500 to transform the centre with new lighting, a new water heater and new decoration.

A grant of £3,000 to the Amber Foundation to enable the Foundation to buy new bedroom furniture for their residential centre in Devon, where every year over 60 unemployed, homeless young people are able to rebuild their lives and gain the motivation, confidence, self-esteem and skills for independent living.

The closing date for the next round of funding is the15th June 2018.

More information


Biffa Awards

Biffa Awards, which are part of the Landfills Communities Fund, has announced that grants of between £10,000 and £75,000 are available to not for profit for community buildings and re-building biodiversity projects.

Under the Re-building Biodiversity funding stream grants are available to support site-based projects that protect and enhance biodiversity across the UK, particularly those concentrating on species and habitats that have been identified as a priority in Biodiversity Action Plans as well as green spaces; woodland walks; play areas; sports facilities; and community gardens; etc. To be eligible the project site must be within 15 miles of a significant Biffa operation.

Through the Community Buildings Funding Stream grants are available to provide and improve community buildings such as village halls, community centres and church halls to act as mechanisms for community involvement. Priority is given to those projects that enhance, maintain or introduce real community led social, economic or environmental improvements. To be eligible projects must be within 5 miles of a significant Biffa Operation and 10 miles of an active Biffa landfill site.

There is a two-stage application process and the closing date for submitting an Expression of Interest the 15th July 2018. Projects successful at this stage will have until the 15th August 2018 to submit a full application. Biffa Awards will fund up to 90% of eligible project costs.

More information


Government Equalities Office

The Government Equalities Office has announced that round 2 of the Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme is now open for applications until the 18th May 2018.

The Women’s Vote Centenary Grant Scheme is a £1.5 million government fund that will support local and community groups across England in celebrating the centenary of women gaining the right to vote.

The grant scheme has two types of funds:

Approximately 150 Small Grants of between £300 to £2,000 will be made to grassroots projects to run small-scale events and activities to celebrate the centenary of women gaining the vote. There will be three bidding rounds during 2018.

Up to 30 Large Grants of between £2,000 and £125,000 will also be made to fund projects that increase the understanding of, and engagement with, democracy, and encourage women to participate in public life. There will be two bidding rounds during 2018. The large grants programme is currently closed for applications and will re-open later in the year.

More information


The Top 8 Frauds to Watch Out For in 2018

A new report from NatWest has identified the top ways they expect fraudsters will try and get their hands on people’s cash in 2018.

NatWest has worked with research agency The Future Laboratory to analyse data from the last 18 months to predict eight frauds expected to emerge in 2018.

Eight scams to watch out for in 2018
1.Social media spying. People might not realise how much information they are giving away, but to a fraudster the posts can be very helpful in setting up a scam.

2.Malicious software on smartphones. It is expected that malware or malicious software threats will grow among mobile devices.

3.Bogus Brexit investments. Consumers should be wary of fake investment opportunities. For example, fraudsters may email customers, warning Brexit will affect their savings, and that they urgently need to move them into a seemingly plausible, but actually fake, investment product.

4.Fraudsters preying on World Cup excitement. Some fraudsters will sell football tickets that are either fake or will never arrive. It is also expected that “package trips” will be offered by fake travel companies. Always buy tickets from a reputable source.

5.Money mules. Mule recruiters may trawl social media for potential targets, particularly cash-strapped students in university towns, and use them to inadvertently launder money. Money mules receive the stolen funds into their account, they are then asked to withdraw it and send the money to a different account, often one overseas, keeping some of the money for themselves.

6.Wedding excitement. Experts fear couples could be easy prey for fraudsters who tempt victims with extravagant offers at bargain prices. Fraudsters can set up fake websites for elements of the big day like venue hire, catering, or wedding dresses that appear very realistic. Fake wedding planners will take people’s money and then disappear.

7.Romance scams. Criminals create fake profiles to form a relationship with their victims. They use messaging to mine victims’ personal details to use for identity fraud. Or, just when the victim thinks they have met the perfect partner the fraudsters asks them for money.

8.Scams aimed at first-time buyers. Computer hackers monitor emails sent by a solicitor to a first-time buyer and then they pounce, pretending to be the solicitor and telling them the solicitors’ bank account details have changed in order to steal cash.

Julie McArdle, NatWest security manager said: “Scammers are dogged in their attempts to get their hands on people’s money and are always looking for new ways to get ahead. This means banks and customers need to evolve alongside scammers too.

“By being aware and staying ahead of scammers, we can stop them winning and keep the country’s money safe and secure.”

If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by using the online reporting tool.

Source: Action Fraud


Five Ways Charities are Using Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) has been a hyped technology since the 1980s, but it’s only really in the last few years that it has been brought down to earth to become an accessible and affordable tool.

Now, VR 2.0 is infiltrating the real world. Alongside fully VR headsets, head mounted displays like Google Cardboard are now available for a very low cost, so that anyone can easily plug a phone in and play a virtual reality video, game or app.

But even without the use of headsets, more and more people are experimenting with 360 content to stretch the limits of traditional filmmaking, as the cameras become cheaper and more widely available.

Now virtual reality and 360 or ‘spherical’ video are fast becoming popular tools in the charity sector, as they explore it as a medium for immersive storytelling experiences.

Done right, these can be powerful, memorable ways to personalise an issue and help bring a charity’s work closer to home.

However, they need to be careful to keep their VR experiences tasteful and appropriate, as some charities have already learnt.

We’ve outlined a few imaginative ways that charities are using VR and immersive video experiences.

1 – Raising awareness

Over the last few years, there have been many stories in the news of charities using VR to overcome what has traditionally been their most pressing challenge – helping people understand and more closely empathise with their cause.

Alzheimer’s Research UK- A walk through dementia

Alzheimer’s Research UK designed this VR app to help deepen people’s understanding of the complexities of dementia, targeting the common misconception that it only affects older people and that the only symptom is memory loss.

Working with virtual reality specialists VISYON, the charity created the free app to let people experience life through the eyes of a person with dementia. It was built with guidance from real people with different forms of the disease, and explores the emotional and psychological challenges they face as they try to navigate everyday environments.

The National Autistic Society- Too Much Information

In a similar vein, the National Autistic Society created this VR experience to let shoppers at the intu Shopping Centre in Bromley experience a shopping centre visit from the perspective of an autistic child.

Created to help the public increase their understanding of autism, the app replicates the dizzying experience of sensory overload often experienced by people on the autism spectrum when coping in a stressful and crowded place such as a shopping centre.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.


ICO Publishes GDPR Legitimate Interest Guidance

The Information Commissioner’s Office has moved to clarify an area many charities say is a grey area by publishing new guidance on the issue of legitimate interest under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR, which has a compliance deadline of 25 May, introduces stricter controls on the use of personal data and the consent required to contact people for fundraising purposes. The guidance considers subjects such as when legitimate interests are appropriate and includes a fundraising example.

Legitimate interest is one of six lawful grounds for processing personal data and covers areas for which an individual has not given specific consent, which could include direct mail or email marketing.

The guidance sets out a three-stage test that organisations can apply to help them decide whether a particular action is lawful, which covers the purpose of the activity, whether it is necessary and how this is balanced against an individual’s rights.

Daniel Fluskey, Head of Research & External Affairs at the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) said: “We welcome this eagerly awaited guidance from the ICO on legitimate interests. Fundraisers have been taking action and making decisions to get this right and be prepared for GDPR, and will be reassured that there is now guidance from the statutory regulator – we are also very pleased to see charity fundraising explicity covered in the guidance.

“What’s clear is that legitimate interests isn’t a given – charities have to determine their purpose, show it’s necessary, and balance against the individuals rights. Get this right, and as long as charities tell individuals about the processing and document their decision-making appropriately, legitimate interest will be fair and lawful.

“We hope that alongside our guidance resources, fundraisers now have the resources and advice they need to move forward with confidence.”

The IoF has published a blog on the key points fundraisers need to be aware of following the ICO’s announcement. The blog can be found here.

Click here to for more information and examples from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Source: Charity Digital News


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