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Sandwell and Birmingham Mela 2020

The Sandwell and Birmingham Mela 2020 will take place over the weekend of  Saturday and Sunday, 18th & 19th July, at Victoria Park, Smethwick. This year is the 10th birthday of the UK’s biggest South Asian music festival.

The festival will feature local and international musicians, dance, funfair, cultural arts and traditional food.

Do not miss this annual spectacular event which runs from 12 noon to 7 pm both days!

Tickets, from £2.00 per person, per day, are available to buy online or at the gate.

For more information and to book visit

See the Facebook page.

How to Create Effective Charity Hashtags

Looking to leverage your supporterbase via social media? Here’s our five-step guide to creating effective charity hashtags.

Have you admired recent charity digital campaigns? Dreaming of going viral but unsure how? Charity digital leaders may have read our earlier tips on how to leverage social media, and how platforms can add to the fundraising toolbox. Creating hashtags on social media allows for audiences to contact charities regardless of location or size.

Adding to the power of hashtags, these digital portals can also work as a call to action. Charity digital marketing and communications teams have created memorable hashtags across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, targeting audiences for charity fundraisers, new product launches, announcements, and brand awareness.

Additive to every charity digital leader’s toolkit, here is a quick DIY guide to creating an effective charity hashtag.

1.Decide how you want your hashtag to work

Hashtags can, and should, form part of the charity social media strategy. When deciding how you want the hashtag to work, marketing and communications goals may be helpful.  Social Media Today advocates deciding on what value can be derived from the hashtag:
•Is there a specific event happening?
•Is this a digital fundraising appeal?
•Or, maybe the aim is to create a buzz?

Once decided, brainstorming a catchy, memorable phrase is important to motivate audiences. Simple ones tend to work very well – #GivingTuesday is a prime example of how worldwide charitable events can come together.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Change at Ideal for All

Ideal for All’s Direct Payment team no longer operate from Hawthorns House. The team have moved to Dudley Biz Hub, Castle Mill, Burnt Tree, Dudley DY4 7UF.

Ideal for All’s other services/premises are not affected by this move.

Visit the website

The Art Yard – Call for Artists That’s Life Exhibition

The Art Yard would like to invite local arts to register their interest in being apart of their That’s Life – Life Drawing Exhibition. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase their work regardless of the medium (i.e. paint, photography, ceramics, sculpture, film metalwork, crafts and much more).

Artists should complete the Submission Form listing all works you would like to exhibit stating the Media, size and selling price, please include any digital images of each work.

The Art Yard charge a small fee for exhibiting your works in their gallery and are to be paid when delivering your works.

For more details see the links below:

They very much look forward to seeing your work and hope you enjoy what we believe will be a successful and exciting Exhibition.

For more information or to submit your completed form please email The Art Yard directly at or call 01384910968.

ICO Launches Direct Marketing Consultation

The regulator has released draft guidance urging charities to ensure they comply with legislation around the electronic storage of data such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft guidance to help charities comply with regulation around their use of data in direct marketing.

Its draft direct marketing code of practice is aimed at ensuring charities are compliant with regulation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and 2003’s Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

This draft code aims to build on previous direct marketing guidance and offer a “practical life-cycle approach to direct marketing”, said the ICO.

It added: “It starts with a section looking at the definition of direct marketing to help organisations decide if the code applies to them, before moving on to cover areas such as planning marketing, collecting data, delivering marketing messages and individuals rights.”

The draft code also signposts other resources around using electronic communications around direct marking. This includes information supplied by Ofcom and the Fundraising Regulator.

Online consultation

The code is out for consultation until 4 March 2020 and a final version will be released later this year. This is available online for charities to respond to by clicking here.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

Make a Difference in 2020 – Volunteer!

Do you enjoy visiting Jubilee Park? Then why not join the Friends of Jubilee Park and help them to keep the park looking good.

They are looking to connect with individuals who can spare the time to help them undertake small community activities and events in the park, to help them keep the park tidy by supporting their litter picking events or by becoming a member of their management committee, all needed to help keep the park a beautiful space throughout the year.

They’d also encourage all park users to do their bit by using the bins provided to dispose of litter and cleaning up after their dogs.

Where would Jubilee Park be without its volunteers? Nowhere! People can volunteer during the week and at weekends as well as evenings during the summer.

If you feel that volunteering with the Friends of Jubilee Park would make 2020 richer and more meaningful for you, please contact Eileen Churchill on 0121 5204322 and see if there is a match for you.

#Stronger Sandwell

You’re invited to the Launch of Your Local Pantry, Smethwick

Smethwick CAN (Church Action Network) was formed in 2014 to jointly set up a food bank. Since then, they have developed a wide range of food action initiatives, including an allotment, a community café, and delivering cooking and shopping lessons.

Smethwick Pantry is a community group for people living in the area. For just a few pound a week, members can have access to affordable food. The Pantry will be opened by Smethwick CAN on Thursday, 21 January 2020 between 11 am and 1 pm, at Smethwick Library, High Street, Smethwick B66 3AP.  The initiative  is a joint response from Smethwick churches to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunities and support the most vulnerable.

Your Local Pantry will offer food bank users choice and dignity, and is viewed as a great move-on option from food bank. Other local residents will also be able to become members. The aim is to develop Your Local Pantry into an integrated, welcoming, community space.

If you would like to attend the launch please RSVP to or call 0121 569 4940.

Enquries regarding Your Local Pantry shoud be directed to

Volunteer opportunity with Smethwick CAN

Smethwick CAN is a local charity that was set up as a joint response from local churches to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunities and support the most vulnerable within the community.

Smethwick CAN have several food projects supporting the local community and providing access to good quality food to people in need.

They currently have a volunteer position available within Smethwick CAN Community Cafe for a kitchen assistant. The role involves assisting other members of the team in preparing and cooking food for a busy lunchtime session which runs every Thursday.

For further information please contact Christina Murray, Food Hub Manager, at or call 0751 724 1195.

Sandwell Council to launch Climate Change Consultation

Sandwell council will start an eight-week consultation period on 20 January for people to give their views and ideas on how emissions can be reduced.

A Climate Change Working Group has been set up to improve upon emissions of 4.6 tonnes per person in Sandwell, which have been reducing in recent years but are still above the regional average.

The council has been working to reduce emissions through more energy efficient housing, better heating systems, LED street lighting and moving to hybrid vehicles, encouraging more recycling and planting trees for every reception child starting school.

Climate change had been identified by the World Health Organisation as the number one priority for public health this century, so the ‘do nothing’ option was not sustainable.   Under the Sandwell Air Quality Action Plan, officers would work on ways to reduce nitrogen dioxide concentrations at ‘hot spot’ locations and encourage taxi operators to reduce emissions from vehicles.

The council is also working on ways to promote better public transport, walking, cycling and encourage people to switch to low or zero emission cars.

Throughout the eight-week consultation period, people will be able to provide their views through an online questionnaire and the council will also be holding events in each of the six towns. Details of events will be announced in the New Year.

The consultation starts on 20 January and you will be able to have your say at

Four of the Best Charities Leading the Push for Digital Transformation

Charities with digital transformation on their list of New Year’s resolutions need look no further. Through efficiencies gained from digital fundraising, operational speed, and time-saving processes, digital transformation can give charities of all sizes a make-over in both online and in offices. Here we showcase four of the most inspirational transformations.

Parkinson’s UK data-led approach to digital strategy
In 2017, the UK charity focused on determining internal digital maturity levels and developing a digital strategy.

“We now talk an awful lot about our data maturity as an organisation and about making sure that our 400 staff know how to use information to make better decisions,” said Ms Dodd, Director of Digital Transformation and Communication, when speaking to Computer Weekly magazine.

“That stretches from our strategic priorities right down to a project-level basis, where our people use information to make better decisions.”

Since then, one of the major challenges Ms Dodd has worked on is to link up data sources across the organisation. A cloud-based solution was found using Snowflake to centralise data.  For the inside scoop on the journey, Charity Digital News interviewed Carolyn Nutkins, Director of Organisational Development at Parkinson’s UK – the video can be found here.

Cancer Research UK’s journey is about digital cultural change
Two years on from the first conversations and implementation of the charity’s digital transformation, leadership and skills have come to the fore. Writing for CRUK’s blog, Ellie Budd, Digital Proposition Manager noticed how the charity’s entire operating model had shifted from demanding services to testing new, innovative digital ideas.

“For us, it’s a little about the technology, but a lot more about the skills teams have. We learnt very quickly those skills needed to be different for every team. Some would need to set up complex A/B tests, some needed to write user stories in BDD format, and some had to optimize their content for search,” said Ms Budd.

For CRUK, digital transformation and experimentation came with not only a shift in digital culture but buy-in from digital leaders throughout the organisation.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News

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