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Lessons from the Charity Digital Code: Principle 1 – Leadership

The Charity Digital Code of Practice was launched last year thanks to the combined efforts of a group of sector organisations, with the aim of helping charities benchmark their progress in using digital and learn from example. It focuses on seven guiding principles for success with tangible actions charities can take.

In this series, Tech Trust trustee and Chair of the Charity Digital Code of Practive Zoe Amar speaks with a charity that embodies one of each of the seven principles, sharing their lessons and experiences.

This week Amar spoke with Lara Burns, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Age UK about the principle of ‘leadership’. An inspirational digital leader, Burns has worked across sectors leading innovation, transformation and change programmes for 25 years.

Zoe Amar: From your conversations with charity leaders, do you think more of them see digital as important? If not, what could change this?

Lara Burns: Age UK is a network of local Age UKs and we know that local leaders are keen to do things differently. We did a survey of local CEOs in our network and 65% prioritised being able to use digital to enable their service delivery, but 83% cited lack of funding as the major barriers, whilst skills were also a challenge.

I think this is fairly typical of small to medium sized charities. It is really easy when you are in a big charity in London to think digital is obvious and everyone gets it, but that is not always the case. Smaller charities can get stuck on what to do next.

This is where The Charity Digital Code of Practice is important. I also think there are more conversations happening at senior level about the Code and digital.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

Source: Charity Digital News


Free Community Support Training Opportunity

Do you enjoy helping people? Would you like to have better employment opportunities while helping people to connect for the first time with their local area? Can you speak a community language like Polish, Urdu, Bengali, Romanian, Kurdish, or Somali as well as good English?

Citizens Advice Bureau is hosting a Community Learning Programme at the Brasshouse Community Centre, Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick B66 1BA., which may interest you.

Attendees on the Programme will:

• Learn about your Community

• Learn about the Rights and Responsibilities of UK Citizens

• Learn about the needs of people coming to live in the UK

• Learn about working for a Charity

There are six Community Learning sessions running from 9.30 am to 2.30 pm starting on 26th March. No experience needed!

If you would like to apply for your free place then contact David Jones on 07494 159 056 or email david.jones@citizensadvicesandwell.org.uk by the 21st of March.


6Towns Credit Union Prevention of Illegal Money Lending and Savings Incentive

6Towns Credit Union is currently working in partnership with the Illegal Money Lending Team, at Birmingham City Council, to tackle and help prevent Illegal money lending.

The Credit Union is encouraging people to save and borrow wisely.

To this end, 100 members could win £25.00. Start saving at least £1.00 a week for 12 weeks into a Christmas Account and enter the free draw to win £25.00.  This sum will be added to your Christmas Account.  See terms and conditions.

Further details on Facebook

Visit the website


Cradley Heath Trail Drop-in Sessions

SCVO in partnership with Cradley Heath Community Centre have commenced a trial monthly drop-in sessions  over the next three months for Sandwell Community, Voluntary  and Social Enterprise organisations at Cradley Heath Community Centre, Reddal Hill Road, Cradley Heath, B64 5JG.

Libby Mahoney, SCVO’s Small Groups Development Officer, will be available on the first Friday of every month from 10am till 12pm.

The drop-in sessions will take place on:

  • Friday 5th April 2019,
  • Friday 3rd May 2019 and
  • Friday 7th June 2019.

This is your opportunity to discuss your project ideas, business plans or funding application(s) and receive practical support, advice and tips on how to improve the success of your project/application and much more.

Please note your organisation must be based or delivering here in Sandwell to be able to access this service.

To see what other services SCVO provides please visit our website at www.scvo.info


Save the Date: Heritage Fund – Launch Event

SCVO in partnership with the National Lottery Heritage Fund are planning to hold a Heritage Fund Launch Event on Thursday 11th April 2019. The Launch Event will take the participant through the recent changes to the Heritage Funds Grant programmes, who is eligible to apply and the processes you will need to follow to access these funds.

Heritage can mean different things to different people, it can be anything from the past that you value and want to pass on to future generations. The Heritage Funds Grants Officer will discuss what heritage means to them and how you can access grants to support your heritage project.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage will provide funding for all types of heritage projects with grants starting from £3,000 upwards. They want to inspire, lead and resource heritage projects across the UK, to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

This event is free for Sandwell voluntary and community sector groups and groups whose main beneficiaries live in Sandwell (subject to attendance). For those wishing to attend the workshop from outside of Sandwell there will be a small booking fee.

Further details to follow so watch this space!


Arts and Culture Sector Survey Launches

Arts and culture charities are being urged to take part in a survey to assess the impact of digital technology across their sector.

This is the fifth year the Digital Culture survey has been carried out by the Arts Council England in partnership with arts, science and technology innovation foundation Nesta.

The aim is to build up a comprehensive picture of digital behaviour among arts and culture organisations in England and measure trends and compare data with previous year’s findings.

The survey’s results are used by government, funders and to help arts and culture organisations with their digital strategy.

This includes helping inform the government’s Culture is Digital report and this year’s findings will provide evidence in support of its commitments.

This includes the creation of a Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Code and Maturity Index, which aims to help organisations benchmark and improve their digital maturity.

Another is the launch of Arts Council England’s Digital Culture Network which brings together ‘tech champions’ to help digital development in the arts and culture sector.

Adapting to digital change

“As digital technology becomes an increasingly ubiquitous part of everyday life, it is important for arts and cultural organisations to keep pace with the rate of change so that they can successfully integrate new technologies into their working practice and remain relevant to artists and audiences,” says a Nesta statement.

“This survey will take the pulse of the sector on how it is adapting to digital change and where it requires further support.”

The survey’s research partner MTM London has sent out an invite to take part to thousands of arts and culture organisations. Any arts and culture organisations that have not received an invite and want to take part are urged to contact MTM London direct by emailing them at digitalarts@mtmlondon.com.

The survey takes around 30 minutes to complete and closes on 3 May 2019.

Source: Charity Digital News


Office Space Available at two locations in Oldbury

Quality space for flexible use is available at Brandhall library, Oldbury, Tame Road, Oldbury, B68 0JT and also Langley Library, Barrs Street, Oldbury. There are a number of spaces available of different sizes. All are situated on the ground floor offering full wheelchair access. The library is located in the south of Oldbury, conveniently situated next to local shops and amenities.

Both locations have good public transport links and road networks.

The rooms offer privacy whilst at the same time allowing you to meet and greet clients in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.

Rooms key features
• Wifi
• Wall mounted plug sockets
• Light furnished areas
• Access shared with Library
• Adjacent shared kitchen with fridge and microwave
• Accessible toilet

Prices range from £600 per annum to £2100 per annum (depending on size) for Brandhall Library and £525 per annum to £2700 per annum (depending on size) for Langley Library.

Sandwell Library and Information Service welcomes offers from all, but is particularly keen to share space and work in partnership with organisations that can contribute to our core offers of reading, health, information, digital, learning or culture, or supports other Sandwell Council objectives. Occupancy would be offered on a licence to occupy basis for up to 3 years.

We would ideally like a partner that has a presence in the building during advertised library opening hours (except Saturdays) to avoid our staff having to lone work. We would be willing to accept an offer below stated prices if this was possible.

For viewing please contact:-
Jean Fenn – 0121 569 5935
Email jean_fenn@sandwell.gov.uk

For more information (including library opening hours) follow the link below

http://www.sandwell.gov.uk/info/200261/libraries_in_sandwell/809/brandhall_library

Applications must be made on a formal application form available from the library or by contacting Dawn Winter on 0121 569 4922


The Big Lunch 2019!

Great Things happen when you bring people together! The Big Lunch is about millions of people getting together to share food, have fun and get to know each other better. 

It’s a simple idea – that for a few glorious hours, cars stop, shyness stops and neighbours come together in the street to meet, greet, share, swap, sing, plan and laugh. That’s why the Eden Project are inviting you to join them on 1-2 June 2019 for their annual get-together for neighbours and communities.

The Big Lunch idea from the Eden Project is made possible by the National Lottery. It doesn’t matter if you are big or small – whether you’re having a cup of tea with a neighbour or a full-on street party, The Big Lunch is an opportunity to help build connections that create stronger and happier communities.

Sign up for your free starter pack to join in the fun by clicking here or for more information on the Big Lunch click here.

Don’t forget to share your photos using the #TheBigLunch hashtag.

Source: The National Lottery


Sandwell Literature Festival

Sandwell libraries are running their first literature festival during March at Central Library in West Bromwich.

The literature festival runs from Saturday 16 to Saturday 23 March and includes storytelling, local history talks, author events and musical performances.

The opening event on Saturday 16 March is The Brontë Legacy – Keeping The Flame Alive, a musical tribute to the Brontë family in a series of songs based on their poetry and characters by award-winning British jazz singer Val Wiseman, who grew up in West Bromwich.

The event starts at 7pm and admission is £3 in advance or £5 on the night.

Free admission events include:
David Hallam: Taking On The Men, 2pm, Thursday 21 March
A tale of three women who took on the men at the 1918 General Election

Ian Tucker: Your Simple Path, 11am, Friday 22 March
Bringing calm to a crazy world with simple techniques to improve wellbeing and reduce stress

An Afternoon with Roger Ellory, 2pm, Friday 22 March
Meet an award-winning crime author as he talks about his books, career and inspiration

Matt Black: An Hour of Fast Fun with Roald Dahl, 10.30am-11.30am, Saturday 23 March
A fun family event, listen to the best moments from Roald Dahl

Councillor Syeda Khatun, Sandwell Council deputy leader, said: “Our first literature festival promises to be a real feast of exciting entertainment and fascinating talks, all in our wonderful Central Library in West Bromwich.

“For the opening event, Val Wiseman will be making a welcome return to West Bromwich following her fantastic performance fronting the Lady Sings The Blues concert during last summer’s jazz festival.”

For more information, go to the Discover Sandwell website or call 0121 569 4904 / email central_library@sandwell.gov.uk


Free Digital Tool to Support Charity Commission Registration

A new tool is aimed at small charities who feel overwhelmed by the Charity Commission registration process.

A free digital tool has been launched to help small charities register with the Charity Commission.

The charitysetup tool has been developed by the Small Charities Coalition, the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST) and development agency Super Being Labs.

It has been created after research among small charities by the coalition found that many find the registration process difficult and feel overwhelmed with the technical information and jargon involved.

Currently 44% of the Small Charities Coalition’s support line queries are about setting up a charity with the regulator.

Angela Style, Interim Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition, said: “Our members tell us every day that the current guidelines, although thorough, are not always written with small charities in mind, especially charities who are time and cash strapped.

“By listening and responding to our members, we hope the first version of charitysetup will be just the beginning of what this new resource can offer.”

The tool aims to guide people through the registration process in a clear and conscie way and it is anticipated that around 1,500 charities that register could use it each year.

James Richards, Fuse Product Lead at CAST, said: “When we started working with the Small Charities Coalition it was clear that by focusing on insights from their members, we’d have the very best chance of discovering what small charities really needed. charitysetup is a significant step towards this.

“It will help define and test different approaches to providing the advice and support that people need as they consider their charity choices. We’re excited to see how small charities interact with the advice and support.”

Source: Charity Digital News


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