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‘Positive Change for a Positive Future’…SCVO’s AGM Round-up.

Thursday, 19th October 2017 saw the gathering of 64 delegates for SCVO’s 2017 AGM at Hawthorns House in West Bromwich.

39 Member organisations were represented across a wide range of voluntary and community sector delivery, with delegates enjoying an informative mix of ‘SCVO News and Developments’, formal AGM proceedings and an engaging keynote address from Gary Topp, CEO of Culture Central.

Stuart Ashmore, SCVO’s Operations Manager and Deputy CEO opened proceedings with a round-up of ‘News and Developments’ that included:
 ‘Meet the Funder 2017’ (book your place HERE);
• Development Support Surgeries at the Dorothy Parkes Community Centre (more information HERE);
• SCVO Breakfast Meetings: next one is Thursday, 23rd November 2017 at the Ebeneezer Church in Langley (further details available on our website shortly);
• Healthy Sandwell Micro Grants: awards of £500 available for ‘Engagement Activities’ that promote the services of Healthy Sandwell and the NHS Health Check programme (more information HERE);
• Children and Young People Forum: Networking event (with Jacquie Smith and Audrey Williamson). Reserve your place HERE;
• Leaders’ Survey: your opportunity to let us know about your experiences and views on issues relating to working within the Sector and supporting communities in Sandwell. You can complete the survey online HERE (closes 22nd November 2017);
• GDPR Implementation Workshop: scheduled for Tuesday, 5th December 2017 to look at practical steps to complying with the forthcoming GDPR in May 2018. More details to be released soon;

…followed by a couple of ‘bigger’ announcements…

• Community Partnerships Grant Programme: designed to encourage the development of new and/or different ways of working or engaging with people that has a focus on increasing self-help within communities over the long-term. Full details to be released shortly;
• Esmée Fairbairn Partnership: forged through discussions over the last 12 months and culminating in a new partnership for the next 5 years that focuses activity on building resilience at an individual level, within local communities, and across the wider sector. Full details of the programme are still being developed, but this partnership is a strong endorsement of the Sector; a long-term commitment that underpins the Foundation’s recognition of the work already undertaken by the Sector and partners and our desire to build capability and confidence amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised in our local communities and grow resilience.

The more ‘formal’ element of the AGM heard Mark Davis, SCVO’s CEO, talk about the achievements of the last 12 months together with the re-election of Mohammed Loan (Chair & General Secretary, Oldbury Jamia Mosque) and new election of Vicki Fitzgerald (CEO of Citizens Advice Sandwell) to SCVO’s Board of Trustees. You can see more detail of the year’s activities in the following documents:
• Annual Report and Accounts: Financial Year Ended 31st March 2017
• Annual Review 2017

The morning was concluded with a keynote address from Gary Topp, whose theme was ‘The world is changing – how can we work together to create a better future?’ Gary’s thought-provoking talk was well-received by the audience, and certainly generated a number of talking points in the post-talk Q&A.

The year ahead looks to be an interesting, and exciting, one – join us again in October 2018 to see how it all pans out.

How Vulnerable Young People Experience Digital Exclusion

The year-long #NotWithoutMe pilot programme challenge the assumption that younger generations are ‘digital natives’ and have basic digital skills or access to learning opportunities.

Carnegie UK Trust provided £40k to fund the pilot programme and partnered with local projects in Glasgow, Cumbria, Belfast and London to run over 80 practical sessions which saw 100 vulnerable young people get involved to improve their skills.

Report participants came from a variety of backgrounds and faced different barriers to digital inclusion.

The combined outcomes highlight the challenges society faces in tackling the perception that all children and young people have equal opportunities in developing the required digital ‘life’ skills.

The combined outcomes highlight the challenges society faces in tackling the perception that all children and young people have equal opportunities in developing the required digital ‘life’ skills.

The pilot programme has prompted the Carnegie UK Trust to outline key recommendations:

  • Digital participation strategies should take specific consideration of vulnerable young people.
  • Existing long-term skills development programmes in formal and informal education settings should embed digital skills learning.
  • Young people should be involved in shaping digital skills projects.
  • Appropriate ongoing training should be provided for the family and professional support networks for young people.

Gina Wilson, Carnegie UK Trust, said: “As a society we are guilty of assuming that young people are digitally proficient and have access to the benefits that digital skills can bring. Digital exclusion, particularly amongst vulnerable young people, is an important and often overlooked issue.

“These four pilot projects highlight the need to invest in young people facing extra challenges in life, whether that be their background or the fact they have a learning disability. In supporting vulnerable young people to develop relevant digital skills and understanding, we can also empower them to access more opportunities, and in turn improve both their social and mental well-being. This week is ‘Get Online Week’ and, as we encourage more people to explore the digital world, we should be mindful of those who are at risk of exclusion and how we can facilitate much needed support.”

To read the full Charity Digital News click here.

Over 100 UK Charities Jump On Board Ecard Platform

UK charities are joining a social enterprise that provides them with a new income stream using an innovative take on the £1.7bn greeting card market1. provides a comprehensive fundraising toolset for charities to encourage supporters to send digital cards and donate the cost of printed cards to their cause.

Over 100 UK charities have joined the venture including names such as Headway, Sumatran Orangutan Society, the British Deaf Association and the Royal Life Saving Society.

The platform offers charities a high level of customisation including the uploading of custom ecard artwork and the creation of fundraising pages for different occasions.

Individual and corporate supporters can then donate the cost equivalent of cards and stamps, and send ecards via email or share to Facebook.

“The system is built for charities – and with a host of tools and promotional materials at their disposal – they can very easily start fundraising after joining. We’ve seen generous individuals give as much as £200.00 in lieu of cards and stamps, making it a great source of additional charitable income this Christmas,” says Alex Furness, Founder.

Charities can join at

Source: Charity Digital News

Government Details Plans to Align Data Laws with GDPR

The UK government has outlined more details of its Data Protection Bill, which it said will update existing law to make it fit for the digital age.

The UK Data Protection Bill is the result of a commitment to align data protection laws in the UK with the European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

People in the UK will have greater control over their personal data and will be able to ask social media channels to delete information they posted in their childhood. There will also be the right to be forgotten and crucially for charities, the reliance on default opt-out or pre-selected ‘tick boxes’, which are largely ignored, to give consent for organisations to collect personal data will also become a thing of the past. This is prompting many charities to adopt ‘opt-in only’ policies.

The Bill is a complete data protection system, so as well as governing general data covered by GDPR, it covers all other general data, law enforcement data and national security data. Furthermore, the Bill exercises a number of agreed modifications to the GDPR to make it work for the benefit of the UK in various areas.

This includes making scientific and historical research organisations such as museums and universities exempt from certain obligations which would impair their core functions.

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital, said: “We are strengthening Britain’s data rules to make them fit for the digital age in which we live and that means giving people more control over their own data.

“There are circumstances where the processing of data is vital for our economy, our democracy and to protect us against illegality. Today, as we publish the Data Protection Bill, I am offering assurances to both the public and private sector that we are protecting this important work.”

Source: Charity Digital News

What It Means to Be a Digital Charity Leader

Zoe Amar discusses why digital leadership is so important for charities and looks at the role digital leaders play in driving transformation.

Is digital leadership the new digital transformation? It certainly seems to be one of this year’s buzzwords. A total of 20 individuals and organisations from the non-profit sector made it into the 100 finalists for Digital Leaders earlier this year. Meanwhile, Julia Unwin, chair of Civil Society Futures, recently blogged about how social change is now driven by networks and movements, asking whether we need new styles of leadership to drive this. #Icebucketchallenge was a case in point, an organic campaign that came from nowhere and raised more than $115m (£88m) for motor neurone disease in a single month.

Yet such events rarely happen in isolation. Behind every amazing campaign or digital initiative is a great leader – and it doesn’t always have to be the CEO.

So, what is digital leadership? Is it really more than a passing fad? And why does it matter?

Leadership Has Changed
Digital is a fundamental part of the way the modern leader operates. It’s not just being on the channels – it’s using them to build networks, be more collaborative and respond quickly. The command and control model of leadership feels increasingly analogue, clunky and old fashioned. Your charity may have run the same services for decades but the world in which it operates has changed radically.  That’s why we’ve decided to recognise digital leadership for the first time this year as part of the Social CEOs awards.
David McNeill, Director of Digital at Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, defines digital leadership as “leadership that’s fit-for-purpose in a modern world. We perhaps too often deliver the same services, in the same way as we always have. We need to take more time to reflect on whether our services still meet the needs and expectations of our users, as well exploring whether there are more efficient and effective ways of working to achieve the same outcomes.”

Remember the brands that were once household names but failed to adapt to the times, such as Kodak. A forward-thinking leader, quick enough to respond to change, would have spotted that their organisation had to modernise and go digital if it was to thrive.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Spotlight on My Time Active

1. Tell us what you do.
Mytime Active a are a social enterprise commissioned by Sandwell Public Health to deliver a 24week Healthy Lifestyle and Weight Management programme for Adults and Families who want to learn about healthy eating, physical activity and weight management. We offer a variety of support pathways for individuals, including access to our weight management packages (free for the first 12 weeks), discounts to local gyms and leisure centres and 12 weeks of free weight watchers vouchers (subject to eligibility). Alongside this, we offer all individuals tailored 1:1 support.

2. What is your proudest achievement?
Every day we help people to make long-term positive changes to their, supporting individuals to lose weight and keep it off for good.

3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
We have found SCVO to be invaluable in supporting the growth of our programmes, through attending both network events and using their various platforms to advertise our service.

4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
Everyone person, town and community in Sandwell is unique. We have dedicated town teams who work within the local area, in local GP practices, community centres and libraries to support individuals to access the service locally.

5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We want to continue to grow our groups and provision, ensuring we have a vast presence across the whole of Sandwell. It is a challenge; however our team are committed to improving the health of Sandwell residents.

6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
With continued promotion and networking opportunities!

For further information please contact Louise Pickard the Senior Healthy Lifestyle Specialist on 0121 366 0966 or view their website to see what other services are available at 

‘Facebook of Charities’ Launches World’s First Social Network to Create Global Social Change

A not-for-profit tech startup is launching the world’s first social network to create global social change.

The NGO, We Make Change, wants to harness the power of young people to drive positive change around the world.

To make this happen, a group of young people from 12 countries have joined together to launch what the organisation is calling a ‘digital revolution’.

“We are part of the most connected generation ever, yet, on the news we see so many problems being faced across the world that we feel helpless to do anything about,” said Co-Founder and CEO, James Sancto.

“We believe that by harnessing the power of technology we can address these challenges by enabling anyone, anywhere, to contribute what they can to help solve them.

“As the first generation that can end extreme poverty and the last that can address climate change, now is our moment to make this happen. That is why we believe We Make Change can play an important role in enabling our generation to create the greatest positive change the world has ever seen.”

The online platform will enable individuals to connect with and support the charities fighting for causes they care about, by donating their time, money or things.

Charity Backing
Charities and NGOs such as the World Youth Organization, National Youth Agency, and Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust are already backing the platform.

“We Make Change is a social network which could bring transformational benefits for the charity sector. Having been involved with charitable organisations for many years, I am thrilled to see this initiative which could have a big impact,” said Baroness Caroline Cox, the founder of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART).

“A platform such as this can enable people to donate online and to volunteer for charities in ways which will help all involved, including our own charity, HART, as we support our partners who are bringing hope and healing to their communities living in very challenging conditions.

“I am delighted to endorse this initiative and to encourage other people and charities to do the same.”

To read the full Charity Digital News Artcile click here.

Charity Sector Entering ‘Wild West as UK Hits Peak GDPR Frenzy’

Charitable organisations and the not for profit sector must take greater care when choosing General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance partners by ensuring that the right balance of legal and technical delivery skillsets are in place. This is according to ST2 Technology who suggests that a failure to do so will inevitably lead to significant compliance failures after the new regulations take hold.

GDPR means significant changes that will affect this sector, despite organisations’ funding constraints and relatively small size. However, as charities hold some of the most sensitive and personal data in the UK, this will not go unnoticed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Re-prioritise spend
Richard Hannah, Head of Consulting at ST2 Technology, suggests that charities and Not for Profit organisations will now need to re-prioritise their spend. Although these companies may be tempted to believe that their charitable status means they will not be liable for fines, despite all their good work, they will be expected to maintain the integrity of their data.

He explains: “Radical changes to how charitable and Not for Profit organisations manage their information will be required if they are to be compliant when GDPR comes into force. This is creating a sense of urgency as organisations try to get to grips with their data, how it is handled, where it is stored and who has access to it. However, as a result there has been a rush from consultancies to fill the market void, leading to untested and potentially incorrect approaches to ensuring compliance. We can expect a lot of teething problems and some significant compliance failures coming to light over 2018/19.”

Richard continues: “Unfortunately, there has been a sharp rise in assessment kits and non-specialist consultants offering advice to organisations on how they can ready themselves, despite not necessarily having the relevant and appropriate experience. With GDPR offering citizens compensation when a breach occurs, the regulation could spawn ‘PPI’ type agencies to pursue claims against local authorities.

“For many consultancies, customers looking for partners to help them become compliant with GDPR is the equivalent of a new gold rush – however, less speed and more haste should be the mantra as we all work with the new data landscape now coming into view.

“GDPR is not just about company records, data and processes, it is also about the law as it affects an organisation’s funding arrangements, membership management, manual and computer record keeping and its ability to transform the way it works, to both deliver its mandate and maintain compliance – doing nothing really is not an option and many of this sector’s issues are systemic.”

Source: Charity Digital News

GDPR: What Does It Mean for Your Charity?

On Tuesday 19 September, Lightful and Social Misfits Media hosted an event on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The event covered, in detail, what GDPR is and the differences between GDPR and the Data Protection Act (DPA). The role of the ICO was explained as well as the consequences of falling foul of compliance, with examples given of where charities have already been fined. This was delivered by Susie Perks, Major Projects Lead at Lightful.

The event ended with a panel discussion chaired by Haydn Thomas, Head of Services at Lightful, with panel members Stephen Oatley, Head of Events at ABF The Soldier’s Charity, Andrew Cross, Data and Insights Lead at Lightful, and Howard Ricklow of Collyer Bristow.

The Biggest Hurdle
Stephen said the biggest hurdle his charity had faced was reviewing the data held on their existing database and implementing the correct processes.

ICO Registration
Howard said that any organisation that processes data should register with the ICO as failure to register can lead to fines. Although it’s probably unlikely that the ICO would fine charities for not registering, there’s really no reason not to do it as it’s free to register. The only exceptions are very small organisations who only process data for things such as payroll. The process to register is simple and straightforward and if you need assistance, look at others who have registered to see what they have said about how they are processing data.

Privacy Shield
Andrew advised to check whether third parties, such as Facebook or JustGiving, are registered with the ICO but also said to check that if they are in the US that they are part of the Privacy Shield or ensuring that there are data-processing agreements in place that are compliant with EU privacy laws.

Legitimate Interest
One of the burning questions from the floor was around ‘legitimate interest’ and what that really means. Howard advised that while official guidance from the ICO is still a few months away, the DMA have produced a useful guide.

Data Breaches
Andrew gave an example of what would constitute a data breach: if you send out an e-mail where you attach an excel of personal data, by accident, this would constitute a breach. You would then need to notify the ICO within 72 hours and explain how it happened, what the risk was for – e.g. were there bank details, high-profile names, physical addresses included, etc., who it affected, what processes you followed and what new processes you put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

To read the full Charity Digital News article click here.

Facebook Announces Launch of Fundraising Tools in UK

Facebook has announced the launch of its nonprofit fundraising tools in the UK and 15 other countries across Europe.

The social media giant says that when people mobilise around the causes they care about, it builds a safe and supportive community. Its charitable giving tools, which are already available in the US, have made it easy for people to raise millions of dollars for charities to support those in need directly on Facebook.

“Since we launched these tools in the US, we have seen our community raise millions of dollars for charities, for causes such as disaster relief, the environment and education,” a statement by the company said. “In fact, just two weeks ago, the Facebook community came together to raise over USD $10 million to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey in the United States.”

Beginning in late September, Facebook will start testing fundraising tools in five countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain. In early October it’ll expand the test to Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Austria, Finland and Luxembourg.

To read the full Charity Digital News Article click here.

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